Relativity by Antonia Hayes* is the second title in my January blog tour series – and the first of three this week! Another debut novel and an intense read, it centres on 12 year old Ethan, a gifted boy obsessed with physics. Raised by his single mother, he’s curious about his father and why he left when he was just a baby. When he intercepts a letter, he starts a chain of events that not only brings his family back together but also reveals what really happened twelve years ago.
It’s funny how you see the world differently when you become a parent. If I watch or read anything about a child, especially a young boy, I become especially emotionally involved. To read about a child who is bullied or feels abandoned by a parent breaks my heart and I immediately want to do everything within my power to keep my own son from feeling any pain or sadness. It’s testament to Hayes’ powerful writing that I felt so protective over her character.
The story is incredibly well researched, with a lot of scientific knowledge weaved throughout. It reminded me of the Alzheimers novel I read last year, The Story of Forgetting, in that the science is required to tell the story but it doesn’t detract from the emotional impact. It’s intelligent without being condescending and educational but not preachy.
I measure the greatness of a book by how much I struggle to put it down when the bus pulls up at work – it’s really good if want a traffic jam on the way home so I can get through another chapter, as was the case when I reached the end of this novel.
If you’re looking for a fascinating blend of conflicted characters, adolescent wonder and courtroom drama, grab a copy of Relativity. It’s out this week.
* I received this item for review purposes but all thoughts are my own.