Friday, 20 January 2017

Review - Relativity by Antonia Hayes

Every so often you come across a book that really stands out from the crowd and I have to say that, for me, Relativity by Antonia Hayes was one of them. As a book that has already received praise from the likes of Christos Tsiolkas and SJ Watson that is clear to see on the cover, I went into the book hoping for great things, which I most certainly got. 

In this book we meet young Ethan, an exceptionally clever boy who is completely obsessed with anything to do with physics and astronomy. He lives with his single mother, Claire, who is extremely protective of her son and desperate for him never to know exactly what happened to him when he was a baby and the reason why his father has been absent from his life for so long. Growing increasingly curious about his past life, one day Ethan intercepts a letter that his father had sent to his mother, a moment that will truly change their lives. 

The story of this family was a beautiful one to follow and one that I think will be very hard to forget in a hurry. Throughout the novel I felt that Antonia provided us with a very real and honest insight into the family, meaning that I felt very much involved with them and their story. For such a young boy, Ethan was a brilliant lead character and my heart broke for him on more than one occasion whilst reading this book when I felt his pain but there were also many times when I felt his happiness too. It was most certainly an emotive tale. 

This was a book that completely blew me away as it succesfully managed to combine several different themes in a way that seemed so effortless. One thing I could tell was that Antonia Hayes had definitely done her research before writing this novel as the scientific concepts the book presented were discussed in great detail. As a person who is not particularly scientific I have to say that I sometimes struggled to understand these concepts but because I was so invested in Ethan’s story and finding out how things would turn out for the family this didn’t prevent me from enjoying the book. 

Relativity was without a doubt one of the most powerful novels that I have read to date and one that I am so glad to have read. I’ve never read anything quite like this book before, which was so accomplished that I often found myself forgetting that this was just a debut novel. I really hope that this book receives the positive recognition that it well and truly deserves not just now but for years to come and that this is not the last book of Antonia’s that I will have the pleasure of reading. This is a book that you don’t want to miss!