Nov. 20, 2009

“This Is Where I Leave You”

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper is a terrific novel. The emotionally repressed Foxman family of Westchester County gathers to sit shiva for their dead father, and over the course of a week the four siblings and materfamilias work through a lifetime of suburban traumas, grudges, and neuroses. A comedy of manners has to maintain such a fine balance. The action has to be broad enough to be funny but realistic enough to be affecting. Tropper pulls it off beautifully. This Is Where I Leave You is smart, raunchy, touching, keenly observed, and very funny. The last few days I found myself missing my subway stop, lingering too long over my morning coffee, and worst (or best) of all reading Tropper’s novel when I should have been writing my own. Highly recommended.

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