By Liz Moore
(W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393343885, 352pp.)
Publication Date: September 2012
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2012 Indie Next List
“Heft is a novel both heartbreaking and hopeful, with characters who navigate the waters of love and family as if afraid of drowning. Arthur Opp, initially larger-than-life only in the physical sense, emerges as an intelligent and caring man, who the reader eagerly cheers on in his attempts to trust himself and others. Moore's writing hums as she gives voice to those we've chosen not to hear and illuminates those we've chosen not to see.”
-- Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA
Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn't left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career--if he can untangle himself from his difficult family life. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel's mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur's. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene's unexpected phone call to Arthur--a plea for help--that shatters their isolation. Told with warmth and intelligence through Arthur and Kel's own quirky and lovable voices, Heft is the story of two improbable heroes whose connection transforms both their lives. It is a memorable, heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive novel about finding sustenance and friendship in the most surprising places.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- Why do you think Arthur has isolated himself? What kind of connection does he want, and does he find it?