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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Proving that her riveting and heart-wrenching debut novel, The Deep End of the Ocean was no fluke, Jacqueline Mitchard tackles the concept of family in the aptly titled A Theory of Relativity.
Georgia McKenna is already dying of cancer when she and her husband, Ray, are killed in a car accident that leaves their one-year-old daughter, Keefer, orphaned. In a will drafted months before, Georgia and Ray granted custody of Keefer to Georgia’s 24-year-old single brother, Gordon. But unbeknownst to Gordon, Georgia and Ray had recently revoked that will to start on a new one, which was never signed. Ray’s parents immediately fire the first volley by filing for custody of Keefer, arguing that the child is connected to them by blood (Gordon and Georgia were both adopted children). Legal wrangles follow, the impact of which will be felt far beyond the boundaries of family. After several highly emotional confrontations, the matter gets resolved in a most unexpected and tragic way.
It is to Mitchard’s credit that there are no good guys or bad guys here, just a host of well-meaning but confused relatives reeling with grief and struggling to do the right thing. The judicial and legislative elements give the work the flavor of a legal thriller, but the true heart of the story lies in the characters’ struggles to balance their hearts and minds as they decide the fate of one little girl. (Beth Amos)