I’m thrilled to be part of the paperback launch celebrations for Relativity by Antonia Hayes which was released by Corsair, an imprint of Little Brown, on 19th January 2017. Relativity is available for purchase through the publisher links here.
Ethan is an exceptionally gifted young boy, obsessed with physics and astronomy.
His single mother Claire is fiercely protective of her brilliant, vulnerable son. But she can’t shield him forever from learning the truth about what happened to him when he was a baby; why Mark had to leave them all those years ago.
Now age twelve, Ethan is increasingly curious about his past, especially his father’s absence in his life. When he intercepts a letter to Claire from Mark, he opens a lifetime of feelings that, like gravity, will pull the three together again.
Relativity is a tender and triumphant story about unbreakable bonds, irreversible acts, and testing the limits of love and forgiveness.
My Review of Relativity
Ethan lives with his Mum Claire in Sydney. But Ethan isn’t an ordinary little boy and his past is just one element that makes him who he is.
I thought Relativity was astonishing. How can it be a first novel? Relativity is heart rending and wonderful. It’s so beautifully written that I’m going to struggle to do it justice in a review. Reading Relativity felt like someone had my heart in their fist and the more I read, the more they squeezed, until I was almost overwhelmed by the intensity of feeling the story evoked.
I’m a complete ignoramus when it comes to anything scientific but I loved the way in which Antonia Hayes relates physics to human life and emotion. It was as if a whole new world had opened up to me in the same way the world is being studied by Ethan. I’d never appreciated the importance of physics for the individual, but everything about Relativity, from the chapter headings to the technical language felt aligned and perfect for the narrative. Just the smallest touches to the writing, such as Claire being called Mum in the chapters concerning Ethan, even though the narrative is still in the third person gave a simultaneous sophistication and somehow a rawness to the writing that I adored.
Essentially there only three main characters, Ethan, Claire and Mark with some minor additions like Alison. This reduced number means that we get to know them intimately so that they are living beings with a real history. I didn’t always like Claire, despite her fierce love for Ethan and I’m still undecided about Mark but I think it’s illustrative of how they have been created that I still find myself thinking about them after I’ve finished reading and I desperately want to know what happens to them all in the future. I felt I understood them completely, flaws and all.
There isn’t a particularly fast paced plot – very often Relativity is actually about the mundanity of everyday life but seen through the perspective of three exceptional people in Ethan, Claire and Mark . It also encapsulates themes and considerations that reverberate through relationships, families and society from bullying to extramarital affairs so that there is something to appeal to every reader.
Relativity is exceptional. It packs an emotional punch that hits you right in the solar plexus. I really recommend it.
About Antonia Hayes
Antonia Hayes, who grew up in Sydney and spent her twenties in Paris, lives in San Francisco with her husband and son. Relativity is her first novel.
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