The Heavens - Sandra Newman

August 27, 2018

3 / 5 Stars


An odd book about love, life and time travel.


Set in New York, Ben meets Kate on the eve of the Millennium, at a party for politically active twenty somethings, and the pair fall in love.


Kate is an ethereal, free spirit wracked by a vivid recurring dream since childhood. In the dream, Kate is Emilia, the mistress of an Elizabethan nobleman. As Ben and Kate’s relationship intensifies, so does Kate’s dream. For Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real and compelling until it threatens to overwhelm her life and even shape the future.


I was offered an ARC direct from the publishers due to my enthusiastic reviews on previous works by the publishers and was happy to give this a go. It was a light read, slightly whimsical, well written, but a little confused. The story alternates between Kate in Elizabethan England (Shakespeare even pops up) and modern day New York. Usually with this kind of trope there is a favoured timeline and mine was certainly modern day. It was quite interesting that every action in the Elizabethan timeline effected the future and it was quite fun seeing the outcome.


The lead characters along with a rich and vibrant supporting cast pull the book along but I didn’t really take to Kate as a character. She was too fluffy for me, and a little annoying (although she did have a lot to contend with!). The characters around her do their best to support their friend with her ‘mental health’ issues and dismiss the stories of time travel and re shaping the future. It is through them that the themes of love and friendship, and attempts to deal with mental illness, shine through. I enjoyed this enough.


It was a light, unusual, slightly confusing tale of time travel and alternative realities, past, present and several possible futures. It’s also a very visual book and it may work better on screen.

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