For whatever reason (having nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that publishing is dominated by intellectually aspirant professionals who live in Manhattan and Brooklyn), the New York novel is a fixture of every publishing season. Some people can’t get enough of them, some find them insufferable, and never the twain shall meet. Until now. In The Heavens, Sandra Newman has finally written one that will satisfy both camps. The meet-cute opening that takes place on an apartment rooftop is quintessentially I❤NY, but brown-skinned Ben and Kate aren’t typical WASPy protagonists, and alert readers will notice that the romantic metropolis they occupy isn’t exactly the one we know and love (or loathe). And then Ben learns about Kate’s recurring dream, in which she’s an Elizabethan noblewoman caught up in a tortuous relationship with a certain obscure playwright. As her nocturnal life grows more and more vivid, the familiar becomes strange and the couple’s grip on daily life weakens. Is Kate going mad, or can her dream actually be altering reality? Beneath its glittering surface, The Heavens asks profound questions about what kind of world we want to live in and what lengths we’ll go to change it.
—James Crossley, Madison Books, Seattle, WA