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A Theory of Relativity.

MITCHARD, Jacquelyn.

3,656 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0066210232 / ISBN 13: 9780066210230
Published by HarperCollins [2001], [New York], 2001
Hardcover
From Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA (Galena, IL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Small 4to. Brown cloth spine and tan paper over boards, pictorial dust jacket. 351pp. Fine/near fine. A tight and pristine first edition. Signed large and bold by Mitchard in blue ballpoint on the title page. Bookseller Inventory # 35481

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Theory of Relativity.

Publisher: HarperCollins [2001], [New York]

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

“[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 emotional dynamics and dramas of two families fighting for custody of a young child. The very first author selected by the Oprah Book Club, Mitchard is a matchless, wise, and warm chronicler of families and their human foibles—and A Theory of Relativity is contemporary women’s fiction at its best, a must-read for fans of Sue Miller, Jane Hamilton, and Elizabeth Berg.

Review:

"They died instantly." When it comes to first sentences, it's hard to beat the car-crash immediacy of A Theory of Relativity. What follows, alas, is even more wrenching, if not nearly as black and white. Having perished in the wreck, Georgia and Ray McKenna leave behind an orphaned 1-year-old girl named Keefer--and handsome, self-involved Gordon McKenna decides to adopt his adored sister's child. Unfortunately, that's not what his affluent in-laws have in mind. The ensuing custody battle turns into a protracted legalistic horror show: a kind of Bleak House for the Oprah age, complete with appeals, retrials, PR campaigns, and even last-minute legislation.

The case is all about what's best for Keefer--right? Actually, it's also about what constitutes a family, how much genes determine our fate, and the precise meaning of blood relative. Author of the gripping family dramas The Deep End of the Ocean and The Most Wanted, Jacquelyn Mitchard is no stranger to this fictional territory. To her credit, she has created a story without heroes or villains--but also one that could have used a little more editorial nip-and-tuck. The narrative is strongly weighted toward monologue and exposition, and as a result, a compelling story ends up hampered by an awareness of its own consequence. (There's also an abundance of dialogue like "no wettie!" and "uckie," which reminds us that fiction is one place where toddlers should be seen and not heard.) Still, Mitchard is a canny student of the human heart, and in the age of cloning, in vitro fertilization, and alternative families, the nature versus nurture debate seems more relevant than ever. The author may be no Dickens, but you could call her sentimental in the same way: unafraid, that is, to appeal to her readers' strongest emotions. --Chloe Byrne

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Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts has been buying and selling quality books, autographs and ephemera since 1991. We specialize in general antiquarian, first editions, signed books and autographs and documents. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association (MWABA), Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC) and The Manuscript Society.

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