Heft is the parallel stories of two very different but equally lonely people, set in New York. Arthur Opp is an overweight former academic – not just overweight but morbidly obese, weighing in at approximately 550lb – and Kel Keller is a high school kid who lives in poverty with his alcoholic mother, but attends a school for rich kids. They don’t know each other, but are linked by Kel’s mother, a former student of Arthur’s.
When I first saw the book I wondered how original it would be, but picked it up after seeing a few reviews. I’m so glad I did. Liz Moore has created a book of wonderful characters – I loved the two main characters, but also Arthur’s housekeeper, Yolanda, his first connection to the outside world in years.
It was a book I couldn’t put down. Which isn’t completely true – I read it on a long bus journey, and kept having to take little breaks to look out the windows so I didn’t disgrace myself by sobbing on the bus! It’s an honest, emotional and compassionate novel and I fully recommend it.