21 February 2010

The Heights

By Peter Hedges
Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, March 2010

I was so wrong about this book. First, I thought it was a book for young adult readers. Then, I thought it quite possibly could be a weird sort of read because it was by the same author as "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", and the movie starred Johnny Depp, and Johnny Depp is known for being in bizarre movies, and the list goes on. Suffice to say, I apologise to Peter Hedges for my preconceived thinking, for here is a most interesting book about trust, betrayal, gossip, infatuation, love, and lust.

What I like best about this book is Hedges' ability to tell the story from the viewpoint of many different characters: Tim, the school teacher husband; Kate, the housewife turned breadwinner; Bea Myerly, the student who knows too much. There is a smoothness to the way Hedges writes and, although he is writing about everyday happenings, you want to read more and you want to read more now.

Hedges will bring you into the world of Brooklyn Heights with all its money and privileges, and then make you both yearn to be a part of this elite society and happy that you are not. Is love the same if you're rich? Is it easy to throw away what you have for an illusion? And what happens to the betrayed? This book reminds you that everyday life can lead to some of the most soul-crushing decisions we will ever make.

I feel like standing in the nearest bookstore and guiding people directly to this book so they don't miss it. If you weren't a Peter Hedges fan before, you will become one.


CLB said...

What's Eating Gilbert Grape is one of my favorite books. I read it along time ago when it was recommended in Sassy. I heard that he had a new book, I can't wait to run out and buy it.

Shawn said...

I wonder when my local library will have this.

Thanks Nancy!