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A Theory of Relativity

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  3,447 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
“[An] astonishing pleasure.”

Seattle Times

“A graceful, moving, and compelling novel. Jacquelyn Mitchard at her finest.”

—Scott Turow, author of Innocent

A poignant and unforgettable novel from Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the monumental New York Times bestsellers The Deep End of the Ocean and The Most Wanted, A Theory of Relativity is a powerful tale that explores the emoti
Audio, Abridged, 0 pages
Published June 19th 2001 by HarperAudio (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 06, 2009 Kati rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 22, 2011 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 29, 2014 CMT325 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jun 13, 2012 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 19, 2016 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Was this book written by a committee? I'm sure it must have been. It was such a mish-mash! Some parts flowed and made sense. Other parts were turgid, boring paragraph after boring paragraph of strange content that made you wonder if the author had any idea if this was truly the direction she wanted to take the story, and us as readers.

Fascinating theme - adoptive children and their rights, or otherwise, in families and how different, or not, those rights are to blood relatives. This could have b
Jun 04, 2013 A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, chicklit, 2013
Everyone in this book was a terrible person, except for the toddler.
Jul 14, 2009 Debby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
♥ Marlene♥
This is a sort of review (letter) I wrote years ago on Bookcrossing about this book.

on Sunday, September 05, 2004

8 out of 10
Hi How are you? I started this book this morning and am already half through the book.
After reading a lot of true crime i really needed something else and this was the perfect book .
You are right it is a great book I did expect that because I loved her other book The deep End of the Ocean. As with that book I am now wondering what will be in the future for the pe
Jul 19, 2012 Petra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 16, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Peggy Walker
Apr 04, 2009 Peggy Walker rated it really liked it  ·  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 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.
May 23, 2010 Vilo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 16, 2012 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Jul 25, 2016 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adoption
I applaud the author for tackling some important issues related to adoption. She reminds all of us that many people who have limited experience with adoption often do not understand the perspective of adoptees and adoptive parents. I appreciate the author's efforts to help foster greater understanding.

With that said, the adoption themes were often what kept me reading the book. The characters were under-developed and not likeable. The plot was disjointed, with some parts that moved far too slow
Jan 16, 2013 Chloe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book a lot more, it sounded interesting when I read the blurb. However, I found the writing style a challenge and I very nearly gave up reading it altogether. And this is not something I do very often! The story matter was interesting enough, it was just a struggle to read.
Aug 12, 2012 Babete rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Aug 21, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Saul Clamen
Jun 07, 2013 Saul Clamen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read very emotionally driven I felt like one of the family watching the whole situation unfold
Elizabeth Mccrary
SO good. Beautifully written and a heart tugging look at a custody battle and the love of adopted children.
Melissa Kayden
Jan 05, 2014 Melissa Kayden rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not get into this book, nor I could connect with any of the characters.
Oct 17, 2015 Chris rated it it was ok
Recommended to Chris by: Harvesting the heart/goodreads
Shelves: authors-new
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Gordon McKenna is a handsome 24-year-old science teacher who thought life was as tough as it could get when his only sister, Georgia, was diagnosed with cancer. Then she and her husband die in a car crash, leaving behind their one-year-old daughter, Keefer. Gordon willingly gives up his self-involved bachelor life and adopts his beloved niece. Georgia's in-laws, however, have different wishes for their granddaughter. Well heeled, conservative and wealthy, they believe their born-again
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
Jun 22, 2016 Mich3ll3 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've got to say I'm disappointed in this book. On average, I adore Mitchard's books. I've got to say, when a friend handed me this book about "all that legal crap you're into" and I read the cover, I thought it'd be an easy read. I don't think I've struggled through a book so badly in years. Don't get me wrong, I loved the plot, but as some other reviews have mentioned, the characters just weren't relatable. The ending was decent and predictable, but along the way I didn't believe that any of th ...more
Jim B
Mar 22, 2015 Jim B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advisory
Abridged (Not prominently noted on the packaging). Read by the author.

Grief turns into a nightmare, when the death of parents leaves a custody battle for baby Keefer. Mitchard does a good job of humanizing everyone so even the early protagonists show heart and we see tragic turns that don't get undone, even as we see family love tested.
Dec 30, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 23, 2015 Billye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a sad but good book. It really is disturbing when you get into the grief suffered by the parents of this young couple who die in a car crash and the surviving brother's grief also and their struggle to get custody of the surviving child who was only one year old. I like all Mitchard's books.
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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 about Jacquelyn Mitchard...

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