Relativity

A “beautifully written, heartbreaking” (S. J. Watson) debut novel about a gifted boy who discovers the truth about his past, his overprotective single mother who tries desperately to shield him from it, and the father he has never met who has unexpectedly returned.

“Original, compassionate, cleverly plotted, and genuinely difficult to put down.” –Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project

Twelve-year-old Ethan Forsythe, an exceptionally talented boy obsessed with physics and astronomy, has been raised alone by his mother in Sydney, Australia. Claire, a former professional ballerina, has been a wonderful parent to Ethan, but he’s becoming increasingly curious about his father’s absence in his life. Claire is fiercely protective of her talented, vulnerable son—and of her own feelings. But when Ethan falls ill, tied to a tragic event that occurred during his infancy, her tightly-held world is split open.

Thousands of miles away on the western coast of Australia, Mark is trying to forget about the events that tore his family apart, but an unexpected call forces him to confront his past and return home. When Ethan secretly intercepts a letter from Mark to Claire, he unleashes long-suppressed forces that—like gravity—pull the three together again, testing the limits of love and forgiveness.

Told from the alternating points of view of Ethan and each of his parents, Relativity is a poetic and soul-searing exploration of unbreakable bonds, irreversible acts, the limits of science, and the magnitude of love.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501105081 | 
  • January 2017
List Price $22.00 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Relativity includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Antonia Hayes. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

 
Introduction

Heart-wrenching, absorbing, and magical, Relativity is an irresistible novel about science, love, unbreakable bonds, and irreversible acts.

Ethan is a bright young boy obsessed with physics and astronomy who lives with his mother, Claire. He knows little about his father and what happened shortly after his birth.

Claire’s life is centered on Ethan; she is fiercely protective of her talented, vulnerable son, keeping the events of the past a closely guarded secret. But when Ethan falls ill, tied to a tragic event from when he was a baby, her tightly held world is split open. When Ethan secretly intercepts a letter addressed to Claire, he unleashes long-suppressed forces that—like gravity—pull the three together again, testing the limits of love and forgiveness.
 

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Explain the significance of the title of the book. Did your interpretation of the title change as you read? In what ways, and why?

2. H see more

About the Author

Antonia Hayes
Photograph by Alison Christiana

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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