A Theory of Relativity: A Theory of Relativity
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A Theory of Relativity: A Theory of Relativity

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  2,699 ratings  ·  167 reviews
Jacquelyn Mitchard's first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, launched the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and riveted millions of readers across the country. Now comes A Theory of Relativity, Mitchard's most compelling and beautifully written novel yet.

At twenty-four, Gordon McKenna thinks he's already heard the worst news of his life when he learns that his sister Georgia is fata...more
Audio, Abridged, 0 pages
Published June 19th 2001 by HarperAudio (first published 2001)
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Cham Cuartero
I was in and out of the bookstore in less than 5 minutes and this was what I bought:

This was the first book that I bought and read after we moved into our new house. And it is also what "revived" my talent of finishing a book in 24 hours or less. I actually ended reading in about 48 hours but at least it's an improvement, redeeming me from all my unfinished starts.

S went into the BookShop to pick up a magazine and I followed suit. I wasn't really planning to buy anything but when I picked up th...more
I wanted to like this one and was extremely disappointed that it didn't draw me in like I thought it would. Between the cover and the "blurb" on the inside of the jacket I thought for sure this was going to be a book I couldn't put down. I actually considered more than once putting it down and not picking it back up again. I found it confusing to read at times, and there several things about the plot that I didn't understand. The subject of the story was thought provoking and interesting.
Jacquelyn Mitchard is one of the best at writing depth of emotions to the point that you feel the emotions along with the characters. It was true in The Deep End of the Ocean and it is true in A Theory of Relativity. This is nother emotional roller coaster of a book by Jacquelyn Mitchard. This one involves the issue of the custody battle and adoptoin of a 1-year-old chold of a couple who were killed instantly in a car crash. The battle between the surviiving families is a no holds barred dispute...more
I honestly don't know how to rate this book - I wanted to like it, it was well-written, the storyline and subject matter kept me interested, but I had so many problems with things! I had a really hard time connecting with the characters - I didn't like any of them enough to find sympathy for them, even considering the storyline. I really didn't like Delia or her family at all, but also I didn't feel like Gordon really wanted Keefer for any of the right reasons until the very end. I had to simply...more
Diane Ferbrache
I have read several of Mitchard's books, so I was looking forward to this one. (found on the $1.00 rack at Half-Price Books!) Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much and actually found myself skimming large passages.

It's an intriguing story -- Georgia and Gordon are adopted siblings. When Georgia is killed along with her husband in a car accident, Gordon wants to adopt his 18-month old niece. He is challenged by the husband's family on the grounds that he has no "blood" relation to the c...more

Okay, so it was a slow and steady read. I enjoyed that I was able to slow down and take my time with it. It evoked a lot of feelings in me because I worked in the adoption world and feel strongly about adoption. She was able to embody the prejudices against adoption while at the same time dispelling those myths. She was extremely accurate on her account about adoptees and I loved this book for that. I wish I could give this book three and a half stars. I just didn't like the way it ended or how...more
Peggy Walker
Apr 04, 2009 Peggy Walker rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends
I really enjoy her writing, because her characters are really well drawn. She does have a way of wrapping things up very neatly and a bit oddly in the last 2 books of hers that I've read, but I'll keep reading. A very good exploration of some of the loopholes in the law...in this case, adoption law, but really there are quite a few out there. I'd enjoy a conversation with a number of these characters, although I'm not crazy about the way Gordy treated women, Keefer excepted.
This book constantly made me think about what family is, what justice is, how we should treat each other. At points I really could not decide what should happen, but when the result was known, it was exactly right. I had read an early Mitchard, but this seemed much better developed, more believable and unique characters. There were a few parts I skipped because it was too sexually graphic for me (a sideplot), but it is a book I am still thinking over.
Mrs. TB
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Once begun, it is unusual for me not to finish a book. This one will not get finished.

100 pages in I have not developed a liking, hating or empathy for a single character.
The writing style is choppy and hard to follow.
The only clue I have as to where the story is headed is the synopsis on the back cover.

In short, there's just not enough to keep me turning the pages.

