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The Heights

3.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,503 Ratings  ·  275 Reviews
A "devilishly delightful" (Bookpage) new novel from an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and the author of What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

Tim and Kate Welch are seemingly the last middle- class family in the exclusive neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, NewYork. Tim is a popular history teacher, and an ordinary guy. Kate is not ordinary, but she aspires to be. Brought up
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Dutton Books (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,619)
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Jun 11, 2010 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not the kind of thing I usually read, and there's a really good reason. It was pretty shallow and yuppie-ish and self-indulgent. The writing was fair, good enough to keep me reading but not good enough for me to ever read another by this author. The first half of the novel was markedly better than the second half, but still not that great. It was okay. The characters didn't ring true to me. These are not people I know or would ever want to know. This book had a kind of keeping-up-with-th ...more
Mar 11, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with low expectations
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: library shelf
Shelves: aborted, fiction
I can't finish. It's just too not good / prosaic / lacking / ordinary / pedestrian / drivelly. (This is how the author writes, with a lot of slashes.) The author desperately needs a haircut and also a career change. Will probably be made into a movie, as author is a scriptwriter.
Aug 08, 2014 Kathy rated it did not like it
Wow, this is a first. I sit down to write a review of this book and the word that pops into my mind is vomitous. From the utterly unlikeable married couple at the center of the story to the ridiculousness of the story (coupled with details that are idiotic and plotlines that trail off into nothingness), this is one of those books that any sensible person would put down after 20 pages. I am begging for an intervention - help me stop HAVING to finish any book I start. Anna Karenina is in my to rea ...more
The Heights is the story of Kate and Time Welch, a young married couple living in Brooklyn whose lives are turned upside down by the arrival of a new neighbor, the alluring and enigmatic Anna Brody. On the whole, I liked this book well enough, but expected more from it. Written in short chapters that alternate in viewpoint between Kate and Tim (with a few other characters sometimes thrown into the mix), the pace of the narrative is quick and propels the reader forward. At the same time, however, ...more
Feb 24, 2010 Sandra rated it it was amazing
The Heights by Peter Hedges is an entertaining story with funny, likable and believable characters. It is a story of the danger of "secrets" in a relationship.

Tim and Kate Welch, a young married couple with two small boys, live in the Heights (Brooklyn) surrounded by the wealthy elite. They are the outsiders - young and poor. Tim is a history teacher working on a never-ending thesis and Kate is a stay-at-home Mom.

Then Anna Brody-Ashworth moves into the neighbourhood and life changes for the Welc
Jun 09, 2014 Anne rated it really liked it
I bought this book a few years ago, and since then have had it sitting on my "to read" pile. Now I wish I had picked it up sooner. The story is told in a very subtle manner so if feels like you are just checking in with friends rather than following a plot. But woven into those check-ins are some great observations about life, and commentary about wishing for what you don't have.

Hedges' style of writing made this very easy to read. The characters created were flawed enough to be be real, and hon
Judy Mann
Aug 06, 2014 Judy Mann rated it did not like it
What a stupid stupid book. This is so sappy and so gooey and so downright creepy. All this jolly family goop - Like some kind of Christmas card by Norman Rockwell only in this one he moves to Brooklyn and paints such sweet pictures of how deep down all us educated sweet white people really love to do good for EVERYONE. I'm puking just describing it.. I MEAN GIMME A BREAK.
He - whatever his name is - goes into a three day depression because his favorite homeless guy dies. Are you getting an idea h
Aug 12, 2012 Courtney rated it did not like it
One of the worst books I have ever read, and I can't put into words how much I hated it. The main characters were entirely unlikable in every way imaginable, and the only characters I had any sympathy for at all were the children in both marriages and Bruno, the boss. The only redeeming quality is that the writing was decent..... the content, however, was atrocious. When you find yourself rooting against both people in a marriage because they are both horrible, selfish, petulant, child-brained m ...more
Sep 14, 2010 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Heights by Peter Hedges is the story of Kate and Tim Welch, and their life in the Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Tim's a history teacher at Montague Academy, an elite private school and Katie is a stay-at-home mom; together they live in cramped apartment with two young sons. It's not easy existing on a teacher's salary for the couple. In fact it appears this couple is the only middle class couple still living in The Heights. Despite this their life seems relatively content.

