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Review: The Weight of Heaven

March 2, 2010
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When Ellie and Frank’s son, Benny dies, they have trouble facing their grief because they both silently blame each other.  When Frank’s company offers him a transfer to India, Ellie decides that the change in scenery just might do them good.  Ellie adjusts to the culture of India right away but Frank struggles with it.  He does form a bond with Ramesh, their housekeepers’ young son.  Because of that bond, Frank makes an unbelievable decision that will change everyone’s world.

I wasn’t feeling very well when I started The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar, so the book started out a little slow for me, but once I got into a little bit, I couldn’t put this book down.  The writing is beautiful, the characters are great and the plot is enthralling. Thrity Umrigar really has a way with words.

I really felt for Ellie and Frank – they both grieved for their son so much, yet they couldn’t figure out a way to share their grief and help each other through it.  Ellie adapts to life in India and accepts the people and the culture beautifully.  Frank, on the other hand, is the typical ugly American, so I really disliked him at times.

I was really engrossed in The Weight of Heaven and actually gasped toward the end as I was reading it.   I actually felt sick to my stomach at one point and almost breathless when I finished the book.  There is so much in this book to think about and discuss, so it would make a fantastic book club pick.   I absolutely loved this book and want to read more of Thrity Umrigar’s work now.

Review copy provided by Book Club Girl.   I am an Amazon Associate.
41 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2010 5:31 am

    I’m so glad you liked this so much! I have another book by Thrity Umrigar that I plan to read first, but this is definitely on my wishlist.

  2. March 2, 2010 5:42 am

    I think the consensus is that Frank is an ass. Nobody has liked him. I guess it isn’t always a bad thing to have one character in a book to get you riled up. What a great review Kathy!

  3. March 2, 2010 7:11 am

    Another good review for this book. It’s on my wish list, nice review.

  4. March 2, 2010 7:29 am

    I loved the other Thrity books that I’ve read. This one has been sitting here for awhile and I always mean to get to it. Need to move it up on the pile!

  5. kaye permalink
    March 2, 2010 8:15 am

    Wow, the writing must be wonderful to elicit so much emotion from you.

  6. March 2, 2010 8:26 am

    This book is appearing everywhere. I have a copy and hope to read it soon. I’m glad to know that it would be a good book club read. I’ll think about it for my afternoon book group. Great to hear your thoughts, Kathy!

  7. March 2, 2010 9:54 am

    I was often frustrated with Frank. As you said, he was the ugly American and his cluelessness as far as his workers was beyond irritating at times, but Ms. Umrigar sure knows how to set-up a story.

  8. March 2, 2010 12:36 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful book. I do have to wonder what Frank’s decision is.

  9. March 2, 2010 3:01 pm

    I’m glad you liked it Kathy. That ending really took me by surprise. Very powerful book.

  10. March 2, 2010 3:51 pm

    This sounds fantastic, Kathy! I need to add this to my TBR stack. Thanks for your review. 🙂

  11. March 2, 2010 3:54 pm

    I have The Space Between Us sitting just a couple inches away right now…I think it’ll be my next read.

  12. Kathleen permalink
    March 2, 2010 4:56 pm

    This is one of the books I brought home from the library last week. I sure hope I have time to read it but I promised myself I have to read Fingersmith first!

  13. March 2, 2010 5:21 pm

    I’ve seen this book around on a few blogs, and it looks really good. I’m sure it’s a book, I would love. Happy Reading!

  14. March 2, 2010 7:12 pm

    I must get my hands on this book soon!! I loved your review and Lisa of Lit and Life. You both have convinced me that I don’t want to miss this one!

  15. March 2, 2010 8:27 pm

    wow, this sounds excellent. one to add to the TBR 🙂 great review

  16. March 2, 2010 10:27 pm

    I’ve been quite curious about this one, and your review definitely makes me want to pick it up!

  17. March 3, 2010 3:23 am

    wow, what a great review. I have to read it sometime.