É sobre pessoas, sobre sentimentos, e é sobretudo acerca de todas as contradições de que o ser humano é feito; nunca li nenhum livro desta autora sem me sentir tocada pela sua sensibilidade, há sempre algo para cada um de nós!
No one writes about family dynamics as accurately as Mitchard. I loved her disturbing "Deep End of the Ocean," about a son's long-term kidnapping. "Relativity" is more complex than it looks, examining adoption issues, the definition of "biological family," mother-son and brother-sister dynamics, custody battles.
I found Gordon and Lorraine essentially unlikeable. (And manipulative little Keefer was nowhere near as charming as everyone thinks she is, as borne out by the epilogue--but then I've ne...more
Carolyn Thomas
Baby Keefer suddenly becomes an orphan when her father and critically ill mother are killed in a car crash. What is to become of her? Both sets of grandparents assume that they will have charge of her, as does Uncle Gordon (her mother's brother) and Aunt Delia (her father's sister),but the situation is complicated by the fact that Georgia and Gordon were both adopted and therefore Gordon is not a blood relative of Keefer, and so the wrangling begins.
I expected to be drawn into the plot and conn...more
Melissa Kayden
I could not get into this book, nor I could connect with any of the characters.
Everyone in this book was a terrible person, except for the toddler.
Lo más interesante de esta novela es que (creo que) está basada o inspirada en una historia real; y es que ese hecho al menos te permite pasar por alto el exceso de melodrama y aproximarte a ella con un interés sociológico. Por supuesto que en un tema sensible como es el de la adopción, es lógico que el drama no ande lejos; máxime cuando, como en este caso, el punto de partida es una tragedia, pero ciertamente hay formas y formas de abordar un tema delicado o serio y aquí sobra el drama en más d...more
So much wasted potential! I hope this picks up but right now everyone seems very immature, secretive and no one is talking the issues out. I suppose this is all supposed to increase the tension but its not. It's making the story seem silly.

I finished this today and it did not get better. This could have been very good: a toddler, dead parents, family fighting to adopt toddler, discussion about whether adopted is as "relative" as one's "real" child.
But, the entire story just skirted around thes...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mitchard explores the meaning and responsibility of "family." She challenges conventional wisdom--or at least invites the reader to explore it. Does being "blood of my blood" actually require blood? How does a mental construct designed to assure a father that he is providing for his "own" affect a sense of family today given the increased variety of ways that families are formed and children spawned? My comments deal with the abstract, but the story through which these issues emerge is very conc...more
Good concept, interesting characters.
Ended with one of my least favorite literary conceits, one whole sections written in the first person from the voice of a young child.
Super difficult to pull off, and did not add anything to the whole of the novel.
Annoying end to an otherwise pretty interesting novel.
What do I think? I think Ms Mitchard likes to make up her own words - fotched; wrassling; moosh; ziggety; wuffling and bruistas. I know a lot of words, not all it's true but more than average and the very fact that these words are underlined in red tells me what I knew - they ain't real words! What's the deal - I wasted time looking them up! That aside, not your best JM. I've read and loved a few of your books but this was below par (excuse the golfing pun). I'm normally loathe to skim paragraph...more
This was one of those books that I couldn't stop reading...but when I finished, and looked back on it, I wasn't wowed by the prose. It's a compelling story and deals wonderfully with the issue of adoption and family bonds, and I appreciated the clever way the writer chose to end it. Mitchard had a great way of getting me to really care about the characters in this story. However, some of the situations and sidebar characters were oddly placed to me. Time spent dwelling on relationships that ulti...more
Stephanie Joellenbeck
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is an interesting study in the meaning of family, particularly with regard to adoption. I found the story interesting at times, irritating at others but for the most part it was good, not great, but good. I was pretty sure how (in a macro sense) the story would end. I was right. There were some good plot twists in there as well.

All in all, the book kept me intrigued and interested enough to want to pick up the book to finish. Enjoy!

Carrie Thomas
I like the plot of this book so far - young wife (suffering from a fatal type of cancer) and her husband careen their car off the side of the road, down a cliff, and die instantly. The leave behind their baby daughter and an extended family trying to cope with this horrible reality. The only part of the book that I'm struggling with is the author's use of dialogue. After many conversations, I find myself critiquing it, thinking, "No one talks like that." It's just not coming off smoothly or even...more
This was an interesting series of twists and turns regarding the structuring of a family through adoption and other circumstances. The central figure, a baby named Keefer, is lucky to have so many people vying to claim her. I was surprised by the tempo of the book. The story unfolded well in the beginning, then slowed down for a long time - until the last chapter. It was a staccato burst that took a big leap forward in time and finally, in a retrospective child's tone, explained what had finally...more
Kiss me so you don't miss me... Me encantó!
I barely got into this one. I may try to go back and finish it after I read my other books I am dying to start.

I can't tell if I am just not into the book because it is moving to slow, or because I am physically over this book. I bought it at a used bookstore and it is the Large Print Edition which I have never read before... and it kind of annoys me that the words are humongous and it weighs about 12 pounds.

I only got about 100 pages in and gave up... I NEVER do that! But who knows, maybe I'l...more
As with The Deep End of the Ocean, I felt the author really fleshes out her characters so that you feel that you know them, how they'll react in a given situation - as I was reading I was thinking about what actors would be cast as the key characters. It's one of those tales that you feel empathy for various players in turns, Mitchard does a good job of not making any 1 person or family the villain. This is the story of a heart breaking tragedy and all the fallout from that incident. Great read.
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Jacquelyn Mitchard’s first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years – second only to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (but second by a long shot, it must be said.)

The Deep End of the Ocean was chosen as the first novel in the book club made famous by the TV host Oprah Winfrey, and transformed into a feature film p...more
More about Jacquelyn Mitchard...
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