Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Heights by Peter Hedges

This book is from Dutton and will be released in March. If you enjoy books that talk about family dynamics and show how outside influences can turn things upside down, this is one for you.

The story begins with a middle class family who slipped into a comfortable routine in a life that they love. The husband is a popular history teacher the local academy. His wife stays home with their two young songs. Life is good.

Then new neighbors move in. Kate is the first to meet Anna, who wants to know her opinion of the neighborhood before she agrees to buy there. Kate finds her attractive and intelligent and when Anna gives her a blue scarf because she admired it, she's smitten with her. Having a new female friend in the neighborhood will be fun!

Tim meets Anna also, along with her daughter. He's good with children and can help calm the daughter down. He and Anna begin meeting in the park with their children and talking about a variety of things.

Then Anna propositions him. He doesn't say no right away, and it bothers him. It's a date set in advance, so he could say no later.

When Kate's old boyfriend shows back up in town, there's more trauma in the couple's lives and more temptation.

What impressed me most about this story is that the character who shakes up the married couple and makes them think of things that never came before is only there for a few months and doesn't even make a large appearance in the story. But she leaves ripple effects behind her when she's done manipulating people.

It's well written (Peter Hedges also wrote What's Eating Gilbert Grape and several other books) and it's intriguing. Give it a try!

If you'd like my ARC of this book, leave a comment here on my blog and send me an email at info NOSPAM - take the spaces and NOSPAM out - telling me why it would appeal to you and giving me your name and address for shipping. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

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