The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In The Weight of Him, we meet Billy and his family who is grappling with the loss of a son by suicide. We're brought into the world of an obese man who decides to make positive life changes after his son's death. His struggle is real and I enjoyed watching him overcome temptation. However, the author left many unanswered questions and perseverated on his bleak thoughts so much that I felt weighed down. It was well-written and Billy was a complex character but I think there was more that could've been delved into that would have taken this into a 5-star read. At the end, when I began to smile, see a turning point, I flipped the screen and it was over. However, I find this author intriguing and would read more works by her.
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About the Book
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.
Release Date: February 14, 2017
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