All t
Thomas Holbrook
Sep 16, 2013 Thomas Holbrook rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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. dissert ...more
Jun 20, 2010 Sarah rated it did not like it
Tim Welch is a history teacher at a private school still working on his dissertation about loss. Kate Welch is a stay at home mom who loves taking care of her children. Everything changes when they meet Anna Brody. Tim takes a year off, Kate gets a job. New feelings appear. Told from several different perspectives, but mainly Tim and Kate you get to learn what life is like in the Heights.

Hedges, who wrote both the novel and screenplay for Whats Eating Gilbert Grape as well as several other scree
Jennifer Rayment
Mar 08, 2010 Jennifer Rayment rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a feeling I would like this one, just because the author wrote the screenplay for two delightful movies that I love, About a Boy and Dan in Real Life. He has a talent for creating characters that are flawed, complex but loveable. In other words Real! I really enjoyed this novel and did not want to put it down. It is a deftly told tale of the dangers of keeping secrets in a marriage. The storyline was compelling and the characters interesting, almost like you know people just like them. The ...more
May 12, 2010 M rated it liked it
In truth this book deserves two stars for its rather smutty and childish nature, but I found it so readable that three stars seems more fair. This book reminds me of Little Children (but with an urban edge), MOrningside Heights (yet another book that makes more of a neighborhood than there actually is) and Election (it really echoes it in many ways).
The Heights is about a swanky section of Brooklyn and centers around Kate and Tim, a seemingly happy couple whose lives fall apart when a new, myste
Jul 13, 2011 Jaime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general_fiction, 2011
I liked this more than I expected to. For some reason, I had been putting off reading it, afraid that it was going to come off as pretentious. Thankfully, I was wrong. It wasn’t pretentious, but it was one of those novels that didn’t really go far.

I was able to connect much more with Tim than with Kate. Tim is a bumbling young father who is somewhat misguided, and more than a little confused about what he wants out of life. Kate was much more dry, and frankly, uninteresting. It’s telling that, s
Dina Roberts
Jan 01, 2015 Dina Roberts rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot in the beginning; a little less in the middle, and then went back to loving it in the end.

The book takes place in Brooklyn. It's about a couple who, despite being in love and happily married; are both tempted to have extramarital affairs. It's told through first person-alternating viewpoints. Mostly we hear from the husband and wife. Every so often we hear from someone else.

Some of the book takes place in Disney World. I thought the scenes there were very interesting a
Jun 29, 2010 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Literary fiction with a beachy pace, but I feel like I've read this story so many times before.

It didn't help that we were getting baby boomers repackaged as fresh 30-somethings in contemporary Brooklyn. The gender issues, relationship dynamics, and antiquated technology seemed pulled right out of the 80s, but there were several references to pop culture events that place the setting firmly in modern day. I guess that's more of editing problem, but as a contemporary to these people they felt mor
Danie P.
Apr 30, 2010 Danie P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
Tim and Kate are happily in love with two boys and struggling to make ends meet. Tim is a history teacher and Kate a stay at home mom. When Kate meets their new glamorous neighbor Anna, things start to change for the happy family. Tim takes a sabbatical to take care of the kids and Kate is offered a lucrative job working for a charitable foundation. With Anna and Tim going on play dates and getting closer Kate begins to drift back towards her former college days lover. The ending is to be expect ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Jennie rated it liked it
The Heights caught my attention primarily for its cover. One cannot underestimate the power of a beautiful book cover! Other than author familiarity, the cover (including the spine) is the thing that sparks curiosity about the content.

Oh, look! Something beautiful! I wonder what’s inside…

On the cover were the second and third things that caught my interest – the short teaser “A witty and honest take on marital claustrophobia” and a tiny blurb underneath the writer’s name, “author of What’s Eatin
Just excellent. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed "Prep" or "Admissions." A simple story of ruin. Not really one of deception and secrets, but plain, simple ruin.

An ordinary family living among extraordinary wealth in The Heights. But it's not just about the poor amongst the wealthy. It's about an ordinary family making it, not making it, whatever, in New York.

