Relativity by Antonia Hayes—family relations and a boy savant

Relativity by Antonia Hayes is a novel for people who enjoy stories about family relationships such as those by Jodi Picoult. It is also a good book for anyone interested in the subject of savants. Twelve-year-old Ethan lives in Sydney, Australia with his mother Claire and is brilliant in physics and astronomy. Claire has not told Ethan anything about his father Mark until Ethan has a seizure which sends him to the hospital. Then the story comes out that Mark was convicted of shaking Ethan and causing brain damage when Ethan was 4 months old. The brain damage caused Ethan to be a savant but now is also causing seizures. Mark served his time in prison and lives on the other side of Australia. Mark’s father is dying, and Mark comes back to Sydney. He makes contact with Claire. Claire loved Mark, but she does not want him to see Ethan. Claire was not around when the incident happened and feels guilty about that. Ethan finds out about Mark and meets him anyway. Mark had studied physics so the two share that interest. Then Ethan gets hurt attempting to build a time machine, and Claire and Mark must come to terms with the past and Ethan’s future. If you are interested in savants, you may also want to read the upcoming Fond du Lac Reads selection Struck by Genius by Jason Padgett—a true story of a man sustaining a brain injury which made him a mathematical savant.

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