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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,967 ratings  ·  416 reviews
Ethan is a bright young boy obsessed with physics and astronomy who lives with his mother, Claire. Claire has been a wonderful parent to Ethan, but he's becoming increasingly curious about his father's absence in his life, wanting to fill in the gaps.

Claire's life is centred on Ethan; she is fiercely protective of her talented, vulnerable son, and of her own feelings. Whe
Paperback, 358 pages
Published June 24th 2015 by Viking
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,967 ratings  ·  416 reviews

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Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Relativity is a book all about the different relationships within a family: those between husbands and wives, fathers and adult sons, parents and young children.

"But Ethan gave the vagueness of her life definition. And although Claire complained about his clothes and Lego scattered about the house, she needed them there to punctuate her existence. He made their house a home."

It's a very poignant story which is beautifully written but for me it was a peculiar read. At times I really liked it
Sherry Anne
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As both an astronomy and literature enthusiast, I was on the verge of giddiness when I found Relativity in the bookstore last week. Its cover, for starters, is striking: two silhouettes gazing up a time-lapse shot of the stars. Run your hand across this image and you will be able to feel the imprint of equations written over the sky, tilt it a little and they will reflect the light. Ah, science and story have never felt so beautiful.

Relativity sits in a comfortable middle ground between literar
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Who would know that physics and astronomy could be so interesting.
When I first received this book from the publishers I just wasn't sure.
But I read every book that is sent to me (eventually) so started this one with less enthusiasm as needed.

I have been shockingly surprised how much I loved this. It's so well written and has some really heart turning and heart skipping moments.

Definitely one to be considered
Take a second look, then buy it.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

*Note: An ARC of Relativity by Antonia Hayes was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada as part of their Summer Fiction Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review.

“Because it was denial — not remorse or mistakes — that ruled out second chances.”

Recently, I was asked by Simon & Schuster Canada if I would like to participate in their Summer Fiction Blog Tour. Of course I jumped at the chance! Relativity by Antonia Hayes was one of the novels that I was asked to read and review. I had heard nothing ab
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twelve year old Ethan lives with his mother Claire, in a Sydney suburb. His father, Mark, went away when Ethan was a baby and has never seen his son since. Claire has done a superb job bringing Ethan up single handedly – he is a thoughtful, bright and intelligent child with an enquiring mind and loves science and physics, especially astronomy. In fact he is so clever, he is bullied and taunted by other children at school who call him ‘Stephen Hawking’. His best friend Will has turned against him ...more
Whispering Stories
Twelve year-old Ethan lives with his single mum Claire, in Sydney, Australia. He doesn’t know much about his father, except that his mum won’t talk about him.

Ethan is different than the other children, but he doesn’t understand why, until a stressful situation causes him to have a seizure. Whilst at the hospital the doctors seem to know him, and talk about him receiving a brain injury when he was a baby. Now it’s time for Claire to reveal the secret she has been holding back from her son, about
Karys McEwen
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There is just so much BRILLIANT Australian fiction out there at the moment. It’s blowing my mind. Relativity is right up there with the best.

It certainly has the pull-quotes to suggest this book is a winner. From Graeme Simison and Christos Tsiolkas, to Alice Pung and Emily Maguire, Antonia Hayes gets high praise from her peers. I also happen to agree with every single one of them.

The writing is very readable, and the plot is clever and original without being too unrecognisable. That’s a difficu
Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews
Relativity is a gem! Ethan is an amazing tween, smart, open-minded and extremely attaching. His story is complicated, and filled with equal measures of heartache and hope.

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

I didn't really know what to expect when I started Relativity, such a strong, heart-wrenching story was not it, though. That's what I got - Ethan was such a great main character to follow. He's young, but very wise, and so smart! Some of the things he talked abo
Margaret Madden
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
4.5 stars.
Twelve-year-old Ethan lives with his mother, Claire, and has never met his father. An unusually gifted child, he has no idea of the circumstances surrounding his fathers absence. When he discovers a letter from his father to Claire, it leads to a fascination and journey to discover just why his father left and how he can reunite the family. Using his unique scientific logic, Ethan believes he can re-visit the past and change the futures outcome. But the past is suddenly a scary place t
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
2-stars according to Goodreads is "it was ok," and that basically sums up this book for me. There was nothing about it I hated; though, the scientific metaphors at times were a bit too much. Other than that, the story is engaging, not totally predictable, and heartfelt. It was a bit sappy, but that can totally be to some people's taste. I was interested enough to keep reading, so that says something. But in the end, I don't think this will be one that I rave about or that sticks with me for too ...more
Trang Tran (Bookidote)
I plunged into this book without reading the premise and I was pretty impressed with it. Within the first twenty pages, I fell in love with Ethan's narrative voice. Such a clever and smart boy. The character development nonetheless to say was amazing. Seeing things through his eyes is such a fresh view of the world !! By the end of the book, I didn't lose the interest. In fact, the author succeeds in building the gripping plot by adding witty replies and new concepts in perspective.

Full review :
Debbie Lamb
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club-2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oh, how many feels! Quirky, heartfelt and so completely engaging, relativity is more than just a story about a single mother and her 12 year old son. Once I started reading this book, I found it seriously difficult to stop. While the subject matter was difficult, (view spoiler), Hayes added so many different layers to the story and characters that made it impossible for me not to care for each and every one of them ...more
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is breathtakingly brilliant, a beautiful read, a difficult subject, an incredible little (well not so little he's 12) boy and the story of how his father came back in to his life.

Ethan is not a normal boy, he is obsessed with science and rightly so, he is brilliant with an incredible understanding of physics, astronomy and this of course earns him a place on the school bullies list but he has a happy home with his mum Claire.

