The Heav­ens

The Scotsman - - ARTS - By San­dra New­man Granta, 272pp, £ 12.99 Ella Walker

The Heav­ens blurs the lines be­tween time travel, the but­ter­fly ef­fect and im­pend­ing apoca­lypse, with San­dra New­man throw­ing in his­tor­i­cal fig­ures ( you’ll never see Shake­speare in the same light again) and po­lit­i­cal dis­rup­tion like a bread­crumb trail where his­tory folds in on it­self. It’s also a love story, be­tween Kate and Ben, who meet at a party in New York in 2000 and sleep on the roof. But when Kate sleeps, she finds her­self in Lon­don in 1593 as a no­ble­man’s mis­tress – and what she does in that world af­fects the one she fell asleep in. The Heav­ens could be con­vo­luted, sac­cha­rine and messy, but in­stead New­man crafts two fan­tas­ti­cal worlds and grounds them some­how, even as you feel both of Kate’s en­twined time­lines spi­ralling to­wards calamity. As­tute, mes­meric and quite alarm­ing at times, The

Heav­ens is ab­so­lutely cap­ti­vat­ing ( even if it’s dif­fi­cult to see why Kate would ever fall for Ben in the first place). ■

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