Book Review: Heft by Liz Moore
Heft tells the parallel stories of Arthur Opp and Kel Keller. Arthur is a severely overweight man who hasn’t left his house in ten years. Kel is an eighteen year old with a very troubled mother. Both characters are sad, lonely and desperately in need of help. The subject matter of Heft sounds very heavy and the story really does carry a large emotional weight. However it never feels overly sentimental. It’s actually quite a gripping read because of the likeable but realistically flawed characters.
At first Kel comes across as a little too grown up for an eighteen year old, but as his story goes on we see that he really is just a scared child who has been forced to grow up too quickly. Arthur on the other hand is really the opposite, an adult who has become very child like. He used to be an average adult who had a difficult childhood, but after he makes a very well intentioned mistake he hides in the comfort of his home and shuts out the rest of the world. It’s very easy to care for these characters and the further I got into the book the more gripped I became by their stories.
Fortunately Heft isn’t all sadness and depression. At it’s core it’s a book about hope, about how it’s never too late to change and it’s ultimately quite inspiring. This book has stayed in my mind since I read it. After it was over I really wanted to spend more time with the characters, which is a sign of a very good book.