By Peter Hedges
(Dutton Adult, Hardcover, 9780525951131, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 4, 2010
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Tim Welch is a popular history teacher at the Montague Academy, an exclusive private school in Brooklyn Heights. As he says, "I was an odd-looking, gawky kid but I like to think my rocky start forced me to develop empathy, kindness, and a tendency to be enthusiastic. All of this, I'm now convinced, helped in my quest to be worthy of Kate Oliver." Now, Kate is not inherently ordinary. But she aspires to be. She stays home with their two young sons in a modest apartment trying desperately to become the parent she never had. They are seemingly the last middle-class family in the Heights, whose world is turned upside down by Anna Brody, the new neighbor who moves into the most expensive brownstone in Brooklyn, sending the local society into a tailspin.
Anna is not only beautiful and wealthy; she's also mysterious. And for reasons Kate doesn't quite understand, even as all the Range Rover- driving moms jockey for invitations into Anna's circle, Anna sets her sights on Kate and Tim and brings them into her world.
Like Tom Perrotta, Peter Hedges has a keen eye for the surprising truths of daily life. The Heights is at once light of touch and packed with emotion and depth of character.
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PETER HEDGES is a novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. He wrote both the novel and the screenplay What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and is the writer-director of Pieces of April starring Katie Holmes and Dan in Real Life starring Steve Carrell. His screenplay for About a Boy was nominated for an Academy Award. Hedges lives with his wife and children in Brooklyn, New York.
"Hedges delivers an insightful portrayal of parenthood and the strains and temptations of marriage, even in a seemingly perfect relationship. He also makes some wonderful observations about family life."
"[A] quirky, amusing book."
"The Heights' witty and honest take on marital claustrophobia shows the virtue of taking your time."
"The Heights stays with you. As much a metaphor for being swept off your feet by lofty people or aspirations or location, The Heights delves into the marriage of a futurist woman working for a nonprofit and a history teacher at a Brooklyn Heights private school taking a sabbatical to finish his dissertation on the history of loss."
-New York Daily News
"Hedges has a knack for taking everyday life and making it fascinating...The Heights us a no-holds-barred expose of suburbia and the strains of marriage and childrearing, but Hedges deftly transforms this weighty subject matter into an addictive blend of melodrama carefully balanced with comedy...creating a novel that is devilishly delightful."
"A must-read if you've ever longed for more excitement in your life."