Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan

How I Heard About It:  While reading the Sunday paper, I read a review about this novel.  A few days later I saw it written up in a magazine as "book of the week".  The "blurb" appealed to me and sounded like a novel published for adults that I would really enjoy.  I actually picked it as our next selection for my BBC (Boy's Book Club).  

What It Is About:  Billy is the father of four.  Well, he was a father of four until his oldest son Michael killed himself in the families' backyard.  This horrific event sends the family into a tail spin.  Billy was already struggling with his life being about two hundred pounds overweight.  Upon his son's death, he decides to make a mark with his own life while honoring his son's.  He begins a journey where he will lose half his weight while raising money for "suicide awareness".  Billy has tried to lose the weight before, but this time he has a greater motivation in wanting to do right by Michael.  Each member of Billy's family handles this venture a bit differently which causes stress, conflict, and hardship on the different relationships.  Some people in the small village support Billy while others believe he is making a mockery of himself and his family.  The "weight", both physically and emotionally, just might be too much for Billy to endure.  

What I Thought Of It:  It has been awhile since I've read a novel published for adults that I became completely engrossed in the story.  This novel was a pleasant surprise and I enjoyed everything about it.  Even though it deals with the heavy subject matters of suicide, obesity, and family dysfunction; the feel/mood/theme of the story doesn't come across as a "downer" of a book.  Billy is a likable man, father, and husband; and I found myself rooting for him throughout the reading.  It was also interesting to read about his different relationships with his family and community members.  The writing flowed, was easy to follow, and kept my interest for the entire reading experience.  

Who Should Read It:  Adult readers who enjoy a strong solid story will definitely find this a satisfying novel to spend time with.  The story has it all.  Great characters, compelling plot, and well-written pages.  I'm looking forward to discussing this novel with the members of my book club.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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