Tim Welch is a popular history teacher at the Montague Academy, an exclusive private school in Brooklyn Heights. As he says, "I was an odd-looking, gawky kid but I like to think my rocky start forced me to develop empathy, kindness, and a tendency to be enthusiastic. All of this, I'm now convinced, helped in my quest to be worthy of Kate Oliver."
Now, Kate is not inherently ordinary. But she aspires to be. She stays home with their two young sons in a modest apartment, trying desperately to become the parent she never had. They are seemingly the last middle-class family in the Heights, whose world is turned upside down by Anna Brody, the new neighbor who moves into the most expensive brownstone in Brooklyn, sending the local society into a tailspin.
Anna is not only beautiful and wealthy; she's also mysterious. And for reasons Kate doesn't quite understand, even as all the Range Rover-driving moms jockey for invitations into Anna's circle, Anna sets her sights on Kate and Tim and brings them into her world.
Like Tom Perrotta, Peter Hedges has a keen eye for the surprising truths of daily life. The Heights is at once light of touch and packed with emotion and depth of character.
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I don't recommend this book.