Laura Stone Johnson's Reviews > Heft

Heft by Liz Moore
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Feb 27, 12

Read from February 24 to 27, 2012

When an author can make you care about a hard-to-like or, at the very least, a hard-to-understand character, you know she’s done a good job. In Liz Moore’s Heft we meet two troubled, almost desperate characters; 550 pound, 58-year-old Arthur Opp and 17-year-old baseball sensation Kel Keller. As unlikely as it seems, they have a lot in common. It’s obviously not Arthur’s inability to leave his house for over a decade (the last time he looked outside the twin towers were burning) or Kel’s ability to swing a bat and attract young women. No, it’s not the surface details, it’s a hard-won resilience and the ability to reach out and that eventually align these two lonely souls. They also have deeply troubled Charlene in common. Once a naïve young student of Arthur’s, back when he was a college professor, we meet her as Kel’s well-intentioned but drunken and neglectful mother. Moore really gets into the heads of her characters, giving us the chance to feel real compassion for some very withdrawn people. Told from both Arthur’s and Kel’s points of view in clear and distinctive voices, this heartfelt story is ultimately about the power to choose your own family when the one you have falls apart.
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Marsha Yes! Moore succeeds in making Kel and Arthur complex, believeable characters. Would love to visit that brownstone.


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