A Theory of Relativity [NOOK Book]


Jacquelyn Mitchard's first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, launched Oprah Winfrey's Book Club and riveted millions of readers worldwide. Now this supremely talented author offers her most powerful work to date. The emotional story of a fierce custody battle over a little girl, A Theory of Relativity is an unforgettable tale of love and the bonds that unite us all.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
A Theory of Relativity

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price

All Available Formats & Editions


Jacquelyn Mitchard's first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, launched Oprah Winfrey's Book Club and riveted millions of readers worldwide. Now this supremely talented author offers her most powerful work to date. The emotional story of a fierce custody battle over a little girl, A Theory of Relativity is an unforgettable tale of love and the bonds that unite us all.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The 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)

Few are her equal in illuminating the personal stake we all have in the daily business of living.
US Weekly
Deft . . . complex . . . a powerful tale of a shattering custody battle.
Us Weekly
Deft . . . complex . . . a powerful tale of a shattering custody battle.
Us Weekly
Deft . . . complex . . . a powerful tale of a shattering custody battle.
From The Critics
Mitchard, by her own account, was in the midst of writing "a perfectly nice novel" when she learned of an adoption suit involving a child whose parents met untimely deaths. At stake was the placement of the orphaned child and the feelings of those who loved her. Would she find a permanent home with her grandparents or with her parents' best friends? Or would she be placed with her uncle who, having been adopted himself as a child, could make no legal claim to being a blood relative? Mitchard's third novel picks up where the headlines left off. The facts have been changed, of course, but Mitchard is true to her theme, presenting every possible definition of family over the course of these pages. Oddly, the book feels both rushed and static: peppered with one-sentence paragraphs, breezy characterizations and convenient if not altogether credible coincidences. There's lots of story here and plenty of theme, but with all the plot tricks and personalities, it's a bit hard to locate the novel's heart.
—Beth Kephart

(Excerpted Review)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When real life inspires fiction, an authentic and convincing voice is often the happy result. Here Mitchard draws on her own experience as an adoptive parent and as a one-time participant in a custody suit to produce gripping fiction on a par with her Oprah pick, The Deep End of the Ocean. Once again, she excels in rendering domestic scenes and family relationships while providing a suspenseful story that tugs at the heartstrings. Keefer Nye, only a year old when her parents die in a car crash near Madison, Wis., is the focal point of a bitter, protracted and precedent-setting custody battle. Keefer's bachelor uncle, 24-year-old science teacher Gordon McKenna, seems the most appropriate custodian for his tiny niece, since he helped his elderly parents care for Keefer while his sister (Keefer's mother, Georgia) battled cancer. Challenging his claim, the affluent Nye grandparents, country-club Floridians, believe that their niece and her husband, born-again Christians, should get custody. Mitchard's nuanced character portrayals are her strong suit; no one is without frailties. But she subtly favors the McKenna family, conveying their anguish when Keefer is swept out of their arms by a court order. The decision hinges on the fact that both Georgia and Gordon were adopted by the elder McKennas, and a state law decrees that adoptees are not considered blood relatives when they themselves wish to adopt a family member. Keefer becomes a pawn in legal maneuvering as the ability to nurture is weighed against genetic connection. A weeper that tackles provocative issues, this novel pushes all the right buttons. Agent, Jane Gelfman. 10-city author tour; simultaneous audio and large print editions; rights sold in France, Italy and the U.K. (July) Forecast: After the disappointment of her second novel, The Most Wanted, Mitchard hits her stride again in this bound-to-be bestseller. The circumstances of her own life as a widow with five adopted children, the popularity of her syndicated newspaper column, and the recent movie version of The Deep End of the Ocean will be factors in a fast take-off. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Most people assume that adopted children have the same rights as biological ones. In this novel, Mitchard details the struggle for custody that ensnares Gordon McKenna when he tries to adopt the orphaned daughter of his sister. Both Gordon and his late sister were adopted, and though they were raised as siblings, they were not blood relatives. This dilemma would have made a compelling short story. Unfortunately, there is not enough substance to keep the listener's interest in this lengthy audiobook read by Juliette Parker. The author sprinkles a little too much "baby-talk" throughout the work, and it does eventually become grating. Although Mitchard's first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was an Oprah book selection, this title just doesn't measure up. Not a necessary purchase. Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of Oprah's first pick (The Deep End of the Ocean, 1996, etc.) returns, this time with a repetitive and tedious examination of a custody battle. The tale begins with tragedy as Georgia and Ray Nye are killed in a car accident. Georgia, suffering from a terminal cancer, was expected to die soon, but the death of Ray raises an unanticipated question: Who will care for their one-year-old daughter, Keefer? Of course Georgia's parents, the McKennas, want beloved Keefer to stay with them in the small Wisconsin town she knows. And of course the Florida-based Nyes want her as well. Soon, though, both sets of grandparents, realizing their age would hamper their custody suits, agree on surrogates: Georgia's brother Gordon and Ray's cousin Delia each petition to adopt Keefer. Gordon loses the first round under a state law granting automatic adoption rights only to blood relatives. Both Gordon and Georgia were adopted as infants, and though the McKenna family bond is tight, it holds no sway with the archaic law. So Delia and her husband Craig, second cousins who barely know Keefer, are granted temporary rights until an appeal. The familiar theme of selfishness in child custody cases gets ample play here. Both parties believe they're the best suited to raise Keefer, who clearly suffers as she is shuttled back and forth for visits between religiously strict Delia and Craig and the arty, relaxed McKennas. Mitchard does well with characters: the charming, slightly irresponsible Gordon, the tightly wound Nyes, even the wild Georgia (in flashbacks) all come to life on the page. Here, however, her story depends too much on the adoption outcome and becomes mired in the sorrow, thickas molasses, that results from the waiting. It takes much too long to get to the admittedly touching surprise end, narrated by nine-year-old Keefer. Mediocre fare, on balance, despite the few tears won at the close. (For another Oprah-anointed author, see Cleage, above.) Author tour; radio satellite tour
People Magazine
"Few are her equal in illuminating the personal stake we all have in the daily business of living."
Us Weekly
“Deft . . . complex . . . a powerful tale of a shattering custody battle.”
"Mitchard . . . brings literary finesse, wisdom, and deep emotion to this believable and remarkably involving tale."
“Few are her equal in illuminating the personal stake we all have in the daily business of living.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061758157
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 267,867
  • File size: 920 KB

