The Heights
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The Heights

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  1,289 ratings  ·  249 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...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Dutton Books (first published 2010)
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Lisa
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
Hillary
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
Lobstergirl
Mar 11, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Anne
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...more
Diane
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...more
Thomas Holbrook
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
Sandra
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...more
Jennifer Rayment
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
M
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...more
Jaime
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...more
Monica
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...more
Danie P.
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
Jill
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
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.
Brian
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.
Shanna
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.
Julia
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.
Cathy
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
Courtney
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
Roberta
Romanzo leggero e avvincente, anche se - diciamocelo - non lascia un granché. Però finché dura la lettura, una bella esperienza. Siamo a Brooklyn, New York, e precisamente nel quartiere Brooklyn Heights.

Tim e Kate Welch sono davvero felici: hanno due figli piccoli, sono giovani e si divertono con poco. Lui lavora come professore di storia in una scuola dietro l'angolo, lei fa la mamma a tempo pieno. Tutto scorre bene fino a quando due eventi irrompono nella vita della famiglia Welch: l'arrivo di...more
Meaghan
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from Penguin Books. The author also wrote [What's Eating Gilbert Grape] so I was looking forward to it. The book was very well written and I had a hard time putting it down. That being said the plot was a bit strange. Essentially the book is about a married couple, Tim and Kate, with two children. In the beginning the wife is a stay at home mom and the husband is a history teacher working on his dissertation. They live in a nice area of New York an...more
Kasa Cotugno
My definition of a good beach book is one that tells a good story, holds the reader's interest, doesn't insult the intelligence and goes somewhere. The Heights fits this to a T. Kate and Tim live in Brooklyn Heights among families of better means. Their marriage is almost too idyllic, and by shifting points of view between these two as well as other key characters, Hedges gives a Roshomon quality to the unfolding events. One central character is not given any voice at all, which would have given...more
Jennifer
An entertaining and contemporary take on the age-old issue of marital infidelity. Beautiful, mysterious, wealthy Anna Brody moves into Tim and Kate's upscale yuppie Brooklyn neighborhood, the Heights. A school teacher and non profit fundraiser by trade, they are not as solvent as their neighbors and are quickly taken in by Anna's generous sharing of her material resources. Her seduction of both of them leads them to question their picture perfect marriage as they each discover some hard truths a...more
Rebecca
I like well written books even if the topic has been done or is boring. This one was kind of both, but well written for me. I don't need fancy, I hate fancy, but I like good (even if I don't write well). ANYWAY. Typical family lives in the Heights and a rich, glamorous family moves in and the wife immediately takes fancy towards her. Wife gets excellent job opportunity and takes it, so husband can quite job and finish doctorate or whatever rich-ish white people with options do. Husband and glamo...more
Sarah
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...more
Robertmagee32
This book has everything. Rich people interacting with poor people, married people interacting with unmarried people, kids interacting with parents, parents interacting with their parents, parents disappointing kids, teachers interacting with students, teachers interacting with principals, mentors interacting with mentees, famous people interacting with not famous people, the sick interact with the healthy. Happily married couples (or are they??) spend long periods of time deciding whether or no...more
Beatrix
The story of Tim and his wife Kate is a simple one: they live with their two young children in Brooklyn, apparently quite happily – till their love for each other gets tested through the arrival of a new neighbour and an old flame. The plot doesn’t really offer surprises and the ending is rather predictable.

But none of this matters (and the lack of an interesting plot and a foreseeable ending would annoy me in most books) as Hedges’ writing brings the characters of the story alive. He narrates t...more
Kristen
Peter Hedges' The Heights centers around a young couple living in a upscale neighborhood on a shoestring budget with two small children. With his dissertation hanging over his head, Peter teaches history at the local private school, and Kate stays home with their boys. The characters are extremely likeable and the novel is easy to read, drawing readers in with charm and grace. I even found the secondary voice of Bea (one of Peter's students) fun to read, even if generally less believable than he...more
Jennifer
Jul 07, 2010 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has made a friend above their pay grade
Recommended to Jennifer by: Pieces of April
Shelves: read-2010
This book made me wish for the "half star" yet again. I found this novel, told mainly from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife living in Brooklyn Heights, to be an interesting, sometimes wince-inducing, comedy of manners. Tim Welch and his wife, Kate, live in a high priced neighborhood that they can barely afford. Tim is a history teacher at a private school while Kate is a stay-at-home mom. When Anna Brody, the wife of a wealthy businessman, moves into the most expensive brownsto...more
Amber Koppenhofer
I waffled back and forth between giving this book 3 and 4 stars. It's a solid 3.5 stars. Entertaining, but not riveting, this is a story of a couple that has been married 9 years. It's a typical tale of marriage at this stage. Kate stays home with the kids, Tim is a teacher, then things change and Kate gets a great job. Additionally a new glamorous family moves into the neighborhood. Both the job and the new neighbors change the dynamic of the marriage, and that is pretty much what the story is...more
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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...more
More about Peter Hedges...
What's Eating Gilbert Grape An Ocean in Iowa About a Boy: The Shooting Script Pieces of April: The Shooting Script Imagining Brad and The Valerie of Now.

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