There are times when books leave you feeling heartbroken that they are over. This was the case with “Heft” by Liz Moore. In “Heft” we meet the severely obese Arthur Opp, a former professor who hasn’t left his home for over a decade. Arthur’s struggle with his weight and the shame of it keep him inside and it takes the chance phone call from an old friend to shake things up.
A mere 20 miles away from Arthur we meet Kel Keller, a teenage boy from a poor town struggling to fit in and survive in a rich school. Kel learns to take care of himself when his mother struggles with alcoholism. The link between Kel and Arthur comes into focus as we learn that Kel’s mother, Charlene, is a former student of Arthur’s and a long-time pen-pal.
After many years of silence from Charlene, a phone call to Arthur with a plea for help for her son jolts Arthur from his daily life. So begins a journey back to the world for Arthur and an unexpected future for Kel.
The author does a wonderful job of creating characters that we as readers can connect to deeply. There is a sense of loss when the book is finished; the reader is left wanting to hear what happens next to these interesting new friends.