The Weight of Heaven: A Novel (Large Print / Paperback)
April 2009 Indie Next List
“Frank and Ellie Benton move from Michigan to India in an effort to recover after the tragic death of their son. When Frank begins tutoring the son of their housekeeper, he sets in motion events that strain relationships and lead to a startling conclusion. This beautifully written book, set in Girbaug, India, is a contrast in cultures as well as a study in human grief and loss.”
— Gayle Wingerter, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA
“Powerful. . . . Twisty, brimming with dark humor and keen moral insight, The Weight of Heaven packs a wallop on both a literary and emotional level. . . . Umrigar . . . is a descriptive master.” — Christian Science Monitor
From Thrity Umrigar, bestselling author of The Space Between Us, comes The Weight of Heaven. In the rich tradition of the acclaimed works of Indian writers such as Rohinton Mistry, Akhil Sharma, Indra Sinha, and Jhumpa Lahiri, The Weight of Heaven is an emotionally charged story about unexpected death, unhealed wounds, and the price one father will pay to protect himself from pain and loss. Additionally, it offers unique perspectives, both Indian and American, on the fragmented nature of globalized India.
Thrity Umrigar is the author of seven novels Everybody’s Son, The Story Hour, The World We Found, The Weight of Heaven, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, and Bombay Time; a memoir, First Darling of the Morning; and a children’s picture book, When I Carried You in My Belly. A former journalist, she was awarded a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard and was a finalist for the PEN Beyond Margins Award. A professor of English at Case Western Reserve University, she lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Umrigar is a perceptive and often piercing writer.” — New York Times Book Review
“Powerful. . . . Twisty, brimming with dark humor and keen moral insight, THE WEIGHT OF HEAVEN packs a wallop on both a literary and emotional level. . . . Umrigar is a master of delineating the ethical lines Frank and Ellie cross, with, at least at first, the best of intentions. . . . Umrigar, a journalist for the Boston Globe, is a descriptive master.” — Christian Science Monitor
“Umrigar carries a burden as heavy as the title by using a tale of personal tragedy to depict the balance of power in global economics. . . . Her observations are dispassionate and astute enough to deliver at both levels. This is a morality tale tuned to our times.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Rich prose and vibrant descriptions of India. . . . THE WEIGHT OF HEAVEN is a bold, beautifully rendered tale of cultures that clash and coalesce.” — Booklist (starred review)
“The landscape and culture . . . [are] evocatively depicted. . . . And such drama! . . . We’re pulled along by the intensity of this sweepingly cinematic story.” — Elle
“Umrigar beautifully illuminates how human relationships are complicated by cultural, geographical, and class divides.” — More Magazine
“Well paced. . . . An unflinching portrait of parental bereavement.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Umrigar . . . finely plumbs the depths of the human heart, from the heights of joy and passion to the very deepest despair. Recommended for all fiction collections.” — Library Journal
“Umrigar renders a collection of compelling and complex characters, from kind, conflicted Sera to fiercely devoted Bhima. Sadness suffuses this eloquent tale, whose heart-stopping plot twists reveal the ferocity of fate.” — Booklist (starred review)