Author: Sandra Newman
Print Length: 272 pages
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
Source: I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
New York, late summer, 2000. A party in a spacious Manhattan apartment, hosted by a wealthy young activist. Dozens of idealistic twenty-somethings have impassioned conversations over takeout dumplings and champagne. The evening shines with the heady optimism of a progressive new millennium. A young man, Ben, meets a young woman, Kate—and they begin to fall in love.
Kate lives with her head in the clouds, so at first Ben isn’t that concerned when she tells him about the recurring dream she’s had since childhood. In the dream, she’s transported to the past, where she lives a second life as Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman in Elizabethan England. But for Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real, to the point where it threatens to overwhelm her life. And soon she’s waking from it to find the world changed—pictures on her wall she doesn’t recognize, new buildings in the neighborhood that have sprung up overnight. As Kate tries to make sense of what’s happening, Ben worries the woman he’s fallen in love with is losing her grip on reality.
Both intoxicating and thought-provoking,The Heavens is a powerful reminder of the consequences of our actions, a poignant testament to how the people we love are destined to change, and a masterful exploration of the power of dreams. The dream sequences seemed to be much more vivid than the portrait of her real
I liked this book, but not at first. I felt the book started off a bit slow and I found it a bit frustrating as I wasn’t sure where this book was going. The plot developed rather slowly. The transitions between Kate’s dreams and reality were a bit confusing. I found that Kate’s dreams were vivid in comparison to the portrayal of her perceived reality.
I found this book, The Heavens, to be a difficult book to review. Personally, I have never read a book like this before and it’s hard for me to really describe how I feel about it. It was bothersome, fascinating, captivating, sad, complicated, and a bit bizarre. My recommendation is to not read too much into this book before reading it. Which sounds odd, but it is a book that you will want to experience for yourself.
*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley, in return for an honest review. I would like to thank Grove Atlantic, Sandra Newman and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.
“Kate was a money suck, a time suck, an energy suck. As Sabine put it, she was human quicksand.”
About the Author
Sandra Newman is co-author of How Not To Write A Novel. She is the author of the novels The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done and Cake, as well as the forthcoming memoir Changeling. She has taught writing and literature at Temple University, Chapman University, and the University of Colorado, and has published fiction and non-fiction in Harper’s, Granta, and London’s Observer, Telegraph, and Mail on Sunday newspapers, among other journals and newspapers.