It’s not often I read a book filled with math and physics and astronomy, it’s also not often a fiction novel makes reading math equations and physics and astronomy an easy and enjoyable experience. Antonia Hayes pulled it off with Relativity. There was an immense amount of research that went into creating this story and while I didn’t understand all of what I read, I appreciated the work Hayes put into her novel.
Ethan Forsythe is an extraordinarily intelligent 12 year old. He can see physics happening around him and doctors can’t explain why. His single mother, Claire, tries to keep life normal for Ethan as life around him grows unpredictable. Ethan’s father, Mark, has been out of the picture since Ethan was an infant but recently comes back to town to deal with some immediate family matters. Ethan is old enough to question his mother extensively about Mark’s absence but Claire doesn’t want to talk about the past when the past has crept of the shadows in a violent manifestation already.
Claire is a fiercely loyal mother even as the wall she built around her heart and Ethan’s well-being is tested with Mark’s arrival. Mark has a lot to answer for about his demons from the past, from both Claire and Ethan.
Antonia Hayes created a dysfunctional family with a dark secret not often touched upon. Ethan was a great characters, with a good balance of boy genius and naïve 12 year old. Claire’s emotional range was all over the place and was hard to keep up with at times. Mark and Ethan’s interactions felt stiff and uncomfortable but not in the “father, son just reunited” sort of way. Hayes does have a smooth and flowing writing style, though. There was enough tension that I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I became more invested in the story than I expected. When Hayes writers her next novel, I’ll be more than happy to give it a read.