Heather, the Totality was written by Matthew Weiner who created the television show Mad Men.
Heather, the Totality was a very fast read. The novella began with a New York couple who met late in life and had a daughter, Heather. As time passed their lives revolved more and more around their daughter, until they had very little else in common.
As Heather grew up a counterpoint story was told of a boy who was the child of a drug addict, being brought up in poverty. I’m not sure if Bobby was born bad or became bad, but either way, when he saw Heather and took an interest in her, he became Heather’s father’s worst nightmare.
While I didn’t particularly enjoy the story itself I was very interested in the way it told, using short paragraphs broken up with a large amount of white space. Each paragraph followed a single character for its entirety and moved the story along very quickly. The story itself reminded me of a fairy-tale, not that anything magical happened, but more because of the feeling I had of the threat of something terrible hanging over Heather and her parents. The feeling of threat wasn’t just from Bobby’s presence, but from other life events that occurred that have the ability to derail a couple or a family.
For me, the short length of this story worked in its favour. If it had been any longer I would have expected more from the story.