The Unseen World

“Hello,” it said.

It took a while, but this story comes with a punch. It’s about the family you choose and build, the place in society you can create and can be created for you. It’s about a love for education, knowledge and science, sometimes overruling familial love. It’s also about tragedies. Yes, I know this might not sound like the most appealing story.

Adding to that, the characters are all flawed in different kind of ways. The father figure chooses work and science over traditional parenting (and family) life, the neighbour falls regularly short in her attempts to add normalcy, the daughter is a stubborn yet passive creature. It takes a while to root for those that are all so awkwardly flawed.

David – the father – is losing the control over his mind, and Ada – his daughter – is only twelve. With his mind deteriorating, so does the world he built around her, the story he created for himself. Ada has to adjust to puberty, traditional life and saying goodbye to the father she knew, in different ways.

Science may just be the only that is left standing.

 

The Unseen World, Liz Moore, Windmill Books 2016

Heft

The first thing you must know about me is that I am colossally fat.

This Рfrom time to time Р felt like a documentary on the people abandoned by society.

Arthur Opp is an morbidly obese man who locked himself up in his own house. Kel Keller is a poor teen on a rich school with an alcoholic for a mother. His mother is the link between them, her letters to Arthur a trigger for changes in both Arthur’s and Kel’s lives.

None of these people are easy to like. Arthur is full of self-pity and navel-staring, Kel keeps so many facades up that he doesn’t recognize himself. It is the side-characters that soften their stories, show that every human suffering is different. And the ending shows that there’s no such thing like a clean ending when social connections are involved.

Heft is a show case of characters.

Heft, Liz Moore, Hutchinson 2012