The Heavens

The Heavens

by Sandra Newman

Hardcover

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802129024
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/12/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 137,297
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sandra Newman is the author of the novels The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done , shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Cake , and The Country of Ice Cream Star , longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and NPR. She is the author of the memoir Changeling as well as several other nonfiction books. Her work has appeared in Harper’s and Granta , among other publications. She lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

Ben met Kate at a rich girl’s party. He didn’t know the rich girl personally; it was one of those parties where no one knew the hostess. He’d come with the rich girl’s cousin’s co-worker, whom he instantly lost in the crowd. It had started out as a dinner party, but the invitations proliferated, spreading epidemically through friends of friends until it turned into a hundred people. So the rich girl opened up both floors, made punch instead of risotto, and ordered a thousand dumplings from a Chinese restaurant. It was August and you had to let things happen the way they wanted to happen. Everyone was in their twenties then, anyway, so that was how they thought.

It turned out to be a mostly francophone party, conversational and quiet; a party with the windows open to the night, a party where people sat talking on the floor. Most of the illumination was from solar-powered tea lights, which the rich girl had hung on the fire escapes all day to charge, then pasted along the walls. That light reflected softly from the heavy glass tumblers into which wine was poured. There wasn’t even music playing. The rich girl said it gave her bad dreams. New York City, so everyone was interning at a Condé Nast publication or a television program or the UN. Everyone a little in love with each other; the year 2000 in the affluent West.

Customer Reviews

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The Heavens 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Aditi-ATWAMB 9 months ago
The first words I heard describing this book belonged to Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel) calling it a ‘literary fairy-tale.’ Combine that with an ABSOLUTELY STUNNING cover and a very interesting synopsis filled with love and time travel, I dove into this book almost as soon as I ripped open the package that contained it. Looking back on this book I finished over a week ago, I only have one word that also doubles as a feeling to describe it - STRANGE. There were a lot of things I liked and a lot I didn’t like and I’ll go more into it below: THINGS I LIKED: 1. THE WRITING: Reading Sandra Newman’s writing in The Heavens was a different experience. She had this unique ability to put words to emotions and experiences that, when you think about it, seem so natural. She also brought out relationships, the experience of new love and the struggle to stay in love and it was a really interesting read. 2. THE COVER: I know I’ve started saying this a lot, but The Heavens has a truly STUNNING cover. It’s the kind of book you’ll lovingly display on your shelf. 3. I quite how this contemporary book handled the consequences of time travel, even if the constant changes and Kate’s whining/ guilt got tedious and repetitive at times. THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE: 1. I’m a practical person by nature, and I simply couldn’t wrap my head around Kate’s… whimsical nature. I can’t quite describe what she was like without spoiling things in the book but suffice it to say that I did not enjoy her. 2. Kate was still a minor blip, but the story unfolding in the past with ‘Sad Will’ and the lord Kate/ Amelia had to service so that he could keep his pride was just too much for me. I honestly sped read through the pages that didn’t involve Kate and Ben in present times because it was all too strange. JUST. TOO. STRANGE. Would I recommend this book? The Heavens could have been better in my mind. However, the writing was just wonderful and if you’re looking for something unique, The Heavens should be your next read.
TheBibliovert More than 1 year ago
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.
lee2staes More than 1 year ago
The Heavens by Sandra Newman I love this book. It’s a book about love, about dreams, about reincarnation. It’s a very interesting book and different from any other I’ve ever read. I like the authors style. I highly recommend this book. I will be reading more of this author. Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.