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Liz Moore
Adult Fiction MOORE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Moore (The Words of Every Song) taps the fascinating psyche of the morbidly obese in her second novel, a stout volume with a split narrative between corpulent recluse Arthur Opp and Kel Keller, an admired high school baseball player. Though slow to start, Moore succeeds in creating an insightful page-turner that seeks to demystify archetypal characters. Arthur is a reclusive, independently wealthy ex-professor who occupies the lower floors of his family home. A sporadic correspondence with former student Charlene sustains him for years until her surprise phone call pushes him to rejoin society. Charlene is the common link between Arthur and Kel, who narrates the book's latter half and who, despite his apparent charmed existence, actually leads something of a double life caring for his alcoholic mother. As the story slowly unfolds, the importance of the connections between the three becomes increasingly evident. The writing is quirky, sometimes to a fault, yet original, but the diptych structure is less successful, as the respective first-person narrators are sometimes indistinct. Regardless, Moore's second novel wears its few kinks well. Agent: Sterling Lord Literistic. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Morbidly obese, 58-year-old shut-in Arthur Opp's only real contact with the outside world comes through his extended written correspondence with fellow misfit and former student Charlene Turner, 20 years his junior. When Arthur thinks Charlene might come back into his life, he finds the courage to let a cleaning service into his home and slowly befriends 19-year-old maid Yolanda. The novel alternates between the voices of Arthur and Charlene's 18-year-old son, Kel, though the two have never met and are unaware of each other. A popular and athletic teen on the surface, Kel is saddled with responsibility, and his tenuous self-sufficiency begins to crumble under the weight of his mother's descent into illness and alcoholism. At the beginning, all of the characters are alone and apart, burdened by secrets. But over the course of the novel they come to learn that we can build new families when our own don't suffice. -VERDICT Moore's lovely novel (after The Words of Every Song) is about overcoming shame and loneliness and learning to connect. It is life-affirming but never sappy.-Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Arthur Opp

Kel Keller
Age: 17
Mother calls Arthur to help with Kel.

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