The Heights

The Heights

by Peter Hedges
3.6 15


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The Heights by Peter Hedges

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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525951131
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 03/04/2010
Pages: 295
Product dimensions: 6.52(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.24(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.

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The Heights 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
jillynyc More than 1 year ago
I loved the characters and the plot twists in this book that let me escape my busy, tedious days. I wanted to be friends with the characters and live in their neighborhood and meet their kids. At points the book made me think my life was boring, but thankfully so! My only regret is that I brought this book on a weeklong vacation with my kids and I couldn't put it down so I was finished on the second day. And then, of course, I spent the remaining 5 days daydreaming about the families, like they were my friends. Just like his other books, Hedges takes what seems like it would be mundane and uncovers the drama, excitement and reality in the situation. As always, he was brilliant. Definitely read this book. Would be great for a book club.
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
The Heights is, by evidence presented in this book, an area of Brooklyn that is “out of place” – it is inhabited by the Nuevo Riche, Trust Fund Benefactors, Hedge Fund managers and others who are friends with those “who run the world,” located inside the borough known as “the real Brooklyn.”  In this enclave, within the walls of a very modest apartment, reside the Welch family, Tim, Kate and two young boys.  Tim teaches history at the exclusive Montague Academy while he works on his Ph.D. dissertation, Kate has elected to rear their sons rather than return to her work in the Non-Profit sector.  How these two can afford to live in such a location on a teacher’s salary is never made plain, but one thing is crystal clear – their love for each other is comfortable while their surroundings become increasingly uncomfortable. When Kate is offered a job “giving money away” as part of a new non-profit charity, The Welches see this as an opportunity to switch roles for a year – Tim will complete his dissertation and care for the boys and home, Kate will provide the financial support for the family (as her new salary is approximately three times what Tim was making as a teacher).  All is wonderful in this new paradigm until Anna Broody moves into the neighborhood.  Anna is rich, mysterious, rich, classy, rich, aloof and rich.  Kate and Tim are both, for different reasons, connected to this individual who seems to embody the dreams of each of the Welch adults.  Thus begins the tension that causes this humorous, heart-breaking, “year-in-the-life-of” novel to hum with energy, intrigue and familiarity.   Mr. Hedges is a talented writer (proven in his writing the novel and screenplay What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) and has his characters grow in the course of the year the novel encompasses.  Tim goes from an overly sensitive parent unaware of his community connections to a capable father who can navigate the treacherous currents of the neighborhood city park.  Kate easily returns to her days as a Non-Profit executive, learning the painful truth that her home can run, splendidly, without her constant attention.  The minor character, Bea, is worth the investment in reading this book; she plays the role of an adolescent Jiminy Cricket to perfection, albeit with a deeply flawed point of view.  Anna Brody, a “mist that on the moors” character, provides the backdrop for the reader to witness how Kate and Tim make discoveries that propel them toward a more determined future. In this audio version, the chapters, told from the viewpoints of different characters, are voiced by three different actors.  By the time Bea completes the story well told, I was completely satisfied that my new friends in The Heights would be “just fine,” I simply would not be able to see what that looked like, exactly.  In the year witnessed, there were moments of horrible choices lived through, words spoken that blessed and cursed, growth hard-earned proven by the scars collected and joys discovered that were impossible without the excavation provided by their experiences.  This is a book for adults, as the language, situations and some of the activities are, hopefully, of an adult nature.
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bklies More than 1 year ago
I listened to the audiobook and frankly cannot believe someone described this as a page-turner. I found myself wanting the book to hurry up and end. When I read a book, I want the events to be interesting (more interesting than my life) and not mundane. Early in the book, there was no sense that something was exciting was building and, perhaps, that is because nothing was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LovelyLiz More than 1 year ago
when hearing bits and pieces of this story on Sirus Book radio, I knew i needed to read it. it was not at all as i expected. the twist in the end showed a planned infidelity is nit as promised as a one sided infidelity. very interesting book.
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Jillzilla More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books I have read this year! The writing is excellent, I actually laughed out loud a few times and the characters are so developed you almost forget they aren't real. The story was beautiful, I recommend this book to everyone!
VisualGeniusNYC More than 1 year ago
Great and quick read!!!! Especially for the much needed break we often need for our own lives. This book will easily make you feel like an observant neighbor in The Heights watching and living vicariously through each character.
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BookLover526 More than 1 year ago
This book was dreadful and I say that having just finished Swamplandia - also awful - I don't care if it is long-listed for the Orange Prize. Not one character in The Heights was interesting and the plot was sophomoric, at best. Even if someone gives you this book free, do yourself a favor and chuck it in the nearest trash can. I can't believe people read this piece of tripe and actually gave it more than the one star it deserves. I wish I could give it no stars.