I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion of the book.
Relativity by Antonia Hayes is the story of a broken family that is connected by their love and knowledge of the planets and physics. Ethan is raised by his mother Claire and knows absolutely nothing about his father. However, a decade later his father, Mark, reappears in Sydney and due to a complicated connection of events, he attempts to reconnect with his family.
Relativity switches between the perspectives of Ethan, Claire and Mark throughout the novel. I really enjoyed this aspect because it helps the story unfold in layers and as a reader you constantly change your perspective and ideas on what exactly is happening. There are also time jumps in the novel that kept me interested in the plot and wanting to find out what is going to happen next.
To say I am not a physics expert is an understatement. I about failed every single science-y course in high school. This meant that Relativity was a challenge for me at times. Ethan, and his father, are very interested in planets and the concepts of physics. While Antonia Hayes does a good job explaining these concepts, I sometimes did not understand how they fit into the story. There were pages of physics talk that I did not understand and I wish I was able to connect them to the story better.
The story overall was really interesting. I won't really talk about the big events that reconnect Mark to his family, because it is really exciting to see them slowly unfold on paper when you have no clue what is about to happen. Antonia Hayes is very successful in combining a character based story with an interesting and original plot. While I found the pacing often too slow for my liking, the story was gripping enough that I couldn't put the novel down.
Overall, Relativity is an original story, especially because it has an interesting and unconventional ending. I enjoyed reading this story and I would recommend it for people with an interest in our cosmos and physics. That knowledge will probably help you connect certain concepts better with the story, but even without it, it is still an enjoyable and emotional read.