What The Weight of Heaven is about:
When Frank and Ellie Benton lose their only child, seven-year-old Benny, to a sudden illness, the perfect life they had built is shattered. Filled with wrenching memories, their Ann Arbor home becomes unbearable, and their marriage founders. Then an unexpected job half a world away in Girbaug, India, offers them an opportunity to start again. But Frank’s befriending of Ramesh—a bright, curious boy who quickly becomes the focus of his attentions—will lead the grieving man down an ever-darkening path with stark repercussions.
A devastating look at cultural clashes and divides, Thrity Umrigar’s The Weight of Heaven is a rare glimpse of a family and a country struggling under pressures beyond their control.
I remember being blown away when I read Thrity's book The Space Between Us in 2010. I thought she made India come alive in my mind and as I became further engrossed in the story I could swear that I heard the sounds and the smells of the country too. That's how vivid and wonderful this author's writing is...with her sharply honed pen she draws the reader into the pages of her imagination and you find yourself not wanting to leave.
The Weight of Heaven is another masterpiece by Umrigar and even though I was left with many conflicting emotions at the end of the book, I can honestly say that I loved it. I believed I experienced the entire gambit of emotions; extreme sadness, thrill of first love, anger, grief, hostility, bewilderment, indignation, happiness, joy, and too many more to list. I loved how the author told the story in segments because that gave the reader a chance to go back in time when life was really starting to get good for Frank and Ellie. The reader gets a glimpse into how very happy they truly were and then to see how they both plummeted into the tunnel of despair and grief after losing their only child. I started out feeling extreme sympathy and empathizing with both Frank and Ellie, but by the final page all of those connections and feelings were out the door. I was shocked to say the least and when I finally was able to close the book I just sat there in a stunned silence and really let everything soak in. Honestly, I'm still thinking about it a day later. Umrigar's story will haunt me for a while.
Recommend? Absolutely and with no hesitation.
Review Book #27
© 2012, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.