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Adult Fiction Books

Towne Book Center Book Club December Pick: This is Where I leave You by Jonathan Tropper

There is something wrong with Jonathan Tropper.

 

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There is something very wrong with Jonathan Tropper.  But I like it.

This month at Towne Book Center & Cafe we’re discussing This is Where I leave You by Tropper. This past year we’ve read two or more books about death, dying, and funerals, and I was spent.  So when it was time to read this, I was slightly peevish about its prospects.

Turns out I was freakishly incorrect.

To be sure, someone dies in the book, there’s a funeral, and there’s crying.  Aside from those aspects, this title is nothing, I repeat NOTHING like a typical burying a parent type of book.

Why?

Because there is something wrong with Jonathan Tropper.  Tropper is kind of the male Jewish Jenny Lawson type of person: if something can go freakishly awry, it will.  And you (the main character) won’t be the least bit surprised by it.

Where do I begin?

The main character’s father dies and all of the adult siblings must meet up to attend the funeral and all of the accompanying social situations that brings.  What you don’t expect is for Judd to be cuckolded and for everyone to know about it.  You don’t expect the presiding rabbi’s name to be Rabbi Boner.

Get where I’m going with this?

Yep. It gets CRAZIER.  But NO SPOILERS FOR YOU!!

I just found out that the movie version of this crazy (cray cray as my 16 yr old says) book comes out next September.

The irony of the situation on Planet Pam is that I read Jenny Lawson’s book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, on the train last winter to attend my father in law’s funeral.  I giggled the whole way through the book.  It lightened my spirits and I shared some of the wackier bits with my bereft husband during our quieter moments in the hotel.  It felt sacrilegious and slightly dirty.

That’s how I felt reading This is Where I Leave You: sacrilegious and slightly dirty.

There’s something wrong with Jonathan Tropper.

I love it.

Categories
Adult Fiction Clever Friends

Clever Heather reviews: The Divorce Girl by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

I’d like to preface this fabulous review by introducing Clever Reviewer Heather. She’s one of my local besties and a really awesome reviewer.  Check it out!

Stark, poignant, tumultuous – all words that describe The Divorce Girl by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. When I first glanced at the title I thought it represented a complete lack of creativity. But wait, before you cringe, I decided to give it a shot. After all, it is just a book. I can always shut it. I didn’t. I took it to the gym almost every morning, my only real downtime. The name is perfect. It sets the mood of this real to life story.

Many times throughout the pages I wondered if it was a real life story. We start in the young teenage life of a budding photographer, Deborah Shapiro, growing up in the unrest of a time when life wasn’t roses but everyone was searching for them. Her family in disarray, and ending in divorce, she resorts to seeing life through her camera lens. As a heartbreaking tale is spun, I find myself relating more with her mother than Deborah, the main character.

Deborah makes the choice to live with her father, choosing a life that leads to more heartache and pain than any kid should have to grow up in. She becomes a pawn in her father’s twisted game of life. Working a flea market, being along for the ride while immigration chases them, helping juvenile delinquents escape, she lives an excitingly dull life. Caught in lies of her father’s making, and feeling invisible to those around her, she sees no value in her life. This child woman is forced to run a house for her father, self-alienated from her mother. Her only outlet is photography class, and temple youth meetings, complete with a radical rabbi.

Finally, as we near the end of the book, she sees hope. She has a boyfriend who loves her. She has a plan to fast track her way to college – the chance to get out, to live her dreams, and take care of herself if her father signs his permission.

Will she ever see her mother loved her all along? Will she break free of the life her father has kept her prisoner to? Is her boyfriend really going to love her forever? Will she go to college or stay, stuck in her small town, an invisible person?

The last paragraph of the acknowledgements leaves you wondering just how much of this heart wrenching story is real.

I give this book 3 paws.

Unconventional Librarian 3 paws

 

So…whaddya think? Clever Heather is awesome, huh??? Here’s a little bit about Clever Heather:

In a normal week you can find Heather blogging about life at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond.

Growing up as the oldest of 7, and now being a wife and mother, homeschooling mama with a part time job and writing for two blogs, reading is her escape.

Her absolute favorite series of all time is Adventures in Narnia. About the only books she doesn’t devour are paranormal, sci fi, and self help books, although she has made exceptions in even those categories.

 

I love how Heather will make exceptions to her reading categories; isn’t that what the joy of reading is all about, finding something new??

So…go show Clever Heather some love on her food blog.  But DON’T lick the screen.  I’m just sayin…

Don’t forget to follow Heather on Twitter @heatherlm4 Tell her PammyPam sent ya!

Did I mention the author is the POET LAUREATE of Kansas?? How cool is that???

 

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