Heft- by Liz Moore- 352 pages
Book Blurb: Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn't left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene s unexpected phone call to Arthur a plea for help that jostles them into action. Through Arthur and Kel s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft tells the winning story of two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives.
My Review: 4 stars
Heft by definition means so much more than the physical weight or heaviness of the main protagonist Arthur Opp. This book beautifully delves into the heft of loneliness, of friendship and of family. This book is honestly written in its point of view of the three main characters.
Arthur’s slowness is exemplified as he uses an ampersand rather than use the word and as if it’s too tiring to write the whole word. Kel’s inner strength/voice is found at first only on a ballfield and then slowly as he comes of age and Yolanda’s innocence is literally a clean, light breath of fresh air for Arthur. Such flawed, likeable characters that have no idea how much they need each other are all linked by the mysterious, sick Charlene. All three of them “come of age” in this book and this novel is an example that coming of age isn’t really about age at all.
Quotes I liked:
-“This is the strongest I have ever wanted a family. Other people to worry with. I am the only person worrying for her and it feels to me like this diminishes her odds of recovery. To have many people praying for you suddenly seems like a necessary thing and I consider telling the woman next to me what is happening, if only to have another person thinking about my Mom.”
- “I had a number of emotions rattling around inside me and the whole day before me to mull them over. If I were a pacer, I would have paced, but I am a sitter so I sat.”
- “The closest to Charlene I ever felt was the very first time we met outside of school-the one time I helped her with her coat. If I could have helped her with her coat for hours, for the rest of her life, I would have.”
Tags: Fiction, 2012, Book Club, Coming Of Age
Labels: 2012, Book Club, Coming Of Age, Fiction