Heather the Totality by Matthew Weiner, 4 Stars

I have a Mad Men sized hole in my heart. Anyone else? It was just such an amazing show. And sure, it jumped the shark at times, but it did come back around and I think stayed true to itself. Plus, Don Draper. Right?

So when I was at my library and happened to see Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner on the shelf, I immediately threw it in my library bag. And it’s only 134 pages long, so it’s not a huge commitment. Definitely a one-sitting read.

Today, I’m going to keep my review and blog, brief, just like the book. Hopefully just as effective!

From the Publisher:

The Breakstone family arrange themselves around their daughter Heather, and the world seems to follow: beautiful, compassionate, entrancing, she is the greatest blessing in their lives of Manhattan luxury. But as Heather grows-and her empathy sharpens to a point, and her radiance attracts more and more dark interest-their perfect existence starts to fracture. Meanwhile a very different life, one raised in poverty and in violence, is beginning its own malign orbit around Heather.

Matthew Weiner-the creator of Mad Men-has crafted an extraordinary first novel of incredible pull and menace. Heather, The Totality demonstrates perfectly his forensic eye for the human qualities that hold modern society together, and pull it apart.

My Review:

Heather, the Totality tells the modern-day love story of Mark and Karen Breakstone, two successful New Yorker’s who fall in a kind of love, settle down and produce one perfect specimen of a daughter, Heather. And they basically dedicate their lives to her development and happiness.  Sad, but true right? We all know people whose main goal in life is to develop and raise up perfect little humans.

This is the kind of book that should be placed in a time capsule because centuries from now, I wonder if people will be amazed at how we worship our children in this day and age. We’d definitely experience it if we sent it back in time.

The book is told in third-person, a very detached style. But I think it really works in this case as the book is a commentary on modern-life. We experience the story through each of the characters; Mark, Karen, Heather and Bobby.

I loved this one! I had never heard of the book before I picked it up and a I didn’t read a single review. But it is so thought-provoking. The book is a super fast read on a crash course with what the reader is sure is the inevitable end of the story.

And it’s funny because after I read the book, I did check out the reviews. And some of them were scathing. Some people didn’t just not like the book, they were angered by it. But sometimes, anything that elicits that kind of emotion can have value. Or maybe not…you decide! I do agree with some of the negative reviews that the book is at best a novella, likely more a short story. But I could see that when I picked it up, so it didn’t upset me.

In my opinion, this one is totally worth checking out. If you read it, and hate it, I’d love to hear from you too. These are the books that are fun to talk about!

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