My rating: 3 of 5 stars
From the Fall 2012 VPL book sale.
Read in February/March 2013.
Heave opens with Seraphina “Serrie” Sullivan running away from her wedding. This scene frames the story; the rest is told in flashback, starting from Serrie’s childhood.
I found the voice kind of hard to get into at the beginning. More drug-addled musings. Yep, it’s a theme.
At age 20, Serrie is in 3rd year university. She’s homesick (even though she’s only in Halifax, a short distance from home). Her bffs are Dearie and Elizabeth. Serrie is an alcoholic, like her dad, and has been since she was 14. She has a professor who’s kind to her, who notices she’s missing class, and tells her she should be thinking about grad school. Her brother Percy is doing an MA in Toronto (i.e. he’s perfect).
Serrie overdoses and ends up in the psychiatric hospital. She isn’t depressed; she’s young for her age. She doesn’t want to be an adult because it seems life gets worse the older you get.
Martha, Serrie’s mom, is depressed. She’s lamenting giving up her dreams and makes Serrie feel bad for being young / still having dreams. Cyril, Serrie’s dad, is oblivious. He’s too busy collecting outhouses. Yes, you read that right.
Anyway, when she gets out of the psych hospital, she gets a job in a pie factory (really!), where she meets Hans, this rich German dude.
You know how terrible things are always befalling certain people? And at first you’re like, “omg! that’s so awful!” but after the eleventy-billionth dramatic thing in a week/month/year, you’re like, “wtf dude, what’s with the constant drama? I haven’t had this much drama in my entire life!” Except you don’t actually say that because everyone would give you the side-eye and call you out for being mean and ostracize you even though they’re thinking the exact same thing. Well, that’s kind of what this book felt like. There was some good stuff here, but omg. Drama overload.
Well into the book there’s a big reveal, but it’s foreshadowed throughout. Watch for it!
I will say, with the framing device, most of the book in flashback, girl going crazy because she doesn’t want to grow up, this reminded me of The Language of the Goldfish. The difference being TLotG is a skinny novella, and Heave is a 300+ page epic.