My Ad Hoc This is Where I Leave You Book Club

thisiswhereileaveyou Tonight turned into a very unusually spectacular Sunday night, and I owe it to all to a book. A few close friends popped over (well, it was planned) to discuss the book This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. Armed with a bottle of Prosecco and snacks in a dimly lit room, we were all excited to talk about the book at hand. We had never had a book club together as I had chosen the group myself, based on a group of women I felt would truly gel and potentially have an interesting discussion together. We were different personalities and origins, basically friends as a result of our children. Would we gel? The verdict was out on how it would go, and I was eager to find out the reactions to the book.

What can I say? It was marvelous. We talked, we laughed, we made projections on the character’s futures. It’s a book chock full of plot twists and page turners and it is really a book you should read and discuss with your book club or a group of friends before the film version comes out next Friday, September 19th.

If you haven’t read the book, I want to give you a quick summary so you get the gist, without revealing too much. It’s about a family, the Foxmans, who comes together under the most unusual of circumstances: sitting shiva for their father. Over the course of seven days, they have to sit together in the same room, day after day. This is a family that dispersed long ago, summoned back together by their over-sharing mother. Together, they are forced to confront their childhoods, relationships and choices amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving each other insane. 

The book made for a great discussion as there are so many layers and dimensions that unfold in every chapter. It’s about a Jewish family, but as one participant stated, any ethnic identity will identify with the book’s characters. Who doesn’t regress into their childhood self when they come together with family? We all were able to relate and found the incidents in the book, while extremely chaotic, relatable. We all also  found the main character, Judd Foxman, interesting and a valuable narrator to the story, even though his wife is pregnant with another man’s baby, he’s unemployed and, man, does he have emotional baggage. As screwed up as he is, he seems to be the glue in the family, holding everything together.

One member of the group said that she was amazed by Jonathan Tropper’s writing: “I felt like I was talking to my girlfriend” The author has a real heart and soul that enables even the most dysfunctional of families able to communicate with each other. She compared the story to My Big Fat Greek Wedding with even less filter. But it all came back to the surprising fact that a man had written the book. She reiterated, “No man is that in touch with his feelings!”

During the course of the seven days, the four Foxman sibings, who don’t get together often, nor did they see their dying father often in his final days, establish a connection. They find out things about each other they never knew. You get the sense they don’t talk to each other, yet they know everything about each other. Isn’t that the way it is with your own siblings? Probably. Despite the fights and insults, we never got the sense that they really down deep hate each other. They are bound by all those experiences that only your siblings really know and understand. TIWILY-SocialGraphic1

Despite the plot twists that contained elements of family chaos , dysfunction, a funeral, a mid-life crisis, affairs and disloyalty, we all found the book therapeutic and talked the heck out of its ending. We were also curious about the film. Will it remain faithful to the book? Will it change the ending? How will the cast of actors including Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard and Jane Fonda make the cut and portray the Foxman clan? Did Jonathan Tropper, who also wrote the screenplay, include all the funny scenes – what could he possibly leave out?

At the end of the night, we all instantly agreed to see the film together AS SOON AS it comes out. If you plan on reading This is Where I Leave You, I highly suggest that you form a book club to join the #TIWILY/ #TIWILYbookclub discussion on Twitter and on the film’s Facebook page, running every Wednesday. Visit the official website. Follow @wbpictures on Twitter and Instagram.

I’m giving away a $25 Visa Gift Card and a copy of This is Where I Leave You!

To win, just comment below and let me know if you are in a book club/or if you enjoy reading books before they hit the cinema. Also, you must follow the Culture Mom Facebook page (no need to tell me, I can check). Winner will be selected randomly. This giveaway will end on Monday, September 15th at 12pm EST. Winner will be posted here, on the Culture Mom Facebook page and via email and will have 24 hours to accept their prize. Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

Subscribe to Our Blog Updates!

Subscribe to Our Free Email Updates!

Share this article!


  1. The winner was Leigh Borders! Thanks to all for entering.

  2. Thomas Murphy says

    I am not in a book club. I do like reading books before they hit the cinema.

  3. I am not in a book club, but have thought alot about it recently! I know I would love it! I love to read the books before they hit the cinema!

  4. I love reading books before they are made into movies! It’s fun comparing them! 🙂

  5. I am not in a book club. I like to read books before they come out as a movie.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. I am not in a book club. I like to read some books before they come out in the movies.

  7. Leigh Anne Borders says

    I am not in a book club…although I wish I was. I am a teacher though. I really enjoy reading the books prior to seeing the film on the big screen.

  8. I am not in a book club but I enjoy reading. I usually don’t read the book before watching the movie. I prefer it the other way around

  9. I’ve been searching for a book club & would love to be a part of it. I do try to read the books before seeing a movie

  10. Never had time for a book club but do share opinions on Goodreads. I will stay up all night and finish a book before I see a movie (most recently before taking my daughter and friend to see The Giver). Almost always like the book better except for the book The Help which I thought was 200 pages too long.

  11. I am SO bad about reading books these days. Need to save this post so I pick up this book!

  12. I wonder how my book club would feel about this book. I LOVED it and would love to read it again. There’s only one other Jewish person in my group . . . I’m curious to see how they film it for a wider audience, too. (I know the book is intended for ALL audiences, but would all the shiva, synagogue stuff, etc., work in my groups??) I might have to see!

  13. I am not in a book club but I love reading books before they hit theaters. It is always interesting to see if the movie lives up to the book! It is so funny, after seeing the preview for this movie I wanted to read the book. After your terrific review I think I will!!

  14. Melissa Smith says

    I just recently heard about this book being turned into a movie. It sounds good enough that I would read it first & probably skip the movie. But then again, I do like the cast of characters they chose, so maybe I’ll still watch the movie afterwards.

  15. I attend a book club every Friday night. It it a great time.

  16. My book club is my family, we’re a family of 5, 4 of us read, but I don’t know that my teens would relate just yet, but I can tell you this, the book sounds absolutely intriguing and I can relate on so many different levels. I definitely want to read it and see the movie with my husband.

  17. Ah, a dysfunctional Jewish family. Right up my alley! I think I need to read this book – sounds cathartic and fabulous at the same time.

    I used to be in two book clubs, but as our kids got older it was harder to get together. Now I’m not in touch with anyone from the group so no more book club. Wah.

    Love this review, Holly, and many thanks for it.

  18. I’m not in a book club, but I definitely try to read a book before the movie hits the screens. 9 times out of 10, the book is wayyy better.

  19. I enjoy reading books before they hit the cinema.

  20. Kim Henrichs says

    I used to be in a book club but it’s been a few years. I miss it though and want to get into another one. I always try to read the book before I see the film if possible. I think this one looks like a great page to screen success!!

  21. I am not in a book club. I like to read books before they are on screen

  22. Amanda Sakovitz says

    I’m not in a book club but I enjoying reading the book before I see the movie.

  23. I am, indeed, in a book club, but it’s really more like a neighborhood wine club. Discussion of the book is an afterthought. 🙂 But I ALWAYS prefer to read a book before I see it in movie form! Not sure why, but once I’ve seen the movie, I’m much less likely to read the book…

  24. Hi! I used to be in a book club, but am not right now. I love reading books before they hit the theaters!

  25. Mary Happymommy says

    I’m not in a book club but I do enjoy reading books before they are adapted to the screen.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.