Meet the Author

Jacquelyn Mitchard

New York Times bestseller Jacquelyn Mitchard's novels include The Deep End of the Ocean, Twelve Times Blessed, and The Breakdown Lane. She is also the author of The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship, a collection of her newspaper columns. She lives with her husband and six children in Madison, Wisconsin.


"Jacquelyn Mitchard has considered changing her name legally to The Deep End of the Ocean. This is because her own name is much less well-known than the title of her first book," so read the opening lines of Mitchard's biography on her web site. Granted, the writer is best known for the novel that holds the distinct honor of being the very first pick in Oprah Winfrey's book club, but Mitchard is also responsible for a number of other bestsellers, all baring her distinctive ability to tackle emotional subject matter without lapsing into cloying sentimentality.

Mitchard got her start as a newspaper journalist in the ‘70s, but first established herself as a writer to watch in 1985 when she published Mother Less Child, a gut wrenching account of her own miscarriage. Though autobiographical in nature, Mother Less Child introduced the themes of grief and coping that would often resurface in her fiction. These themes were particularly prevalent in the debut novel that would nab Mitchard her greatest notoriety. The Deep End of the Ocean tells of the depression that grips a woman and her son following the disappearance of her younger son. Like Mother Less Child, the novel was also based on a personal tragedy, the death of her husband, and the author's very real grief contributes to the emotional authenticity of the book.

The Deep End of the Ocean became a commercial and critical smash, lauded by every publication from People Magazine to Newsweek. It exemplified Mitchard's unique approach to her subject. In lesser hands, such a story might have sunk into precious self-reflection. However Mitchard approaches her story as equal parts psychological drama and suspenseful thriller. "I like to read stories in which things happen," she told Book Reporter. "I get very impatient with books that are meditations - often beautiful ones - on a single character's thoughts and reactions. I like a story that roller coasters from one event to the next, peaks and valleys."

The Deep End of the Ocean undoubtedly changed Mitchard's life. She was still working part time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison writing speeches when the novel got Oprah's seal of approval and went into production as a major motion picture starring Michelle Pfeiffer. She didn't even consider leaving her job until, as she recounted to Book Slut.com, "my boss finally said to me, ‘You know, kiddo, people whose books have sold this many copies and are being made into movies don't have this part-time job.'" So, she left her job despite misgivings and embarked upon a writing career that would produce such powerful works as The Most Wanted, Twelve Times Blessed, and The Breakdown Lane. She has also written two non-fictional volumes about peace activist Jane Addams.

