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Relativity Paperback – 19 Jan 2017

4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (19 Jan. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472151704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472151704
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 2.3 x 15.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Relativity is wonderful, a beautifully written, heartbreaking novel that I feel certain will find the huge audience it deserves. (S J Watson, author of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP and SECOND LIFE)

Original, compassionate, cleverly plotted, and genuinely difficult to put down. The premise is compelling and the plot twists and turns without ever feeling forced. This novel is an intelligent, honest and compassionate look at people and relationships under stress: the shocking revelation [in it] is tempered with real insight as to how such things happen. (Greeme Simsion, author of THE ROSIE PROJECT and THE ROSIE EFFECT)

Relativity is a novel of assured and measured empathy, a story of familial love and familial hurt that is fair, honest and remarkably non-judgemental. Hayes is a convincing writer and a true storyteller: her characters are alive. (Christos Tsiolkas, author of THE SLAP)

The race towards the conclusion keeps us guessing, but ultimately, it's the beautifully drawn characters who stay with you long after the final page. (Australian Women's Weekly)

Relativity left even my cynical heart pounding . . . [many] writers could learn something from Hayes . . . wonderful and beyond inventive - if one of the precise pleasures of fiction is a glimpse at someone else's thought processes, this is indeed a marvel. (The Saturday Paper)

Relativity is a transcendental book that manages to stay grounded and true in its warmth and pathos. With fully realised characters and a gripping storyline that unfolds into a carefully constructed equation of familial love, I could not put it down. (Alice Pung, author of UNPOLISHED GEM and LAURINDA)

Pulls you into the moment like you've unexpectedly pin-dropped through Antarctic ice . . . Relativity upends expectations and holds you in its thrall as Hayes asks unsettling questions about the frailties of memory and love . . . An Australian debut not to be missed. (Readings Monthly)

A charming and fresh debut placing a family's secrets in the great expanse of the universe. (Kirkus Reviews)

Each character is a complex universe capable of love and violence. I tore through it (Courtney Collins, author of The Burial)

An affecting, gripping debut novel about the nature of family and identity (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

'Relativity is a novel of assured and measured empathy, a story of familial love and familial hurt that is fair, honest and remarkably non-judgmental. Hayes is a convincing writer and a true storyteller: her characters are alive.' Christos Tsiolkas, author of THE SLAP

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Twelve year-old Ethan lives with his single mum Claire, in Sydney, Australia. He doesn’t know much about his father, except that his mum won’t talk about him.

Ethan is different than the other children, but he doesn’t understand why, until a stressful situation causes him to have a seizure. Whilst at the hospital the doctors seem to know him, and talk about him receiving a brain injury when he was a baby. Now it’s time for Claire to reveal the secret she has been holding back from her son, about his father, and the events that happened many years ago, when he was just a few months old.

Ethan believes that his brain injury is the reason that he’s not only exceptionally clever when it comes to physics, but the reason he can see physics too. But believing in his abilities may just nearly cause him serious injury.

Sometimes a book comes along that hits you straight in the heart and grabs your full attention. You make sure that you read every single word so that you don’t miss a second of it. Relativity, for me, was one of those books.

It holds your attention from the first page and sucks you into the three dimensional lives of Ethan, Claire and Mark (his father). The characters have all been so cleverly created, and are utterly convincing. They have that believability factor to them, making you want to get to know and understand them better.

The plot of the book is about an exceptionally serious issue, Shaken Baby Syndrome, yet it has been written with such delicacy, that you never feel overwhelmed by the core subject.

There are so many scenes that catch your breath. The inner turmoil that Claire has towards her ex-husband, and how she hates him, but loves him at the same time is intriguing.
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Format: Hardcover
When I read the synopsis for Relativity, I knew this was a book that I just had to read.

There was something beautiful about the way that Relativity was written. I just loved the theme of physics running throughout the novel, I never thought you would be able to incorporate elements of physics and it’s theories and use them to explain human emotions and make it work, but Antonia has managed to mix them so well and make it an enlightening and heartfelt experience. I was expecting the science elements to throw me a bit, but this wasn’t the case at all. If anything this story would not have been the wonderful story that it was without it.

Although this book was incredible in the way that it was written, it had a melancholy undertone. Ethan suffered brain damage as a baby due to shaken baby syndrome, which at now 12 years old he sees the world a little differently to the rest of us. But despite this, Ethan is extraordinary and has a super keen interest in physics and you can’t help but fall in love with his worldview. He can actually see the waves that sound make, but he doesn’t know that he is the only one that can see them. Although this story is told in three different narratives, Ethan, his Mum Claire and Mark, Ethan is what makes the story. He is the gravitational pull and there is an equation in the novel that so cleverly and so stunningly sums this up.

This book really does make you think how one decision in one small moment of time can change so much and how our futures can be shaped so much by it. Antonia has put so much thought into writing this original and cleverly thought out plot and I have found this review so hard to write as I know I will never do it justice.

A very original, clever story that is simply beautiful.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Sometimes a book comes into your life at just the right time, and the very minute you start reading you find yourself completely and utterly swept away in it… Relativity is one of those books for me. It’s a beautiful and incredibly moving book about a young boy, Ethan, who is trying to understand the world around him and his family situation. His life is complicated – his dad left when he was four months old and he knows nothing about him. His mum is a wonderful mum but she won’t tell him about his dad, and Ethan is at that age where he wants to know more.

Running through the novel is a lot of astronomy and physics and it’s all so beautifully woven into the story. It’s like the universe is echoing what is happening to Ethan and his mum Claire throughout the novel, and it adds an extra dimension (no pun intended!) to the pain and struggle that they are going through.

Ethan had a brain injury as a young baby and he seems to have been unaffected by it as he’s got older but then one day he has a seizure out of nowhere and this is the catalyst to him finding out more about his past. It also leads to a belief within the medical profession that this injury may have made Ethan special and unique in the world. At the same time as this is going on, we get to know a bit more about Ethan’s father, Mark. Mark is back in the same city as Ethan and Claire as his father is dying, and this leads to Mark wanting to get back in contact with his son.

Relativity at its heart is a very moving novel about the way one split-second act can change the course of many people’s lives, it’s about the way we remember our pasts and about how we have to find to learn to live with the fall out when secrets and lies are revealed. This is a novel will break your heart but it will also mend it.
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