Jacquelyn Mitchard has made the ties that bind and the agonies that wrench families apart her special bailiwick. A Theory of Relativity, her latest family saga, read in its entirety by Juliette Parker, has all the appeal of a really good soap opera, all the tension of a really good courtroom drama and all the complexities that can exist in the real-life tug-of-war over the custody of a child. The child is Keefer, only a year old when her mother, who has terminal cancer, and her father die in a car accident. The two bereft families, each assuming that they alone are the rightful replacements for Keefer's parents, move from paralyzing grief to respectful struggle to all-out war to win the right to raise Keefer. While weaving this compelling tale, Mitchard makes you think about what family really means and whether blood can ever be a tighter bond than love.

Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.

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