  18. March 3, 2010 7:29 am

    I wish I could read books like this, but I struggle with any with children dying in them. I am glad it was good for you.

  19. March 3, 2010 8:16 am

    Umrigar really is fantastic isn’t she? I wanted to shout “Not fair!!!” at the book towards the end. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read by the author and this was no exception.

  20. March 3, 2010 8:58 am

    gosh, all those physical reactions…I have to check this one out!

  21. March 3, 2010 9:01 am

    I’d never even heard of this author, but the books sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  22. March 3, 2010 9:56 am

    I really want to read this! And also Little Bee, which I see you are reading now!

  23. March 3, 2010 12:03 pm

    I really liked this book a lot Kathy. Try The Space Between Us (even better). Great review.

  24. March 3, 2010 1:02 pm

    Great review, I’m going to add this one to my wish list. It seems to be getting a lot of praise.

  25. March 3, 2010 1:43 pm

    I also loved this book…and there is so much to discuss…it would be perfect for a book club selection. I was appalled at Frank’s behavior and was utterly aghast by his actions.

  26. March 3, 2010 2:02 pm

    Wow! Sounds like a must-read!! I hope to read it too! Great review!

  27. justicejenniferreads permalink
    March 3, 2010 4:25 pm

    A book that can elicit such a strong emotional response is definitely a book I want to read. It sounds like one of those reads that you just want to talk about with everyone and anyone right after you finish it because it just so incredibly powerful.

  28. March 3, 2010 5:50 pm

    This sounds great Kathy! Thanks for the great review. I am always struck by how my mood colors the books I read – so glad to know this grabbed you in spite of that.

  29. March 3, 2010 6:32 pm

    I liked this book as well. There is a lot of depth and character to the book and it would make a great book to discuss. I’m looking forward to reading more books by Umrigar.

  30. March 3, 2010 9:13 pm

    I read another review of this book that intrigued me as well.

  31. March 3, 2010 10:31 pm

    I’m intrigued. Also, I see that you are currently reading Chris Cleave’s Little Bee — my boss has been raving about that one. I hope you’re enjoying it!

  32. March 4, 2010 1:00 am

    I’m pretty sure this one will end up in my top ten for the year; loved it! And I’m so excited that my book club agreed to read it for April. I can’t wait to discuss it.

  33. March 4, 2010 8:39 am

    I have this and I read the first chapter and just know I will love her writing. Glad that you are feeling better and that it picked up for you.

  34. stacybuckeye permalink
    March 5, 2010 11:56 am

    Oh man! Now you’ve made me very sad that I missed her book signing here a few weeks ago.

  35. March 5, 2010 12:21 pm

    I’ve heard good things about this book, but I wasn’t sure I really wanted to read it until I got to the last paragraph of your review. Now I want to know what made you gasp!

  36. March 6, 2010 9:00 am

    This one sure sounds good! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the book from start to finish, and an engrossing one at that. This is going into my wish list!

  37. March 7, 2010 12:00 am

    I am glad you enjoyed this one, Kathy. That ending. Wow.

  38. March 8, 2010 11:24 am

    I went out and bought “The Space Between Us” after reading this because I desperately want to read more of her work, and I definitely want to own it, not just borrow it from the library.

  39. March 8, 2010 3:56 pm

    Oh, so glad that you loved this one! I thought it was a great read and the ending really blew me away as well. Frank was such a disgusting character, and I felt so skeeved out by what he had done. Umrigar is one of my favorite authors, though this book was a little different than her others. If you want to read another good one, I recommend Bombay Time.

  40. March 8, 2010 8:12 pm

    I haven’t yet read this Umrigar book, but I loved THE SPACE BETWEEN US. BOMBAY TIME is on my wish list (I’m glad to read Zibilee’s reminder)

  41. March 22, 2010 2:42 pm

    will definitely put this on my list to read, thanks!

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