Mitchard's latest Cage of Stars tells of Veronica Swan, a twelve-year old girl living in a Mormon community whose life is completely upturned when her sisters are murdered. Again, a story of this nature could have easily played out as a banal tear jerker, but Mitchard allows Veronica to take a more active role in the novel, setting out to avenge the death of her sisters. Consequently, Case of Stars is another example of Mitchard's ability to turn the tables on convention and produce a story with both emotional resonance and a page-turning narrative, making for a novel created with the express purpose of pleasing her fans. "Narrative is not in fashion in the novels of our current era; reflection is," she told Book Reporter. "But buying a book and reading it is a substantial investment of time and money. I want to take readers on a journey full circle. They deserve it."

Good To Know

Mitchard is certainly most famous for her sophisticated adult novels, yet she has also written two children's novels, Rosalie and Starring Prima, as well as Baby Bat's Lullaby, a picture book. She currently has three new children's books in development.

Now that Mitchard has officially scored a successful writing career, what could be left for the writer to achieve? Well, according to her web site, her "truest ambition" is to make an appearance on the popular TV show Law and Order.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

They died instantly.

Or close enough.

Gordon, of course, knew that "instantly," in this context, didn't mean what it seemed to suggest: Several minutes would have passed inside the car after the impact, while the final tick and swoosh of Ray's and Georgia's heart-sent blood swept a pointless circuit, while muscles contracted loyally at the behest of a last volley of neurological commands. But there would have been no awareness, or only a few twilight seconds -- and no memory.

Most of the others in Tall Trees, the McKenna family and their friends, didn't know as much about the biology involved or care to. Small town people, they were accustomed to having something to be grateful for, even death no more physically complex than a power failure. It seemed to many a source of comfort. And as the months unfurled, comfort of any sort was in short supply.

Even Gordon had to admit he was relieved. Couldn't it have been worse, much, much worse?

It could have been. This, Gordon decided, in those few breathless, shocky moments as he prepared to leave his school classroom and drive to the scene of the accident at Lost Tribe Creek, would be his mantra. He would not yowl and quake at this abrupt conclusion to the year of living catastrophically. He would not let himself come unglued. Dread tapped at his gut, like an unwelcome salesman tapping insistently at the window -- Your sister is dead; your sister really is dead! But Gordon breathed in and out, spoke to himself of focus.

He would be the one who remained analytical. Lookingat the facts straight on was both his nature and his calling. He could do that best of anyone in his family. It would be the way he would protect himself and his parents.

He was, of course, frightened. All the signs. The trembling legs. The fluttering pulse. It had begun the moment he heard Sheriff Larsen's voice.

"Gordon," said the sheriff, "what are you doing, son?"

What was he doing?

An old friend of his father's calling him in the middle of a weekday, at school, though by rights he should not even have been there, the term having ended for summer break two weeks earlier, asking him what he was doing? Something was up, something bad; he could not imagine what; everything bad had already happened.

Gordon felt a burning the size of a pinprick deep in his abdomen.

"I'm cleaning, um, my classroom," he'd answered finally, uneasily. "Throwing out the moldy agar dishes. Reading all the love letters the kids left in the lab trays. Science teacher fun."

"Good," Sheriff Larsen said. "Good." His voice had always reminded Gordon of Ronald Reagan's. "So...so, you alone there?"

Gordon had been alone and relishing the solitude. The days when Georgia went to the University of Minnesota for her chemotherapy were the only times the McKennas felt they had permission to do ordinary tasks -- get haircuts, return library books -- things that felt shameful and selfish when Georgia was home and miserable. He had almost not answered the phone. For it would surely have been his mother with another bulletin about the afternoon's accomplishments of his year-old niece, Keefer: -- She'd held her own spoon! She'd said "Moo!" Gordon loved Keefer and thought her exceedingly bright, but this was becoming like CNN Headline News.

"What's up?" he'd asked Dale Larsen.

And as the older man spoke -- an accident, a very bad accident, no survivors, should he cruise by there and pick Gordon up -- the level of shock built until Gordon's chest seemed to have room to contain his heart or his lungs, but not both. This was normal, was probably a kind of hypotensive shock. Fear, he reminded himself, was, like anything else, only a thought. Hadn't he mastered that a year ago, when they'd learned that Georgia, Gordon's only sister, just twenty-six years old, a triumphant wife and exultant new mother, had cancer, stage four, Do-Not-Pass-Go cancer? Hadn't he watched her suffer an endless year of days, mourned and mopped and propped and wished for her release and flogged himself for the wishing?

It was over. She had been released.

