The Heavens

Sandra Newman

An astonishing novel, beautifully and idiosyncractically written, in which a young woman in love falls asleep in a utopian New York and wakes in the 16th century, convinced that she must save the world. The catch: each time she returns to the first few years of the 21st century, that modern world is a little worse, and a little more like our own. This is not science fiction, nor quite a historical novel, but something much stranger. SN has received some ecstatic reviews, not least for holding such a bonkers plot together with such assurance, but it’s the language of this book that really shines. In the midst of her dreams, SN’s heroine is “on the right track at last — she felt it — riding secretly, directly, to save the world. She would make the world perfect — so she felt — and the wild night meadows of its youth acquiesced. She was a candle in the night, a bright seed of heaven.”