Kerri's Reviews > Heft

Heft by Liz Moore
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Jun 25, 2012

really liked it
Read from June 25 to 26, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I finished this book last night, immediately began to miss the characters and even imagined them as they might live beyond the end of the story. Heft is skillfully told in two points of view. One is that of Arthur Opp, an overweight shut-in and former college professor. The other is that of Kel Keller, a high school all-star athlete and caretaker of his drunken mother. Although seemingly from entirely different backgrounds, these two characters have much in common, and Liz Moore weaves their stories together so smoothly that I never once found myself regretting a shift in point of view from one to the other. Their voices and stories are distinct but consistently enjoyable.

Not surprisingly, food plays a significant role in both stories and emphasizes themes of togetherness and solitude. Arthur turns away from the world and toward his kitchen as a means of escape. Kel barely manages to feed himself and his mother on a meager income. With Arthur, Moore gives a less conventional view of food. It is not enjoyed in community but in solitude and shame. Kel, on the other hand, often relies on the generosity of his wealthy friends to pick up the check at dinner and nearly starves to death in the wake of losing his mother. The book concludes in the moments before Arthur’s dinner party where all the characters will come together for the first time.

This is a book that deserves more attention than it will likely receive. If I hadn’t met the author, I probably would not have discovered this well-written and moving little gem. Although my time with Arthur and Kel had to come to an end, I’m looking forward to future works by this talented writer.
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