Tim Welch is a history teacher at a private school still working on his dissertation about loss. Kate Welch is a stay at home mom who loves taking care of her children. Everything changes when they meet Anna Brody. Tim takes a year off, Kate gets a job. New feelings appear. Told from several different perspectives, but mainly Tim and Kate you get to learn what life is like in the Heights.
Hedges, who wrote both the novel and screenplay for Whats Eating Gilbert Grape as well as several other screenplays has come up with one of the most over told stories ever. It's rare for an avid reader, such as myself to think "This would be better as a movie" but it's true. The story unfolds like some mediocre character driven drama. The book itself reads like an Oscar nominee, not an Oscar winner, one of those dry dramas where everyone makes bad choices and says terrible things and people rave about it for a few weeks and then when they think about it years latery they're all like 'yeah, that was kind of terrible'.
The characters themselves are contrived, Kate is endearing in the beginning before she becomes annoying. Tim is interesting before becoming pathetic. Anna Brody is always mysterious before you realize she is about to cause to most uneventful causal event ever.
There is obviously a demographic for novels like this, and with it being only 293 pages it's a little hard to justify putting it down. Hedges, stick to writing for the screen. Love your movies, hated this novel.