When his sister dies in a car accident with her husband, leaving behind a baby daughter, Gordon McKenna naturally assumes he will adopt the baby girl, whom he helped raise. His hopes are dashed in an eight-minute hearing when a judge rules that since Gordon (himself adopted as a newborn) is not a blood relative of Keefer's, custody should be granted to a second cousin of the baby's father. As Gordon fights a losing battle to adopt Keefer, he realises that he is not yet ready to become a father and, after two years of legal wrangling, he decides to give Keefer up, rather than uproot her from the only home she has known. Fate, however, has other ideas. A Theory of Relativity traces the struggles of one family, and examines the meaning of connection among members of all families.
Jacquelyn Mitchard is a former newspaper columnist and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and seven children. She has written seven novels, many of them bestsellers in the US, Australia and New Zealand.