Wednesday, October 16, 2013

She Ain't Heavy by Arnine Cumsky Weiss (4 stars)

About She Ain't Heavy

Just when counter clerk Teddy Warner is about to be evicted from her Scranton apartment, she bumps into beautiful, brilliant, blond Rachel – her estranged childhood friend whose mother forbid their friendship thinking Teddy was beneath them.
Teddy and Rachel reconnect over hot chocolate and under New Year’s Eve fireworks.  Their discussion leads to an invitation. Soon, Teddy’s on her way to Philadelphia, where Rachel is a student, to share an apartment and begin an exciting new life in the City.
Teddy views Rachel as perfect.  Rachel can’t bring herself to shatter the image by letting on that she is having an affair with a married man. Just when Teddy is starting to feel at home, Rachel insists on some privacy.  Acting out her anger at being asked to stay away, Teddy indulges in a one-night stand.
When Teddy returns to their apartment the next morning, Rachel is being carried out on a stretcher – the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. This unforeseen tragedy leaves Teddy alone in a strange city, with no money, no friends, and no connections.
As Teddy struggles to find her way, she meets a mentor at the same university Rachel previously attended who takes an interest in her, but with strings attached. She also develops a unique bond with the firefighter who rescued Rachel.  And yet, Teddy remains committed to helping Rachel get back on her feet, at a time when no one else who supposedly loves her can accept her in this diminished way.  Along the way, Teddy discovers her own strength in the roles of caretaker, lover, and friend.
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Genre: Chick Lit
Author: Arnine Weiss
Publisher: Academy Chicago Press
Pages: 255
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0897337220
ISBN-13: 978-0897337229


Teddy learned at an early age to take care of herself and depend on no one. She realizes the only opportunities are the ones you make for yourself. When an old friend, Rachel, comes back into her life, Teddy finds herself on a new journey. Always resourceful, she begins to build a real life--full of new friends, new opportunities, and even love.
After a chance meeting, a mentor comes into Teddy's life--a woman who sees Teddy's potential and survivor skills. A huge door opens, but it's not without problems. Yet, no matter how many things go wrong for Teddy, she never gives up. She pushes forward, intent on making something out of her life. But can she overcome all the odds?

She Ain't Heavy is a fast read, but it packs quite a punch. Teddy is a wonderful character. She makes her share of mistakes, but she learns from them. Her strength is enviable. She's tough, because she's had to be. But she never comes across as hard. I only wish there had been more. The last few pages seemed hurried, and I was left wondering what could have been. But I only say that because I wanted more of Teddy's life and future.

If you love a strong female character, one with a lot of spunk and desire to survive against the odds, then pick up a copy of She Ain't Heavy.  We can all learn a thing or two from a character like Teddy.
Rating: 4 stars

Book Trailer

About the Author

Arnine Cumsky Weiss is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and a teacher of English as a second language. She has worked in the field of Deafness for over thirty years. She is the author of six books. BECOMING A BAR MITVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES, BECOMING A BAT MITZVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES (University of Scranton Press), THE JEWS OF SCRANTON (Arcadia Publishing), and THE UNDEFEATED (RID Press) and  THE CHOICE: CONVERTS TO JUDAISM SHARE THEIR STORIES (University Scranton Press).

Her second novel, SHE AIN’T HEAVY (Academy Chicago) was published in June, 2013. She is married to Dr. Jeffrey Weiss and is the mother of Matt, Allie, and Ben.
Visit Arnine’s website at
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Please visit other stops on the She Ain't Heavy blog tour page.

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book for including me on this blog tour.

Note: I received a complimentary copy from Pump Up Your Book for review purposes. No other compensation was received. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the views expressed are my own.


Dorothy Thompson said...

Thanks for your wonderful review, Sarah!

Dorothy Thompson said...

OH man, can you tell I'm multitasking...I meant Tia!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tia Bach said...

No worries. I feel like I'm always multitasking. Really enjoyed it and happy to be part of the tour.