It's pretty much a set up for a movie--I'm surprised it hasn't been optioned yet!
Andrew Campbell
Apr 29, 2010 Andrew Campbell rated it it was ok
Begged to be told in third-person- but nope, instead it lurches from chapter to chapter told by a different character.

Hedges knows the music, but not the words... will make a better movie than it does a book. Only I'm not sure what they'll leave *in*. There's a lot here, but it's almost all glossed over and undercooked. The searing version of this story was Little Children by Perotta, and even that wasn't terrific.
Jul 17, 2011 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The best way to describe this book is mediocre. The characters are rather flat. Kate and Tim are happily married until temptation enters their life. The temptation comes in the form of a new neighbor. Kate also reconnects with famous ex. I felt certainly distanced from the characters. The one thing I liked was the Disney World section towards the end
Sadly this did not save the book.
Oct 23, 2013 Shanna rated it liked it
This was such a weird book. One minute it was engaging and purposeful and the next minute I couldn't figure out why it had been written that way. Needless to say, I finished it. But hated the end. Except just when I thought it was over, there was more and it left me confused and a little irritated. I liked it for the fact that it was anything but predictable.
Jan 06, 2013 Julia rated it really liked it
I didn't have much hope for this book. Yet another fluff piece about over-analyzed and over-lamented Brooklyn parents. But it pleasantly surprised me. It's light but fast paced and unlike most light works of fiction, it was intelligently written. And considering this was the first book I read after Atlas Shrugged, it was practically medicinal.
Mar 29, 2015 Jen rated it it was ok
The Heights is a book filled with unlikeable characters and outdated, albeit minor, plot points---Who still orders a talk show transcript in this age of Google and YouTube? The story seems to just offer a day in the life look a married couple, Tim and Kate living in Brooklyn Heights with their two young sons. Hedges takes too long to get to the point and I'm still not clear on what that point was.

I was never quite clear enough on what made the new neighbor Anna so isn't enough t
Jill Waldman
Oct 14, 2010 Jill Waldman rated it did not like it
So stupid and pointless and boring. How do these things make it past the publishers? 250 pages of buildup to a couple having an affair and then the most unsatisfying resolution ever. A giant crapburger of a book.
Jan 19, 2014 Cathy rated it really liked it
This story, like life, is by turns funny, heartbreaking, and ordinary. Tim and Kate have been married for nine years. With their two young sons, they are living a very middle class life in Brooklyn. Tim teaches history at a nearby private school while Kate stays home with the boys. Tim has been struggling to complete his doctoral thesis and doesn't seem to be making any progress. When Kate gets an unexpected job offer from an old boss, it seems like the perfect time for them to switch places. Ti ...more
Erika Fellars
Mar 12, 2011 Erika Fellars rated it did not like it
Don't even bother. I was excited to read this book because the author wrote the movie About a Boy, but "boy" was I disappointed! (Sorry, I couldn't help with the pun) :)
Jan 11, 2015 Rose rated it liked it
The mixed reviews on this book are interesting. Now that I have read it, I understand completely. Not much happens in the narrative, yet I found myself fully engaged and even drawn to the characters. They too are nothing special. Their relationship and their conflicted emotions are fairly typical. Yet Kate and Tim are sympathetic and weak and human. The title is a misnomer, I think. Although Brooklyn Heights is described in some detail in the book, I didn't get a sense that is a character in the ...more
Feb 23, 2016 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The style of writing is very stilted. I thought narrating the chapters by different characters was a good way to tell the story, but the novel just got more horrible as it went on. I liked the first half- the New York neighborhood, the neighbors, the family life, the mom's group; but then it just got dark and crabby. No one was happy with their perfect life, everyone was out to cause pain to others. It reminded me of "Little Children", which is one of the worst books I ever read. This one I coul ...more
Dec 07, 2013 Hollie rated it did not like it
Unimpressed. Couldn't connect to any of the characters.
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Peter Hedges is an American novelist, screenwriter, and film director. His novel What's Eating Gilbert Grape was adapted into a critically acclaimed movie of the same title, which launched his film career.

In 2002 he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for About a Boy. In the same year, he wrote and directed Pieces of April, starring Katie Holmes, which he dedicated to
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