MY NOVEL THOUGHTS:
Billy Brennan is a four hundred pound man, his family is heartbroken and his life is chaos. After Billy's son, Micheal, kills himself, Billy decides to make a difference in memory of his son. Billy decides to do a weight loss campaign for suicide prevention.
"He could really do good with this, and make some(thing) meaningful out of the awful."
On his weight loss journey, Billy, makes a lot of allies like his community and co-workers. In able to get to his goal, billy will have to search within himself to find the real cause of so much pain in order heal and help his family to heal.
I will start with the three things I didn't like. One the book dragged a bit sometimes. Two there was like one or two scenes that were uncomfortable for my innocent eyes. And three, I didn't like Billy's wife, Tricia but I mean I think she was written to not be liked, maybe just a little bit. Now don't panic, it's not a porno, it's not overly depictive or graphic. But Yeah.
"He straightened his spine, raised his left hand, and curved his right arm around the memory of Tricia's thin, delicate back.
In other words, I really enjoyed this book. It was captivating and a bit thought provoking. Rohan made me want to go to Scotland. She described the landscape beautifully. In honestly I had reservations about this book. I'm not a fan of reading novels in the perspective of grown men. I don't know why but it's honest. This book has become an exception. Kudos Rohan. (Don't you just love how I write as the author's of theses books I review are actually reading them lol.)
"Despite his earlier determination, and the magnificence of his surroundings--white-crested waves and a sea and sky so blue they seemed more cinematic than real-- his willpower faded and his ankles and knees felt filled with broken glass."
The Weight of Him is written almost flawlessly and has a completely honest voice. As the reader you get to see not only the good and the okay times with Billy but his bad times too. Billy comes to life in this book, his inner thoughts are so true and mostly relatable and hilarious. I can promise you when you read this book you'll laugh out loud and shake your head and then begin to feel sad and sympathetic and sometimes angry. This book is a must read.
MY OVERALL RATING:
The Weight of Him is and will always be such a memorable novel to me. My hats off to Rohan! I recommend this book to the lot of you!
The Weight of Him BLURB || source: Goodreads
In The Weight of Him Billy Brennan undergoes an unforgettable journey in a startling attempt to resurrect his family and reignite hearts, his own most of all.
At four hundred pounds, Billy can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food's colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy's beloved son Michael takes his own life.
Billy determines to make a difference in Michael's memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention--his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy's dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on, quietly, privately.
Despite his crushing detractors, Billy gains welcome allies: his community-at-large; a co-worker who lost his father to suicide; a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda; and a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he saves from disposal at the toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of the suffering and brokenness within and around him that he and others will be able to realize the recovery they need.
Told against the picturesque yet haunting backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is a big-hearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand of our lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ethel Rohan
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ethel Rohan lives in San Francisco. Her stories and writing often center on the body—its joys, secrets, memory, urges, and horrors. When she writes, she’s stolen away.
Rohan’s first novel, The Weight of Him, will publish from St. Martin’s Press, February 14, 2017, and from Atlantic Books, June 1st, 2017. The Weight of Him won the inaugural Plumeri Fellowship.
She is also the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone, the former longlisted for The Edge Hill Prize and the latter longlisted for The Story Prize. She wrote, too, the award-winning chapbook Hard to Say (PANK) and the award-winning e-memoir single, Out of Dublin (Shebooks).
Winner of the 2013 Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award, and shortlisted for the CUIRT, Roberts, and Bristol Short Story Prizes, her work has appeared in The New York Times, World Literature Today, PEN America, Tin House Online, The Irish Times, BREVITY Magazine, and The Rumpus, among many others. She has reviewed books for New York Journal of Books, and elsewhere.
Her most recent work appeared in the anthologies THE LINEUP: 20 Provocative Women Writers (Black Lawrence Press, 2015); Winesburg, Indiana (Indiana University Press, 2015); DRIVEL: Deliciously Bad Writing by Your Favorite Authors (Penguin: Perigee, 2014). She is also a contributor and associate editor to the anthology Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton, 2015).
She will/has guest-lectured and/or taught writing at Book Passage; San Francisco State University; the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto; San Francisco Writers’ Conference; Green Mountain Writers’ Conference; The London Short Story Festival; The Abroad Writers’ Conference; the inaugural Los Gatos-Listowel Writers’ Week, 2016; and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival, among others. She received her MFA in fiction from Mills College, CA, 2004. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
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