Somewhat quiet, “slice of life” novels with a bit of family drama are something I can’t resist, and Jenn Stroud Rossmann’s The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh totally delivered. She had me caring about every one of these characters, even the ones we don’t see as often. I wanted to know more about some of those supporting characters, but Scot was the only one I felt needed more development. At one point, someone questions something about him. Later on, my creeper alarm went off big-time, but it wasn’t addressed. (And you know, the more I think about it, I can actually see the power in leaving it alone … which kinda creeps me out even more. Y’all, if I were reading this for book club, I’d be talking about Scot, for sure!)
This novel hits a lot of interconnected themes, like nurturing, losing, and repairing family relationships; setting healthy boundaries; finding and owning one’s identity; control issues and learning to let go of that control; and dealing with major stressors/changes in life. Rossmann portrays these themes naturally through Chad and his family’s everyday life, via their own feelings and the interactions they have with the people around them.
Finding out why these characters behaved the way they did, why they made the choices they made, what shaped them – that kept me turning the pages (well, that and Rossmann’s lovely, easygoing writing style). I honestly didn’t want the book to end.
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.