Book Review: Heft by Liz Moore
December 9, 2012 16 Comments
I have read a few books about overweight characters that I found both entertaining as well as inspiring (see below). So, knowing that Heft was about a heavy college professor, I was keen to read it. Marie of GirlvsBookshelf very kindly offered her copy to me and it was indeed a very good story.
Heft: What it is about
This is a story about two men that don’t know each other. Arthur Opp is a very overweight man, a college professor who has not been teaching for many years. He’s lonely in his house and most of the time he eats and watches television. Out of the blue he gets a letter from Charlene, a former student that he befriended when he was teaching. They have not seen each other for close to 20 years. She wants him to meet her teenage son and help him with his studies. Arthur wants to help, but he’s a mess and so is his home. He hires a cleaner and this sets into motion some big changes for Arthur.
Then there is Kel Keller, Charlene’s son, who is very good at sports, especially baseball. He lives with his mother and it’s not a happy family. We follow his life for a while from the moment that Charlene has contacted Arthur.
Heft: What I thought
This story was as good as I hoped. I loved the flawed characters and the way they try to improve their lives. I loved Yolanda, Arthur’s cleaner, who just takes him as he is and does not judge him for his weight or the state of his house. And Lindsay, Kel’s girlfriend, was a lovely girl too. But most of all I loved Kel and Arthur. They were so believable and real.
Kel struggled with general teenage struggles, but also with his mother’s illness and his wish to find his father. Arthur is a clever man but he has let himself go. He struggles to get back to a more normal life, and the reader also gets to look into Arthur’s past.
The writing was very good too. Both Arthur and Kel get their own chapters, which are written in the first person. They both tell the story as it progresses with the occasional flash back to the past.
The story was not a happy one, but there was the constant hope that things would improve. Sometimes that’s enough to make a book a good one.
Rating: 5 (out of 5)
Number of pages: 352
First published: 2012
I got this book: from Marie of GirlvsBookshelf after I commented on her review, which you can find HERE
Genre: contemporary fiction
Have you read this book?
What did you think?