Friday, August 17, 2012

The Weight of Heaven

Author: Thirty Umrigar
Goodreads Rating: 3.71
My Rating: 4.25 Stars
Pages: 365
Reviewed By: Nicole

I got this book from Harper Perennial for the blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. This was another one of those books that was outside my comfort zone for books.

Goodreads Synopses:

Filled with satisfyingly real characters and glowing with local color, "The Weight of Heaven" is a rare glimpse of a family and a country struggling under pressures beyond their control.

When I read, I like to stick to things I know for the most part. I know America themes, which even dystopian and paranormal books tend to follow Western Ideals. When you are suddenly thrust at a book that takes place in India, while there are Western themes, the world isn't like what I know. It was facinating to see the impact that one American company has on one small village.

The book starts sort of throwing you into the new reality that Ellie and Frank have after losing their only son. It is kind of disorienting at first because you're thrown into their marriage when their is so much hate and resentment that they are feeling. Frank for Ellie because he blames her and Ellie toward Frank because she knows he blames her.

What I found intersting about this book was how delusional Frank was when it came to his relationship with his cook's son, Ramesh. He does nice things for him like teach him soccer, help him with his homework, and get things for him, like sneakers, he would otherwise never be able to get. The attachment to Ramesh is entirely unhealthy because no matter how much neither Ellie nor Frank will say, Ramesh became their substitute son, going as far as having him spend Christmas with them and help decorate the tree.

I felt that Frank needed to back off, and Ellie needed to push harder to get him to not have an unhealthy relationship with Ramesh. I think part of the problem was that Ellie and Frank never discussed in the book their feelings about what happened to their son, Benny. Either they discussed it entirely off page or it was avoided, which was totally wrong. As a psychologist, Ellie should have known how important it was that they talk about what happened.

I loved that the book seemed to jump around in time. We started the book 2 years into their stay in India and then we moved to visit their life when they first met, and then moved back to India. I liked getting to know them as a young couple that was in love. I really enjoyed this book, it was beautifully written and took me into this great new world.

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