THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU Book Club Recap #TIWILY #TIWILYbookclub
You may remember my recent post about starting a book club with some amazing local Kansas City bloggers. Well we finished the book and we all agreed that it was fabulous.
This Is Where I Leave You will be in theaters September 19. The dramatic comedy “This is Where I Leave You” is directed by Shawn Levy, and based on the hilarious and poignant best-selling novel by Jonathan Tropper. It features a starring ensemble cast including Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”); Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Tina Fey (“30 Rock”); and two-time Oscar® winner, multiple Golden Globe honoree and 2013 Emmy Award nominee Jane Fonda (“Klute,” “Coming Home,” HBO’s “The Newsroom”).
When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.
“After reading the This Is Where I Leave You, I am even more excited for the film’s release. It really is an inspirational read that makes you think about life. I personally love characters in books that you can really connect with. As I finished up,
This Is Where I Leave You, I felt like I really got to know the characters. The story is very well written and a true page turner. The issues the characters were facing were easy to connect with and each page made you longly to learn more.
I am beyond excited to see the story come to life in the movie version. I can’t express enough how much I enjoy movies adapted from books, (when I read the book first, of course ;)). I am really excited to see this story come to life visually. “
I was so lucky to share this book club, with some of Kansas City’s best bloggers. Check out their thoughts below.
“I was thrilled to read “This Is Where I Leave You” for this book club. I’ve read two other books by Jonathan Tropper and I loved both of them. He has a unique voice and his writing manages to be funny and sad and witty and truthful all at the same time. TISWILY was just as well written as his other books that I’ve read.
I enjoyed getting to know Judd and his family, and their relationships and struggles to reconnect felt very real. By the end I felt connected to them and was curious to know what happens to them after the book ends.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie now that I’ve read the book. Jason Bateman is absolutely the perfect choice to play Judd, and the rest of the casting choices seem spot on as well.
– Emmie, Blue 11 Interiors
“While reading “This is Where I Leave You,” I was literally laughing out loud for most of the book. So much so that my husband started asking me to read the book out loud to him because certain parts were so funny.
This completely honest tale of the ups and downs that families go through evokes raw emotion, both happiness and heart-felt sadness. Every family has their quirks and we can all relate to the character’s feelings of frustration and love for his family all at one.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a thoughtful yet witty read.”
-Lauren, Classy and Fab girl
“I’ve really enjoyed reading This Is Where I Leave You it’s definitely an intense read out the gate.
But I absolutely love the character development of Judd and his ridiculous family!
They keep it real and make you feel like your one of them. I’ve really enjoyed it! And can’t wait to see the movie!”
I can’t tell you all how much fun it was to read, “This Is Where I Leave You” in the form of a book club. I really want to encourage all of you to start your own book club and read the book before the launch of the movie.
If you are considering starting your own, #TIWILY book club, here are 10 questions you can use to discuss the book.
1. Discuss Judd Foxman, the novel’s protagonist, from his very ironic and dry sense of humor (shared also by his brothers and sister), to his anger and vulnerability regarding his wife’s infidelity, to his conflicted emotions regarding his immediate family. What was your first impression of the protagonist/narrator of this novel? What did you find the most engaging aspect of his character? Did you find any aspect of him off-putting?
2. What was your first impression of Judd’s wife, Jen? Because you see her almost entirely from Judd’s perspective, was there any chance to see her as a sympathetic character before Judd finds her so? Do you think that Judd and Jen have a chance at salvaging their relationship, with or without a baby girl to raise?
3. Discuss Judd’s mother and her relationship with each of her children. Do you think that Hillary Foxman was truly a bad mother? Was there any real irony in her being a child-rearing guru? What was your opinion of her character?
4. One of the largest subjects of the book is parenting. Discuss the various parents in the book (Judd and Jen; Wendy and Barry; Hillary and Mort; Linda) and consider the statement (or statements) that Tropper makes about the responsibilities of a parent to his or her child, and, conversely, the responsibilities of a child to his or her parent.
5. Similarly, what comment is Tropper making about the role of trauma and tragedy in our lives? Almost every character in this book suffers or has suffered: Phillip from his neglected/overindulged childhood; Judd from his wife’s infidelity; Horry from his brain damage; Paul from the Rottweiler attack; Wendy from her unhappy marriage; and Alice from her infertility. What does their unhappiness, and the way each person copes with that unhappiness, teach us?
6. Most of the characters in this novel struggle against living up to an ideal established either by themselves or by a friend, family member, or spouse. Judd fails to be the perfect husband, brother, and son; Jen fails to be the perfect wife; Wendy fails to be the perfect mother and Alice fails to become a mother at all. Mort and Hillary Foxman, it turns out, fail their children spectacularly in some ways while succeeding in others. What do the lives of these characters reveal to us about perfectionism, ideals, and our expectations for ourselves and others?
7. Also, compare and contrast the various romantic relationships in this book: who, do you think, had the most admirable or lasting relationship? Who had the most realistic one? Who had the most insurmountable problems? (Is there such a thing as an insurmountable problem, especially looking at problems from Phillip’s point of view?)
8. For all of their faults, is the Foxman clan a likeable group of people? What makes them an endearing group of people? Who did you like the most, and who did you find the least appealing, and why? Were there any characters you would have liked to see developed further?
9. Throughout the book Judd has recurring nightmares that often involve a prosthetic limb. Discuss the way these dreams acted as elements of foreshadowing and symbolism throughout the narrative. Consider, too, how they reflected Judd’s emotional state as the novel progresses.
10. What did you think of Judd’s exit at the end of the shiva? Was his disappearance in Phillip’s Porsche realistic? Appropriate? Did you find it a satisfying resolution to the book?
To find out more about, “This Is Where I Leave You,” check out their official sites below.
- Visit the official website
- Like This is Where I Leave You on Facebook
- Follow @wbpictures on Twitter and Instagram
- #TIWILY #TIWILYbookclub
Check out this preview for the book-to-movie. I am so excited to see it!