What They Say
A tiny baby is rushed to hospital. Doctors suspect he was shaken by his father, who is later charged and convicted. The baby grows up in the care of his mother. Life goes on.
Twelve years later, Ethan is a singular young boy. Gifted with an innate affinity for physics and astronomy, Ethan sees the world in ways others simply can't - through a prism of light, time, stars and space.
Ethan is the centre of his mother's universe. Claire has tried to protect him from finding out what happened when he was a baby. But the older Ethan gets, the more questions he asks about his absent father.
A single handwritten letter is all it takes to set off a dramatic chain of events, pulling both parents back together again into Ethan's orbit. As the years seem to warp and bend, the past is both relived and revealed anew for each of them.
Relativity is an irresistible story about love, unbreakable bonds and irreversible acts.
Relativity is very much a novel about family, and what Claire does for Ethan is extraordinary, and more women should get credit for raising a kid by themselves, whether it's someone special like Ethan or just a regular kid. Even more so with what happened to Ethan as a baby, because it's unforgivable - isn't it? How can you forgive something like that, get past it, let that person back in to your life? I was genuinely shocked by what happened. I was very curious to know why Ethan's father Mark wasn't around, what would happen when he returned, and the book didn't disappoint. There's no silly dramas, either, which was an absolute bonus.
There's honestly not a lot I can say about the book. It was really, really good, but I just don't have a lot to say, review-wise. It's one of those understated stories that you enjoy for the pure pleasure of reading. I lost myself in the world of Claire, Ethan and Mark, because it's such a captivating story, the kind that usually leads to reading group questions in the back. Antonia Hayes is an extraordinary writer, and this is an extraordinary book, I really, really loved it.