Sunday 6 August 2017

Heather, The Totality

Finished July 7
Heather, The Totality by Matthew Weiner

This short novel is told in five parts, with two storylines that come together.
One storyline is Heather's, and it begins with the meeting of her parents Mark and Karen. Their date was a setup. Mark's dad was a high school football coach, perpetually disappointed in Mark for his lack of sports prowess. This made Mark determined to be a success in business and he applied himself to that goal diligently. Karen was in PR and also a hard worker, but a successful career wasn't a goal for her, and she was quite happy to take on the role of society wife and mother. Heather is the center of their lives.
The second storyline follows Robert (Bobby) Klasky, beginning with his childhood as the son of a single mom in Newark. His mom was a promiscuous drug-user, and he grew up having to fend for himself, and having a decided lack of social skills. He spent some time in jail after a social misunderstanding that led to an assault, but managed to stay away from the life of crime many of his peers led. He learned how to run a forklift and worked in construction.
The main action of the book as the story lines come together occurs as Heather is fourteen. She is a pretty girl, but also smart and well-liked. She is on the debate team and cares about people. The condo building that she and her parents live in is undergoing major renovation, but her father is too stubborn to move out during this phase as most of the other condo owners have. Karen is finding herself more at loose ends now that Heather is more independent, and is thinking of ending her marriage which she no longer finds fulfilling. Mark is also unhappy with the marriage, but not sure how to fix things. When he notices a young man on the construction crew eyeing Heather with interest, he is determined to deal with the situation himself.
And that changes a great deal.

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