The Weight of Heaven

Publisher Harper Collins, April 2009

From the bestselling author of The Space Between Us comes an emotionally charged story of life, death, despair, and hope, and the lengths we will go to in the name of love.

When Frank and Ellie Benton lose their only child, seven-year-old Benny, to a sudden illness, the perfect life they’d built is shattered. Filled with wrenching memories, their Ann Arbor home becomes unbearable and their marriage founders. But an unexpected job half a world away offers them an opportunity to start again. Life in Girbaug, India, holds promise-and peril-when Frank befriends Ramesh, a bright, curious boy who quickly becomes the focus of the grieving man’s attentions. Haunted by memories of his dead son, Frank is consumed with making his family right-a quest that will lead him down an ever-darkening path that will have stark repercussions.

Glowing with vibrant realism, The Weight of Heaven is a rare glimpse of a family and a country struggling under pressures beyond their control. A devastating look at cultural clashes and divides, it is also a wonderful narrative that illuminates how we recover from unforgettable loss, how easily good intentions can turn evil, and how far a person will go to build a new world for those he loves.

“Umrigar is a perceptive and often piercing writer.”
— New York Times Book Review .

The Weight of Heaven