A single mum since her husband went away when Ethan was 4 mo
Fiona Lansdown
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Maybe because I am a science nerd, but I loved the language and the way the author used the forces of physics to explore our emotional forces. I even cried when I read the story of what happened to Ethan. So unimaginably awful. This book touched me more than any I have read in years.
Helena Wildsmith
This book was incredible from start to finish - heart breaking yet uplifting at the same time. Beautifully written and a story that's going to stay with me for a long time. ...more
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every now and again a book comes along that takes me totally by surprise; Relativity is one of those books. The pure beauty and assurance of Antonia Hayes' writing feels like a smack in the face, it really is hauntingly, bewilderingly clever.

The first chapter, entitled 'Motion' is just ten sentences long, yet those opening words are gripping and vivid and set the scene for the excellent story that follows.

Twelve-year-old Ethan lives with his mother Claire in a Sydney suburb. Ethan doesn't know a
Joanne Robertson
If you only buy one book this year then make it this one. It’s only January but this beautiful and intelligently written book has already reserved itself a place in my heart and in my top books of the year so far. It is stunning but what makes it even more incredible is that this breathtaking book is a debut novel!

If I could advise anything else then it would be not to read too many reviews of Relativity! Yes I know I should be supporting other reviewers but I went into this book pretty much bli
RoseMary Achey
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relativity is one of those books that makes a humble reviewer like myself realise their inadequacy in the best way possible because quite frankly – it feels futile to even try to verbalise just how wonderful this book is but let’s try!

Relativity tells the story of a little boy named Ethan. Obsessed with physics and astronomy, Ethan sees the world differently to the rest of us. The hidden wonders and beauties of time and space that are invisible to the naked eye of us mere mortals, Ethan is accos
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Beautifully written, clever and sensitive, and amazingly impressive for a debut novel.
Somewhere between a 3 and a 4. It was really slow but carried a lot of weight.
I don't really know what I expected of this book. I thought it would just be about weird family relationships but it wasn't. This book is about child abuse, denial, disability and forgiveness. There were little twists that I really didn't expect and this was a book I probably wouldn't have read were it not for this tour but I'm glad I did.

I liked reading from the perspective of Ethan the most, he had such a wonder
Cleopatra  Pullen
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, contemporary
This book starts with a heart-stopping opening of four-month old Ethan having stopped breathing this is a book that really defies pigeon-holing as a distinct type of book. There is the discovery ten years later of what happened on that day, but there is also a lot about physics, a boy living with a brain injury and the relationship between a mother and her son to name but a few of the topics covered in this immensely readable novel.

Twelve year old Ethan lives in Australia with his mother Claire
Cynthia Corral
This book is not for me.
If you are into science, like super duper into science, this book might be for you.

There is more science in this book than there is in The Martian. 90% of the lines in this book are metaphors between science and life, science and relationships, science and good grief anything you can possibly imagine. I might have to go read some trashy romance novel just to wipe all the science talk out of my brain.

I don't think it's a bad book. I think the author is obviously very smart
Roger Brunyate
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Splitting the Nuclear Family

To my amazement, I read 360 pages in 24 hours. The cover warned that it would be a difficult book to put down, and it was true; I kept wanting to get back to it whenever I had to stop. I read fast at first because it was so inviting; Antonia Hayes is a lucid writer, she makes me feel at home in the Sydney setting, and her use of shortish sections gives the story a lively forward lope. I was drawn in because the people felt warm and true: a loving single mother and her
Relativity was a book I wasn't 100% sure was my cup of tea, but I was more than willing to give it a read because the publicist for the book was so insistent that it was such a good read. But, I was nervous to get started. I needn't have been, mind because Relativity was an awesome read. It was so nuanced, so beautiful, so evocative, and as I always say with books about geniuses, especially genius kids, Ethan reminded me of a certain Sheldon Cooper, and I have The Big Bang Theory to thank for my ...more
Grass monster
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Blurb :
Ethan is an exceptionally gifted young boy, obsessed with physics and astronomy.
His single mother Claire is fiercely protective of her brilliant, vulnerable son. But she can't shield him forever from learning the truth about what happened to him when he was a baby; why Mark had to leave them all those years ago.
Now age twelve, Ethan is increasingly curious about his past, especially his father's absence in his life. When he intercepts a letter to Claire from Mark, he opens a lifetime
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I've read an Australian novel with such big themes and ambitious imagery, a gripping plot and imaginative storyline, authentic feeling characters, and that's exquisitely written sentence by sentence as well. Would rate it 6 if I could. Relativity is an emotionally powerful novel, that deceptively feels like an easy read. But it's not some trashy page turner at all, the whole story feels very carefully constructed and structured, with momentum building as the story rea ...more
Helen King
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, australian
This was an entertaining read, and I thought the author beautifully captured the relationships between parents and children, not to mention the way the children's observe passions for space, physics, desire to fit it, etc. I really identified with both aspects and felt like writing out big slabs of Claire's reflections on her son. The storyline was interesting, but sad - it kept me engaged, and moved at a good pace (read it in one sitting). Recommended.

This para (for reasons external to the boo
Dee-Cee  It's all about the books
Relativity is a raw and emotional story, it’s a story about love, trust, hope and relationships and touches on a very difficult subject matter which the author has done brilliantly.

I fell in love with Ethan, a wonderfully clever 12 year old who loves physics and astronomy and due to this love he uses his knowledge to see the world and the changes within himself. His mum Claire is very protective and throughout the story we find out why.

I liked the way the main protagonist is Ethan but we also re
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Antonia Hayes, who grew up in Sydney and spent her twenties in Paris, lives in San Francisco with her husband and son. Relativity is her first novel.

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