Wednesday, March 07, 2012

HEFT by Liz Moore

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

I love stories with quirky characters.  Life is full of such people and it is nice to see them represented in novels.  Liz Moore brings us 550 pound recluse Arthur Opp.   Arthur is a former academic who resigned from his position in scandal and has hidden inside his family home for a decade.    Arthur's only real link to the outside world is Charlene, a former student has become his pen pal.  Charlene breaks off contact from Arthur and he endures the silence for many years until he unexpectedly receives a phone call from her one day requesting his help with her teenage son Kel.  The story then switches to Kel's perspective as we see the difficulties he has faced as a poor child trying to make it as a baseball prodigy while dealing with a troubled mother.  Circumstances will bring these two unlikely heroes together in a surprising way.

Both Kel and Arthur are very sympathetic characters.  Their hearts are in the right place but each one must overcome the significant obstacles in their lives.    It becomes difficult to decide whose story is more heartbreaking. The reader can't help but root for both of them and hope that they will find a way to help one another. 

It's very difficult to review this book without giving away too much.  It is a bittersweet tale of two lost souls that really resonated with me.  Even though the subject matter was often sad and difficult, I found the book to be charming and sweet. Moore did such a wonderful job with these characters.

BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended.  An unexpectedly sweet book about two outsiders trying to find their places in the world.

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