Author: Ethel Rohan
After the suicide of his first born son Michael, morbidly obese Billy Brennan begins to command the will to stop killing himself with food. In honor of Michael’s memory and to bring awareness to suicide Billy pledges to lose half his body weight, 200 lbs, and try to close the gaping fissure that is threatening to swallow his family.
Thank you again to NetGalley for this free ebook. My genre of choice when it comes to fiction novels is humor. I enjoy a good laugh and a step away from the harsh realities of life. However, every once in a while I want to read a book that doesn’t have a happy ending, but a human ending. The Weight of Him is that book.
Billy Brennan’s and his family’s response to Michael’s suicide is so realistic. Somehow, every member feels like they had failed as a sibling, grandparent, parent for not noticing the signs of his depression. The anger and sadness that seeped into the family was well written. I also enjoyed how Billy’s love for Michael was written. He adored his son and reading him try and figure out what he had done as a father to drive him to suicide was heartbreaking.
Billy’s fight with his eating disorder was written in a way that made me pity him but also want to have a snack if that makes sense. Rohan described the taste, textures, and smells of food so well that my stomach started to grumble! Billy’s interaction with his parents and family after his public weight loss declaration were so irrational that it made me upset for Billy even though it had nothing to do with me. In the end, I understood that when people are grieving, rationality isn’t something that is guaranteed.
I enjoyed the ending of this book immensely. There were no rainbows and butterflies, or the family walking into the sunset. There was just an acceptance that what had happened, happened and that the only thing that you could do was go forward. It was real, human, and sad. But that’s the world that sometimes you have to live in.
Rohan captured what a family suffering through the suicide of a loved one with such brilliance and insight that I’m going to recommend this book to people who are slightly less emotional than I am.
(Yes, I almost cried while reading this on the train several times, whatever!)
I’m having such great experiences with NetGalley, I can’t wait for my next read!