Friday 20 January 2017

Relativity by Antonia Hayes

Published by Corsair on January 19, 2017

Relativity is without a doubt one of the most exquisitely beautiful books I have read. The emotions pouring through the pages had me utterly absorbed in the author’s magical storytelling, which appealed to me as being something special right from the opening chapter. There was a surprising theme in this book which I don’t think I’ve ever read about before, yet the author writes about it sensitively whilst still showing the raw emotion it possesses. Overall this book is a real thought-provoker and I think it is one which will stay on my mind for a long time.

Ethan is obsessed with physics and astronomy. Always thinking and reading and talking about the stars and the galaxy and everything in between, this twelve year old boy steals the show in Relativity. He’s a vibrant character, a lovely boy who is clever and funny and entertaining to read about. The theme of physics isn’t something I know a lot about but it never once stops me enjoying the book. It makes the book something different, something special as the theme is a relevant one to the core of the story and something which means so much to Ethan makes it a really incredible aspect to the story.

Bringing up Ethan is single mum Claire, whose husband left when Ethan was a baby. I found it was easy to warm to Claire as she vies to protect her son from anything bad in the world. She is quite a closed-down character but the further into the book I was, the more I understood that. When she discovers he is being picked on at school, I felt for her just as much as I did for him as it seems cruel (but accurate) that he would get bullied purely because he is different. When Ethan intercepts a letter Claire has received from his father, Mark, lives are changed and secrets are revealed as a third person enters a family of two. I really liked Mark from the moment we meet him. He was an interesting character and I was fascinated by the dynamics between him and Ethan and him and Claire.

This is a difficult book to review but definitely one I would call a must-read. Relativity does not simply tug on the heartstrings, it both breaks and warms the heart in equal measures and the character of Ethan is one that will long remain on my mind. The writing style, I absolutely fell in love with. The author has such a beautiful way with words that is nuanced and expressive with a tone that made me relax into the story with ease. The storytelling is creative whilst the tale of physics and astronomy is perfectly accessible and once I reached the end of this book, my first feeling was of sadness because I was truly sad to leave such a special book behind. But at the same time, it is an unforgettable novel that I would love to re-read one day.

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