And Ray, Georgia's husband, Gordon's longtime friend, his sweet-souled frat buddy from Jupiter, Florida , a lumbering athlete with a physicist's brain and the heart of a child.... Ray was dead, too. Gordon had to recalibrate. Ray had told Gordon more than once during the illness, Bo, I can't live without her. Gordon had sensed it had been more than just a manner of speaking. So perhaps Ray had felt gratitude, too, in the last conscious instant of his life. The mind was capable of firing off dozens of impressions in fractions of seconds.

And so it had proved with his own mind. Gordon decided he would not call his mother. He would give her these few last moments of innocent play with Keefer. Nor would he call his Aunt Nora. She was as brave as a bear, but for all her homespun daffiness Gordon could never quite believe that the same twentieth century that had produced his own parents had also produced Aunt Nora. Nora had told Gordon not long ago she didn't need to know all the whys and wherefores, that she would ask Georgia about it someday, in heaven.

But heaven, Gordon thought, as he carefully parked his car a prudent distance up on the dry shoulder of the road, had been only a concept when Nora made that statement. Now, that kingdom had come. Nora would be shattered.

It would be he, he realized, at twenty-four the youngest but one of his cousins, who would have to provide the strong shoulder, the steadying hand.

But everything he saw looked odd, looked unsettling.

For everything looked like any other day...

A Theory of Relativity. Copyright © by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

Few writers have captured contemporary relationships as succinctly and honestly as Jacquelyn Mitchard. Over and over again she shows us that the experience of love is messy, trying, complicated, heartbreaking, terrifying -- and utterly worth it. At the heart of this story is the love between Georgia and Ray, two characters whom we never meet, but who provide the impetus for the novel's chain of events. Their death brings together two vastly different families, each battling overwhelming grief; each fiercely determined to shape the destiny of the couple's child. Mitchard deftly brings a variety of family issues into play here: adoption and single parenting, marriage and divorce, physical and emotional maturation. With a sharp eye for detail, Mitchard points out the challenges of daily life with children -- the endless unmatched socks and baby spoons, the tantrums and stranger anxiety, the colds and sleepless nights -- while also showing us the unmitigated joy of being part of a child's world. And, as we experience along with the McKenna and Nye families the wrenching twists and turns of a convoluted legal system, she shows us how loss, anger, fear, and mistrust pull us apart -- and how courage, love, and honesty bring us together. The term "relativity" has many meanings, all of which come into play in this novel. But whether one refers to Einstein's theory concerning nature's most fundamental laws, or the seemingly arbitrary rules that bind one family to another, Mitchard's most powerful message is revealed in the person of Keefer Kathryn Nye McKenna: in her intelligence and honesty, in her humor and optimism. "Related" to her parents or not, sheis happy, and she is loved. That's not relative, that's real. Discussion Questions
  • In whose home do you think Keefer would be happiest -- Gordon's or the Nye's? On what would you base your decision? What makes a good parent? What makes a happy home?
  • Do you think Mitchard's portrayal of Diane as a mother and as a born-again Christian is a balanced one? How does she make Diane a sympathetic character?
  • There are many kinds of single parents in the novel: Gordon, Delia, Craig (after Delia's death), the birth mothers of both Gordon and Georgia. How would you use this book to argue for or against single parenting?
  • Gordon is first introduced as a highly analytic person, one who thinks that "life could be lived like an experiment conducted in keeping with scientific method, that a certain set of results could be obtained and, once obtained, repeated." Eventually he comes to realize "the pressure of the human hand behind the instruments." (p. 11) How do Gordon's relationships with Keefer, Lindsay, his Aunt Nora, and his mother bring about his own emotional development?
  • Discuss Gordon's decision to drop his petition to adopt Keefer. Was it the right one, given the circumstances? How much of it was based on his relationship with Georgia? How much do you think was based on the difficulties he would encounter as a single father?
  • Discuss how the phrase, "a theory of relativity" touches on the novel's themes: family, heredity, adoption, and parental love, to name a few. Can you think of any other issues this title suggests?
  • Do you agree with Judge Sayward's decision to deny Gordon's petition for adoption based on his own status as an adopted child? As a judge was she compelled to give a literal interpretation of the law, or do you think she should have assumed that Gordon's status was the same as any other blood relative of Georgia's?
  • Discuss the possibility that Ray and Georgia's accident was a suicide. How does it make you feel about Ray?
  • Where do you stand on the nature versus nurture debate? Do you think your personality has been determined genetically or by the situation in which you grew up? How do the characters of Georgia, Gordon, Alex, and Keefer support or contradict your beliefs?
  • In the last chapter, Mitchard offers us a glimpse of Keefer as a ten-year-old. Did she "turn out" the way you expected? How do you think Keefer would have been different if Delia had lived and become her mother?
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 9, 2011

    another liberal with an ax to grind

    while it was a good story, I fail to see why current fiction writers can not tell their story without political bashing, hate and name calling. Another writer's name is marked off my list.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 21, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    This book studies the relationships of a family structure that is repeated millions of times across America, and yet, twists of fate leave the reader unsettled because it could happen easily, to those they know. I read this book a couple of years ago, and have recommended it again and again. It is compelling, and leaves one thinking of the characters and their plight long after the book is finished.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2007

    This is one of my favorite books...

