The Heavens

Written by Sandra Newman
Review by Rebecca Cochran

In 2000, Ben meets Kate at an activist’s fancy party in Manhattan, and he is instantly smitten. Kate is ethereal, mysterious, and just a little crazy-sounding. Kate believes that her dreams are real; she dreams she is another person from another time. Kate becomes convinced she is traveling back in time, and she becomes confused when she’s in Ben’s time. Events keep changing on her and she can’t figure out where she belongs. As Ben begins to learn more about Kate, he becomes more and more concerned with her confusion and inability to grasp reality. As she shares her dreams with him, Ben also begins to wonder: Is Kate really transporting to another time and place? Or is she schizophrenic like the experts keep telling him?

Newman writes with a dreamlike narration, weaving past and present together in a way that keeps readers guessing about Kate’s sanity. The forays into the past are intriguing, bringing real characters such as William Shakespeare to light in a new way. While there are a lot of trips to the past, the writing is so dreamlike and fanciful, it’s more fantasy than historical. This makes it intriguing as you never quite know what is going on, not even at the end.