Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn't left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty milesaway, 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 sporting career-if he can untangle himself from his family drama. 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 jostles them into action.
Through Arthur and Kel's own quirky and lovable voices, HEFT tells the winning story of two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives. It is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places.
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Liz Moore’s skill as a tight storyteller is matched by her sensitivity to the things people do to stay safe … Moore, whose love for her characters is palpable, helps them ease off their heavy cocoons before they suffocate … astonishing second novel … Every kiss, every mouthful of food resonates with a gorgeous revelling in life’s physicality; so much so that the big ideas behind this quietly impressive narrative show themselves as naturally and beautifully as Yolanda’s suddenly swelling belly.. Full of surprises and love and healing, Heft is the most unsentimental sentimental journey you will read this year. - The Times
Read it: you'll like it. - Observer
The clarity of the prose… consciously avoids stylistic showiness or literary pretentions… the novel ends up providing a gentle but complex understanding of what it is, as Arthur neatly points out, to lose one’s “connection to the world” and end up a self-styled “noble hermit”. - The Sunday Times
A gentle fiction as big-hearted as its star is heavy - Vogue
Moore's lovely novel is about overcoming shame and loneliness and learning to connect. It is life-affirming. - Library Journal
Only a hard-hearted reader will remain immune to Kel's charm - Kirkus
Moore succeeds in creating an insightful page-turner that seeks to demystify archetypal characters - Publishers Weekly
Liz Moore's second novel captures an intricate helix of American voices. The achievement of any novelist is to allow people to pay compassionate attention in an age when it's all too easy to shut the door, close the curtains, hide away, embrace the dark. This novel goes inside and drags the hidden out into the world. A suspenseful, restorative novel from one of our fine young voices -
A stunningly sad and heroically hopeful tale... This is a beautiful novel about relationships of the makeshift kind, about bonds that go beyond the biological... It's also about how, sometimes, even the deepest wounds can be healed by the simplest, smallest acts of kindness. - Oprah.com
The last line of Liz Moore's novel is still rounding through my head weeks after I finished it, and I think it will be for a long time. Heft is a gorgeous book that will completely break your heard and then stitch it back together... This is one of those rare books that manages to be deeply and genuinely moving without ever sinking into sappiness, and I will be recommending it far and wide, particularly to book groups. There is nothing I love more about spreading the word about a beautiful novel, and I look forward to doing so with Heft. - Publishers Weekly US
Heartbreaking novel about loneliness. - Sunday Times Style magazine
Moore's endearing novel, following The Words of Every Song, looks at the lives of two solitary characters learning to acknowledge and accept their troubled realities of family and providence. - Booklist
[Moore] writes with compassion and emotional insight but resists sentimentality, briskly moving her plot forward, building suspense and empathy. Most impressive is her ability to thoroughly inhabit the minds of Arthur and Kel; these are robust, complex characters to champion, not pity... Heft leads to hope. - People Magazine
Recommended reading: Quirky, heartbreaking. Loved it -
Liz Moore has a light touch… she never takes her characters too seriously, letting their drama and sadness trickle through slowly rather than undamming any torrent of emotion or sentimentality. This knack is largely down to her seemingly effortless, economic prose as well as her appreciation of the notion of loneliness. - Time Out
Original, compelling and poignant. - Closer
A book to be devoured. - Heat
Heft is written with a dry wit and the characters are hugely likeable… It’s moving and tragic too. - Daily Mail
Moore’s prose is shorn almost entirely of literary devices and conceits. She tells her tale as simply and plainly as possible, something which only endears us more to her joint narrators, who feel at liberty to confess their weaknesses to the reader in a way that makes us feel less like voyeurs than trusted confidents. - Herald
Nuanced and Poignant… each of the three acutely written principals of Moore’s second novel hooks the reader in a heartbeat. Heft is an understated yet intensely emotional work. - Financial Times
Liz Moore is a writer, musician and teacher. Her debut novel, The Words of Every Song, was published in 2007, and she recently released her album Backyards. She is a professor at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where she lives.