This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
I saw that this book was being made into a movie starring Jason Bateman. I have adored Jason Bateman ever since Arrested Development (which I realized is towards the middle of his career since he was a child star), but I tend to watch everything he's in, even if it's stupid (Identity Thief was terrible!) Anyhow, the book was on sale on AbeBooks.com for like $2 so I bought it and read it.
Judd Foxman's father has passed away. As if that's not enough, he must now go to set Shiva with his distant family right after his divorce. His wife's affair with his radio shock jock boss is now public knowledge, as well as the death of his child only one month before it's birth. With a brother who lost a scholarship and now runs the family business, a sister who's husband doesn't seem to treat her well, a much much younger, flighty brother, and a grieving mother who was never ashamed to talk about anything with her kids, Judd's seven day stint at home may not be ideal.
The concept of this book looked absolutely fascinating. Forced to deal with all of his issues in a one-week trip, Judd is living every man's nightmare. His life has spiraled to a point of extreme depression and tragedy and EVERYONE knows it. He has long since buried and neglected issues with each of his siblings and his parents. He has very new issues with his ex-wife, ex-boss, and situation in life. Judd has wanted to get in a car and just drive; leaving his problems behind. But with the death of his father, Judd doesn't have that option for at least seven days.
I love the way this book addresses the issues in Judd's life. While his biggest issues may be his recent divorce and punching his boss, Judd's issues go back much further. Judd is able to pry back the layers of his life, slowly getting to the root of many of his issues.
I was pretty disappointed in much of the unnecessary plot lines of the book. The whole scene with Judd and his sister-in-law, I just...I have no words. I thought it was poorly addressed and poorly written. It was a very serious issue that well....let me just explain it flat out.
DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPOILERS!
Unable to get pregnant from her husband, Judd's older brother, Alice confides in Judd, her ex-boyfriend. Then she sneaks up on him, forces him to have sex with her, and then leaves, hoping that he will give her the child she wants with the closest DNA to her husband. Judd and Alice barely address this later. It was rape, plain and simple, and I do not like how lightly and casually the author deals with this topic. Just because it's a man being raped by a woman doesn't make it any less of a horrific and terrible crime. I was appalled and disgusted with the author lack of taste and tact.
Recommended for those who like family drama, therapeutic novels, and humor.