A follow-up to her successful debut Charleston and set in the world’s most glamorous landscapes, this moving new love story from Margaret Bradham Thornton draws on a metaphor of entanglement theory to ask: when two people collide, are they forever attached no matter where they are?
Helen Gibbs, a British journalist on assignment on the west coast of Mexico, meets Christopher Delavaux, an intriguing half-French, half-American lawyer-turned-financier who has come alone to surf. Living lives that never stop moving, from their first encounter in Bermeja to marriage in London and travels to such places as Saint-Tropez, Tangier, and Santa Clara, Helen and Christopher must decide how much they exist for themselves and how much they exist for each other.
In an effort to build his firm, Christopher leads a life full of speed and ambition with little time for Helen and even less when he suspects his business partner of illegal activity. Helen, a reluctant voyeur to Christopher’s world of power and position, searches far and wide for reporting work that will “take a bite out of her soul”—refugees in Calais, a mountain climber in Chamonix, an orphaned circus performer in Cuba. A Theory of Love captures the ambivalence at the center of human experience: does one reside in the familiar comforts of solitude or dare to open one’s heart and risk having it broken? Set in some of the most picturesque places in the world, this novel questions what it means to love someone and leaves us wondering—can nothing save us but a fall?
Margaret Bradham Thornton is the author of Charleston and the editor of Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, for which she received the Bronze ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in autobiography/memoir and the C. Hugh Holman Prize for the best volume of southern literary scholarship published in 2006, given by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. She is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Florida.
“Richly evoked… with a scope and nuanced intelligence that evokes a contemporary version of the world of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.” — The National Book Review
“Exotic locations may add intrigue and a sense of adventure to a novel, but rarely do they also affect the character relationships so fundamentally as in A Theory of Love... What is most beautiful about is Thornton’s ability to make us feel deeply through setting.” — Ploughshares
“ A Theory of Love sweeps readers off to some of the most beautiful cities in the world—and deep into the complicated romance between a privileged lawyer and a conscientious journalist. One of the best books of the summer.” — Coastal Living
“An introspective and beautiful novel.” — booktrib
“Must read.” — New York Post
“In a modern love story, a spirited British journalist finds both romance and disappointment in her search for happiness amid the whirl and glitz of the global elite.” — Shelf Awareness
“Readers will be…contemplating how the parallel or converging lines of their lives affect their relationships.” — BookPage
“Thornton has created an immersive world; the prose has a subtle intensity… A contemplative and absorbing novel with hidden depth.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Thornton writes compellingly of love, self-discovery, and what truly makes a marriage. This introspective read is character driven, with a strong sense of place in Helen and Christopher’s varied travels throughout.” — Booklist
“Award-winning author Thornton, who edited Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, delivers a gorgeously choreographed love story of thoughtful people whose commitment to each other is endangered by a mix of protective need-to-know sharing and a determination to soldier on through the loneliness of long separations.” — Library Journal
“A Theory of Love is a rare find—a tempestuous modern love story with a deeply soulful heart. Lush, evocative and romantic, this story captivated me until the very last page.” — Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest
“This terrific novel caught me up immediately...then Margaret Thornton takes us deeper, through the layers of a many-faceted relationship of logic and emotion to the elemental struggle these two have with time and the crushing call of the world. This is a rich and moving novel.” — Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine