This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper is a novel that is centered around a family upon the death of their patriarch. There are four adult siblings who have all come home to sit shiva, a seven day period of mourning where the immediate family of the deceased gathers together in one house to receive visitors. The siblings are all in different stages of life and living together in their childhood home with their over-bearing psychologist mother. The book is both hilarious and tragic; about growing up and coming home, loss of love and loss of life; it is about change and how poorly we all deal with it. The story is poignant and smart and perfectly written and well worth the read. I highly recommend reading it before the film releases in September.
Whenever I am reading a novel it plays, in my head, like a movie. As I read, it is common for the characters to develop into familiar actors playing each role. This has happened to me for as long as I can remember. When a film is being produced of a novel that I am reading, I tend to use IMDb as a guide just to streamline the process. I know some people think that defeats the purpose of reading the book before the movie, but it keeps me from being disappointed or confused when I see the film. The film version of This Is Where I Leave You will be released on September 19th, 2014. The cast is absolutely phenomenal. When reading this book, I could hear every word exactly as these actors would say them. My thoughts while reading the book were constantly how perfectly the film was cast and how much I could not wait to see it.
I completely understand the general sentiment that the book is always better than the movie. And I mostly agree. However, being a visual person and a huge film fanatic, I tend to enjoy watching the movie at least as much as reading the book, sometimes more. Sure, there are always things left out and changes made, but I tend to understand the reasoning behind these. I cannot say before seeing the film, but from what I have seen so far, I am sure it will be fantastic. The book was brilliant and with a cast like this one has, it will be pretty difficult to mess this up. So read the book, see the movie, and let me know if you agree.