Friday, July 2, 2010

#106 The Heights by Peter Hedges

I picked this up because it was 50% off at my favorite store.

Tim and Kate have the seemingly perfect marriage until Anna moves in the neighborhood.  When Kate meets Anna it seems their lives are changed.

Kate's old boss Bruno calls her out of the blue to offer her a to good to be true job.  Kate and Tim had been struggling to pay their bills on Tim's salary alone.  Being a popular history teacher didn't help the money roll in.  He decides to take a year off so Kate can go to work for the not for profit with Bruno.  It's a one year position.  He figures he can use the time to work on his dissertation. 

When Anna fires her babysitter she is in a panic, she arranges play dates with Tim and his two boys for help.  It seems Tim has the magic touch with her daughter.  Before long Tim becomes fascinated with Anna.  It would have just stayed as a fascination from afar type of thing until he calls out Anna's name while having sex with his wife. 

After that incident he avoids Anna until she calls him out on it.  He admits what happened, thinking its ludicrous, when she offers him one weekend. 

In the meantime, Kate's old boyfriend now a successful TV actor has arrived back in her life admitting that losing her is his one big regret on the Jay Leno Show.

What happens is what I believe can happen in any marriage when complacency sets in.  Kate, although hurt when he called her Anna, doesn't believe Anna would ever sleep with him.  She also doesn't believe Tim is capable of cheating.  I'm not saying he did, you have read that to find out, but its a real possibility.  I don't believe that there is anyone out there that would NEVER cheat.  Things can happen at any given time when a person is at their weakest.  Marriage is not at all like romance novels would have you think.  It takes hard work and patience some times.  I believe one reason why divorce is so much more prominent now is we expect everything to be perfect all the time, and it rarely is.  There are times in any marriage you have to grin and bear it and just get through to the other side. 

I loved that this book was honest about how any marriage can fail at any time if your not careful.  I did not like the voice of the student of Tim's.  I thought it was a bit odd.  Other than that I really enjoyed the book.

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