    I thought this was an absolutely enthralling book. Maybe I have more of an interest in it because I am adopted by my father and we had such a close relationship that we are more like blood than any other family member. I think it's wonderfully written and very very interesting. It's thought-provocing and it tuggs at your heart. I couldn't put it down, then gave it to my friend yesterday and she's half way through it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2004


    There's always something very special about hearing an author read his or her own work. Perhaps it's that the author brings a depth of understanding to the words that a voice performer no matter how gifted cannot. Whatever the case, Jacquelyn Mitchard offers listeners a memorable experience as she reads her story of family love. This is a topic with which the author is quite familiar, as was evidenced in her immensely popular 'The Deep End of the Ocean.' This time out a child is once again the focus. We begin with a tragedy - an auto accident in which Georgia and her husband are killed. Twenty-four year old Gordon McKenna, Georgia's brother, and his parents immediately take care of Georgia's baby daughter, Keefer. They plan to raise the child. However, there's another family that also loves and wants Keefer - the parents of Georgia's husband. Thus begins a tug of war for custody. As it happens, both Georgia and Gordon were adopted as babies. Hence, Keefer's guardianship becomes a legal issue - who is really family? Listen and shed a tear or two. - Gail Cooke

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2003

    Puckered brows leading to a huh?

    I personally felt that the story had instances which were superfluous. Mitchared probably thinks she was being cute and sharp when she gives extraneous phrases as to what and what, but she just turned out cocky to me! It looked like the author enjoyed rambling rather than sticking to the essence of the plot. Iam sure that the book will appeal to a few but when i passed this book on to a friend and she asked me how it was, all i could do was give a lopsided grimace ( well i was suffering from a wisdom tooth surgery) and saý 'hmmmmmm...'''. The next time i spoke to her, she did not rave about it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2001

    Wow! Mitchard Shines!!

    That was great read. I have to admit the ending was a bit of a stretch, but all things are possible. I found the premise of the book heartwrenching. It was so interesting that the Nye family was using the fact that Georgia and Gordon were adopted as a reason why Keefer should be adopted by the Nye's! Such twisted people! They truly believed that what they were doing was the best for Keefer. Parts of the book have stayed with me. For example, when Gordon said 'They said I'm not your son.' and Gordon saying to Delia. 'Keefer, her name is Keefer' Also, when Gordon said to the lawyer,'Don't tell my Mom and Dad!' refering to the Will just before the services. It was so poingnant of Mitchard to show how the adopted children felt so left out when they heard how so and so looked just like so and so. I'd never thought of that before. And the point made in the story of how everyone really needs a sibling. I appreciated both of my siblings, Blood related or not, more after I closed the back cover. Bravo to Mitchard! Another wonderful work.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2001


    Jacquelyn Mitchard, the Oprah anointed author of 'The Deep End Of The Ocean,' opens her third novel with a sure grabber: 'They died instantly.' Once again using family tragedy as a springboard Ms. Mitchard has created an emotionally charged work filled with very real characters who are compelled to reassess their long held beliefs in love and forgiveness. Gordon McKenna, a handsome 24-year-old bon vivant, has cared for his niece, one-year-old Keefer, as his sister, Georgia, battles breast cancer. The unthinkable occurs when Georgia and her husband , Ray Nye, are killed in an auto accident. Gordon and his parents quite naturally assume that they will be Keefer's guardians. However, Ray's parents believe otherwise. There is little time for each family to mourn their losses before an ugly and protracted custody battle ensues. The suit is muddied by the fact that Georgia and Gordon were both adopted, thus, by state law are not blood relatives. Ms. Mitchard who has adopted five children and was once involved in a custody battle draws on personal experience to craft this heart wrenching tale. It's a two hanky read, and undoubtedly another bestseller for this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2001

    Enjoyable read

    This book kept my interest with it's fast paced legal and emotional action. As interesting as Deep End of the Ocean with the same level of emotional involvement. The ending got a bit short-changed, but it was an interesting twist.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 11 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)