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
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WOW that really wasn't what I was expecting. I'm completely intrigued by your review Staci, the author has obviously done a brilliant job eliciting such a range of emotion from you. You've left me wanting to know so I've got to have this one, surprise, surprise lolReplyDelete
To go into further detail would ruin the read for you!!!Delete
I've only read this one, which I loved, and the new one The World We Found, which I also loved. I must go read The Space Between Us!ReplyDelete
The Space Between Us was amazing! I will be reading her newest one for sure!Delete
This is the only Umrigar book I've read and I thought it was fantastic! I really do want to read more of her work.ReplyDelete
I'm sure you will read her other novels!!Delete
It's incredible when a writer can take you to such heights of emotion. So happy you enjoyed this one.ReplyDelete
Fantastic read....still thinking about everything that happened!!Delete
I'm so glad you liked it because I bought a copy quite a while ago and want to read it!ReplyDelete
Mary, you will love it!!Delete
Hmmmmmmmm ... this one sounds interesting... will have to add to my list!!! Thanks Staci!!!ReplyDelete
It truly is a great book, Julie!Delete
I have to read her books. Indian authors are all the rage now, with good reason.ReplyDelete
I read her book two years ago but I've always been fascinated by India and her people!Delete
Wow, what an endorsement!ReplyDelete
Can you tell I loved it just a little bit???Delete
Ohhh I want a masterpiece read too :DReplyDelete
I enjoyed this one as well. It was my first, but definitely not my last, by this author.ReplyDelete
Sounds like I'm missing out by not having read this author yet!ReplyDelete
This is the book that made me fall in love with Umrigar's writing. The story was so incredible - and now I'm hoping it was one of the few books I actually keep because I really want to go back and read it again.ReplyDelete
I can't imagine losing a child. She sounds like such a talented author to make you experience all those myriads of emotions and leave you quite stunned at the end.ReplyDelete
I still haven't read this one, but after reading her most recent book I know I will try to make my way through whatever she writes.ReplyDelete
this one sounds very interesting--you get your hands on some good ones.ReplyDelete
Wow. I still have two of her books waiting to be read. Having met her earlier this year I'm pretty sure I'll love anything she writes.ReplyDelete
Wow, a "masterpiece" ... what wonderfully high praise! This book sounds fantastic!ReplyDelete
Thanks for being on the tour.
I have The World We Found (ARC) and The Space Between Us (ARC - from 2006!!) in my stacks. I guess I need to move these to my nightstand and get a copy of this one. I'm assuming they're all stand-alones, so I can maybe read the ones I have first. I Umrigar is quite popular and I enjoy reading about India (I loved A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry), so I suspect I'll enjoy these books, too. Great review!ReplyDelete
This was my first Umrigar, and I thought it was very good. Maybe someday I'll get to another.ReplyDelete