A Theory of Relativity, the most acclaimed of my novels, was inspired by “the blood relative case,” a real custody case that took place in a city near where I live. When his 26-year-old sister (who suffers from cancer) dies in a car accident with her husband, leaving behind a baby daughter, Gordon McKenna naturally believes he will adopt the baby girl, Keefer, whom he has helped raise. His hopes are dashed in an eight-minute hearing when a judge points out that Gordon, adopted as a newborn, is not a blood relative of Keefer’s and gives custody to a second cousin of the baby’s father. As Gordon fights an ultimately losing battle to become a father, he realizes that he has not yet become a man, and it is his growth as a human being that gives him the maturity, after two years of legal wrangling, to give Keefer up, rather than uproot her from the only home she has known. Fate, however, has other ideas. A Theory of Relativity does not only trace the struggles of one family, but asks the meaning of connection among the members of all families.