Monday, August 13, 2012

ReView of 'The Weight of Heaven' by Thrity Umrigar

The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar
Literary Fiction ; ( 365pgs )
Harper Publishing

One of the more complex books I have read this year.  The writing leaves nothing untouched.  Umrigar manages to delve into seemingly day-to-day lives where people go to work, have children and help them do homework, and even have their personal issues they struggle with.  Until an unexpected event occurs.  Then, it all turns into a plot of twists and turns, of pain and struggles, and definitely a plot where everything has meanings beyond meanings.

There's something Umrigar is really good at doing.  She takes a simple notion, like mother's day, for example, and explains how significant it is to a person's life even thought it's just seemingly an occasion we all celebrate year to year.  To the character in the book, mother's day represents much more.  It not only showcases the status of their current circumstances, caught up in so much that one even forgets the one event that comes around every year, but also emphasizes the relative significance of events, some trump others.  The unexpected event which turns their lives around definitely trumps all else in their lives.

Suddenly, they find themselves with the choice to start anew.  Althought, again a seemingly great option, the story unfolds into the unexpected further. What happens to this family in the event of this transition in life is something Umrigar describes with an elevated sense of living.

I was delight to read her book.  She really made me sift through the moments of life that may bring us pain and struggles, but which also bring us many lessons and hearfelt and passionate notions of what we call life.  The quote on the front of the cover says "Umrigar is a perceptive and often piercing writer."  I would have to agree with it one hundred percent. I often found myself flipping to the front of the cover just thinking about this quote.  She absolutely left me feeling as if I was piercing through depths of living.  Umrigar is an amazing writer.

If I had one critique of this book it would have to be that it was a little too complex? If that makes sense.  Sometimes there's a fine line between the complexity of life and the clutter that comes with life.  Maybe it was Umrigar's intention to make it seem like at times the book was a clutter to reflect the clutter of life that was happening in the book, but I felt like I swimming through unecessary stories from time to time, only from time to time, but maybe that's just life in general.  Don't get me wrong, against this mere hesitation for the book, the novel is phenomenal.  

This novel is the first one I have read by Umrigar, and I really would like to read the rest from her, at least The Space Between Us anyway, if not another one.  She really is one of those writers I would like to read more from.  After reading her book I became well aware that there are only a few writers that make me go grabbing for another one of their books.  In my life of reading there have only been a few - Paulo Coelho, Jane Austen, Khaled Hosseini, and Murakami.  So she is definitely in great company when it comes to my tastes in books.  

Wondeful book.  I'd recommend it to anyone!

This book was offered to me through TLC Book Tours.  If you would like to visit the rest of the tour schedule, please visit this website.  There are reviews on other books by Umrigar as well.

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