The Weighing of the Heart
by Paul Tudor Owen
It’s my stop on the “The Weighing of The Heart” blog tour! Thanks very much to Love Books Tours and author Paul Tudor Owen who have kindly provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
If you’d like to learn more about this book, check out the other blogs on the tour, see what people have to say on Goodreads and head over to the author’s Twitter page. If this sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll find the book on Kindle and paperback on Amazon UK.
Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall – and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.
But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.
Paul Tudor Owen’s intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O’Neill.
I received this book back in July, read the blurb and instantly devoured it. I’ve been waiting to share this review ever since…
Nick Braeburn is a British ex-pat living in New York. He’s just broken up with his girlfriend and has found himself living on his best friend’s sofa. His friend soon has enough of him and recommends he rents an available room from his aunts, the Peacock sisters. Nick’s not sure about the idea at first, but its in a fantastic location overlooking Central Park and the rent is very reasonable so he quickly takes them up on the offer.
“I must admit that as Jeff and I talked about it more, I found myself drifting off into an agreeable fantasy about life in that cavernous apartment a stone’s throw from Central Park – the while whorl of the Guggenheim visible from the living room window, MoMA, the Met – and I began to feel really quite excited about the whole idea.”
The Peacock sisters, Marie and Rose, are elderly woman with an eye for art. Their home is full of lavish pieces, including some Egyptian art which Nick and Portuguese neighbour Lydia later discover they both have an interest in. Saying much more would probably spoil the story for you, so I’ll stop with the plot there.
Told from Nick’s perspective, the style of writing is casual, making his thoughts and conversations feel very realistic. We learn all about Nick’s feelings, his guilt and his shady past and this meant that I felt completely immersed in the story. It was a very quick read and I liked how concise this book was in general, it didn’t go on for ages and it wasn’t full of waffly paragraphs and descriptions which for me is a big bonus.
The characters are strong and those we are supposed to route for are easy to like. I also enjoyed the Egyptian references used throughout, despite not having a great deal of knowledge of this subject. I think it’s a skill to include a topic like this in a book with such ease so while I don’t really know anything about Egyptian mythology, rituals and beliefs, I didn’t feel overwhelmed or excluded by this content.
It’s very tricky to review this book without saying too much, but this is a great read and I really recommend you give this page-turner a try.
Overall rating: “The Weighing of the Heart” is a cleverly constructed story that I’d highly recommend. It’s difficult to review a book like this without giving too much away, but there’s art, romance, a little bit of comedy, some drama and most importantly a crime. 5 stars!