A few months ago as I was convalescing on the couch from minor surgery, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed catching up on the latest news and pictures of lunch menu items when I saw one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Weiner, talking about a book she had fallen in love with, Heft by Liz Moore. “Interesting,” I said to myself, although I may have actually spoken it out loud to the cat because I was nibbling on pain killers at the time but anyWHO, I decided if Jennifer recommended it, I better check it out.
I’m glad I did.
The first thing you must know about it me is that I am colossally fat. When I knew you I was what one might call plump but I am no longer plump. . . I do feel very shy and sort of encased in something as if I were a cello or an expensive gun. Arthur Opp
This is how the book begins, with a letter from Arthur, a former professor, to his beloved former student, Charlene.
When she is very bad, usually I will tell her things to calm her down. I will tell her Mom, Mom. We have to be quiet because the neighbors will call. . . Then I will wait for her to fall asleep, and then I will leave her on the couch and see her in the morning. Kel
This is our first introduction to Charlene’s teenage son, Kel.
These two very different paragraphs are my favorite thing about this book. Liz Moore knows her characters. The voice of the reclusive academic is just as distinct as the beleaguered teenager.
After a phone call from Charlene puts their two paths in motion, Arthur and Kel begin to make their way toward one another and the book flips back and forth from each perspective with ease. I found myself rooting for both of them.
From Amazon: Heft is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places. I couldn’t agree more.
If my description of the plot is a little vague, it’s because I don’t want to give too much away. I want you to discover Heft for yourself. If you’ve already read it, I’d like to know what you thought.