The premise of “This is Where I Leave You” is fantastic: four adult siblings who really only have their parents in common are summoned to sit a full 7-day Shiva for their dead father. For seven days have to live in the house together, and must all sit shoulder-to-shoulder in tiny, uncomfortable chairs receiving guests.
Except the Foxmans are unlikable and disrespectful jerks and find all sorts of reasons to blow off Shiva and leave the house. There are so many slapsticky scenes written into this book that you forget this is a family that’s supposed to be grieving. There’s an occasional “I miss Dad” tossed in to remind you, but they’re lost among the sex scenes, fights (How can grown men get in this many fistfights and nobody ends up arrested?), and misogyny.
And oh, the misogyny. Judd Foxman is our narrator. He found out that his (perfect, beautiful) wife was cheating on him with his boss and ended their marriage. Except she’s pregnant and now he’s on the hook for that. (Women, aren’t they awful?)
With that, I understand him not being so up on women. But the hateful way that he described the bodies of every single woman that passed within view was a real dealbreaker for me. This one is crinkly, that one is wrinkly, that one is fat. If you are a woman and have any body insecurity at all, Judd/Tropper will find a way to make you feel like crap about how you look.
There’s also a bit of F/M non-consensual sex, but you know, no big. (!!!WTF!!!) Women, they’re just awful.
I give this one two stars (reminder that on GoodReads, 2 stars means “It was ok.”) because there are some poignant sentences that hit you in the gut.
For a sequel, the Foxmans need to go to Mallorca with the family from The Vacationers. Call the book “Privilege Pilgrimage.”
This was the last book I read in 2014. View all my reviews on Goodreads!