This is Where I Leave You is a book club hit
With an all-star cast, the movie version of This is Where I Leave You is a must-see movie this fall — we’d watch Tina Fey in anything! Before seeing the movie, gather your girls together for a book club discussion about Jonathan Tropper’s novel. Family dysfunction runs through the character relationships in This is Where I Leave You, giving your book club a lot to discuss — one of the five best tips for a book club.
Why read This is Where I Leave You?
Relationships are at the heart of This is Where I Leave You, both between parents and their children and between the grown siblings in the story. The intelligent humor in Tropper’s book is a backdrop for important discussions about the lifelong journey of being a parent and the responsibilities parents have to their children — and vice versa. This is Where I Leave You isn’t a women’s fiction novel, which tend to be popular book club picks, but it’s a book that moms will enjoy. The book club kit we received contained notebooks, which I thought was a fabulous idea. It’s a great way to stay organized with thoughts and questions while reading, especially if your book club shares copies of books or uses library books that don’t allow for scribbling notes in the margins!
This is Where I Leave You discussion questions
Even though some of the best book club discussions are the ones that arise naturally when you and your friends begin talking about the way the book connected to your real life experiences, it always helps to begin with book club questions. Some months I have the time to write my own questions — it’s the middle school language arts teacher in me! — but other months I use the publishers’ resources. Jonathan Tropper’s author page has fabulous reading guides for each of his books, and we used the This is Where I Leave You reading guide to begin our discussion.
One of our favorite questions concerned the matriarch of the Altman family, because of our own experiences dealing with the wealth of parenting “advice” available via the Internet, books, and family advice givers.
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?
– from the This is Where I Leave You reading guide
A September version of girls’ night in
I’ve been a part of several book clubs, and September is always a tough month for moms to engage in book club discussions. With kids going back to school and trying to figure out this year’s extracurricular schedule, moms are still unsure about availability and whether or not they’ll be able to finish the book in the carpool lane. Back to school month means relating to this promo image for This is Where I Leave You, but it also means knowing my similarly-frazzled friends could use a night out to discuss something other than homework struggles and how to get kids to eat more than a quarter of their lunches.
I kept the menu basic, since we were meeting after our kids’ bedtimes: wine, coffee, tea, chocolate, and cheese. Having friends over is a perfect reminder that our homes don’t have to be perfect to be welcoming. A carafe of decaffeinated coffee — not everyone likes to stay up until all hours of the night like I do — and some kid-crafted mugs can be just as inviting as meticulously planned place settings.
Next stop: This is Where I Leave You, the movie
Some readers prefer not to see movies made from their favorite books, but I love seeing someone’s visual representation of what I’ve read. I might not always agree with the way a movie’s adapted, but that can simply lead to another discussion! I believe This is Where I Leave You will live up to the trailers — the casting is fabulous — and I can’t wait to see it when it arrives in theaters September 19th. If your book club enjoys the idea of movie-book combos, check out these other suggestions for taking your book club to the movies.