Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
After being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of.
He joins a gym.
Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is.
As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamours Reed with recipes and laughter. As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him.
Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal bodyweight. It’s about finding your perfect counterweight.
The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker proved to be a bit of a wonderful issue here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. Two of us had each read it and fallen in love. What to do about the review? The only solution was a combined review. Here’s our thoughts on The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker:
Barb, the Zany Old Lady:
This was a truly enjoyable story on so many levels. First and foremost, Henry is probably the most likable guy I’ve met in a long time. Reed is equally personable, though more subtle in the way he grabbed my attention.
Very humorous, as this tale unfolds, it’s evident that it’s about more than simply guy meets guy. The story explores societal norms about bodyweight and the fact that one’s self-perception of body image goes a long way toward both emotional and physical health and long-term success. I respect this author’s treatment of the topic and appreciate the encouragement toward a way of life that includes both healthy eating and exercise as a way to reach balance. So many authors subconsciously, or purposely, encourage dieting and slimming down as a way to attract a man’s attention. That wasn’t the case here, and I applaud the author’s efforts in keeping the focus on the inner self rather than the outer shell. Wrap all this up in a story that contained two very endearing characters, and it’s one I would highly recommend.
I think this is really the best book N.R. Walker has written. The character of Henry especially was so surprising. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like him in any novel before. Its not just his intelligence, or his self depreciating manner, but his slow acknowledgement of his life choices, good and bad, his adjustments towards a healthier life style. Its just such an amazing exploration of one person’s journey from one state to the next and all the while, Henry remains Henry at the core. Walker has created a character with such a basaltic center to his personality that as other things change, we know that the foundation that is Henry will not. Reed is also someone who has been crafted along the same memorable lines, although perhaps in an altogether different mold (or so we are lead to believe at the start). Together Henry, Reed, Anika and her boyfriend Sean, and all that incredible dialog that had me laughing, giggling, and sometimes sniffling more than a little…well, this will be in my top 10 books of the year.
As with all N.R. Walker stories, the pace has a natural flow to it, never hurried, never slow, it just carries you along with the characters as Henry fights his inclinations to take the easy path, and then as the choices he makes gets more natural for him and then part of his schedule. I can’t being to share the joys you will find inside this story, inside these characters. Its a journey I never wanted to see end. and its an exploration you need to take for yourself.
Its one both Barb and I highly recommend.
Cover art is simple and perfect.
Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published September 12th 2016 by BlueHeart Press
Original TitleThe Weight of It All