Author: Antonia Hayes
Published: 17th January 2017
Date read: 1st January 2017
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.
When I was asked to join the blog tour for Relativity I jumped at the chance. The blurb really intrigued me and also there is stunning praise on the front cover from three authors that I have read before: Graeme Simsion, S J Watson and Christos Tsiolkas. With such high praise from these authors I knew I had to read it.
Relativity follows Ethan Forsythe, twelve years old and a very clever young man who has a particular obsession with physics and astronomy. Ethan lives with his single mother Claire in Sydney, as he is getting older he is asking more and more questions about his fathers whereabouts which Claire is particularly hesitant about answering and very mysterious much to Ethans annoyance.
When Ethan gets taken ill, secrets start to unfold and the reasons for his current illness are revealed and how it’s connected to his past and father.
I had never heard of Relativity until I was asked to do this Blog Tour, I like to go into books knowing as little as possible so I can form my own opinions and not waiting for twists and turns. Relativity took me by surprise,this is what you would classify as family drama/literary fiction and I devoured this book, needing to know what happened, why Ethan was ill? Why his father wasn’t around?
I thought the writing style and prose of this book are beautifully written. I also liked the science parts even sometimes when I couldn’t get my head around (I am not great at science). You don’t have to be great at physics to follow this book but I think Antonia Hayes must have put a lot of research into the topics that were explored within.
The story is told from third person past tense narrative from the perspectives of Ethan, Claire and Mark. The characters are well-developed,complex and three dimensional. Ethan’s character was written really well and believable for a twelve-year-old boy, he would say some profound things and had me laughing out loud.
Mum,want to know something crazy? Statistically, the probability that I exist is basically zero. Did you know you were born with two million eggs?
I could really empathise with Claire, being a parent myself you will do anything to protect your child and what you feel is best for them. Her anxiety that she was experiencing was palpable, what with introducing Mark back into Ethan’s life but there were points where I felt she made some bad decisions and should have discussed it more with Ethan.
I liked reading from Marks perspective, especially towards the end when you get more of a back story, though there is parts sprinkled throughout the book about their relationship and extended family.
Relativity is beautiful, realistic and a well researched novel and definitely recommend picking it up. This is a great debut novel and I am excited to see what Hayes does next.
Antonia Hayes, who grew up in Sydney and spent her twenties in Paris, currently lives in London with her husband and son. Relativity is her first novel.
Thanks for reading