In Tropper's latest opus the fictional Foxman family pushes the limits of their - or anyone's - idea of dysfunction, proof positive that authors who are going to portray a dysfunctional family shouldn't skimp on the drama. Because by going all out, Tropper is giving readers a rockin' good read - with benefits.
Be warned: you will laugh. You may not always be proud of why you're laughing, but unless you're a paragon of virtue who can resist all urges to indulge in a little schadenfreude
, you will laugh. After all, it's not everyday that a man walks into his own bedroom to find his wife in bed with his boss. Nor is it common for family members to emerge from a religious rite - particularly a funereal rite - with cuts, bruises and a dislocated shoulder. Laughter aside, however, there is plenty to ponder as protagonist Judd Foxman returns to his childhood home to mourn...
Beyond the Book
The word "shiva" (pronounced SHIHvah) is derived from the Hebrew word sheva
which means "seven." Sitting shiva means that the family of a loved one usually reserved for the family of a deceased spouse, parent or child gathers in that loved one's home for seven days. Friends and family visit to support the family as they take time to mourn, and to remember the life of the deceased. While they may not observe the more orthodox practices outlined below, many Jewish families retain the spirit of the tradition in the form of an extended wake, in which friends and family stop by to share memories and grieve together.
Members of the immediate family sit on chairs that are low to the ground historically they used to sit...