Jennifer's Reviews > Heft

Heft by Liz Moore
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May 10, 12

bookshelves: audible, best-of-2012
Read in May, 2012

Fabulous character development, so honest, tragic, and very real. The audible narration of this book pushes it up from 4 stars to 5, definitely the preferred way to enjoy this novel. The novel is told from the two main character's perspectives alternating, not every chapter, more in large blocks, then switching back & forth more closer to the end.

Arthur is a 58 year old former professor who is very obese (over 500 lbs) and has become a shut-in, living in a brownstone in Brooklyn (family money). His one connection to the real world is a pen pal former student of his named Charlene Turner, but over the years he has lost contact with her. Then she contacts him again asking him to help her son Kel apply for college.

Kel is 17 and a super jock. He lives in Yonkers, yet goes to school in a rich suburb called Pells Landing where he is a star athlete. He tries very hard to fit in with his wealthy classmates, yet his real life is a disaster as Charlene is a barely functioning alcoholic.

There is a lot of pain and loneliness in this novel, and it really makes you think of how important honest relationships are. I'm not sure if I'd recommend this for young teens because at one point when Kel hits rock bottom he goes on a drinking/drugs/sex bender, but it does seem real and appropriate for his situation, and he definitely feels the consequences.

The ending is perfect, and not what you'd expect - so I definitely thank Liz Moore for that.
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