The compelling and heartrending new novel from the author of the million-selling 'The Deep End of the Ocean'. In her third novel, Mitchard perceptively portrays the tenuous threads that connect modern families through the story of a young man, Gordon McKenna, whose beloved sister and her husband are tragically killed in a car accident, leaving ...
The compelling and heartrending new novel from the author of the million-selling 'The Deep End of the Ocean'. In her third novel, Mitchard perceptively portrays the tenuous threads that connect modern families through the story of a young man, Gordon McKenna, whose beloved sister and her husband are tragically killed in a car accident, leaving behind their one-year-old child Keefer. Although Gordon and his parents want to adopt her, the paternal grandparents launch an aggressive campaign to gain custody, setting in motion a horrific legal struggle in which the capacity and limitations of family love are severely tested. 'A Theory of Relativity' will draw readers inexorably from start to finish as Keefer's fate is played out, and Mitchard's wrenching prose provokes us to reflect anew on the often intangible bonds of family.
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-04-23 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. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2001-10-01 Gordon McKenna is a handsome 24-year-old science teacher who thought life was as tough as it could get when his only sister, Georgia, was diagnosed with cancer. Then she and her husband die in a car crash, leaving behind their one-year-old daughter, Keefer. Gordon willingly gives up his self-involved bachelor life and adopts his beloved niece. Georgia's in-laws, however, have different wishes for their granddaughter. Well heeled, conservative and wealthy, they believe their born-again Christian niece and her husband should get custody of the child. Their challenge to Gordon's custody lies in the fact that both he and Georgia were adopted children, with "only" love, not blood, connecting Gordon and Keefer. Thus begins the custody battle which makes up the bulk of this book. Mitchard is known for her bestseller, The Deep End of the Ocean (Oprah's very first book pick, back in Sept. '96), as well as for her nationally syndicated newspaper column about family life. As a widowed mother of five adopted children who was once part of a custody suit, Mitchard is an expert on how even the most loving and functional households can be thrown into turmoil and chaos without warning. She writes with grace and authority, and Juliette Parker's gentle and even reading of the text gives a slightly upbeat feel to this suspenseful and emotional tale that challenges the legal definition of "family." Simultaneous release with HarperCollins hardcover (Forecasts, Apr. 23). (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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