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The Laws of Gravity [Kindle Edition]

Liz Rosenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An exquisite tour de force, The Laws of Gravity is a testament to what it means to be a family, what it takes to save a life, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

Two families, bound by blood. One decision holds the key to survival.

Nicole, red-haired and beautiful, discovers that her life is in danger. She turns to her cousin and childhood best friend Ari for the cord blood he's been banking for his own children. His decision brings them before the scales of justice. Solomon Richter, a state Supreme Court judge on the brink of mandatory retirement, finds himself embroiled in a legal battle unlike any other. A case that calls into question the very things we live for: family, loyalty, friendship and love.

It's Nicole's last chance, Ari's last stand, and the judge's last case.

A novel of heartbreaking honesty, humor and depth; an unforgettable story of justice and love: The Laws of Gravity heralds award-winning Liz Rosenberg as a new storytelling sensation.

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Editorial Reviews


"Rosenberg has written a thoughtful story about morality, personal responsibility, the law and, above all, the complicated, sometimes incomprehensible, ties of family. This emotionally compelling novel...has 'book group' stamped all over it." —The Boston Globe

"Drop whatever book you're reading and pick up a copy of Liz Rosenberg's stunning look at three Long Island families … Rosenberg is a marvelous storyteller, with deep understanding of families honed by her many books." —The Huntington News

"The Laws of Gravity is a heart wrenching and honest exploration of family love and betrayal. A real page turner right up to its beautiful last page." —Ann Hood, author of The Red Thread and The Knitting Club

The Laws of Gravity is an unflinching portrayal of that place where fear and family collide. Part medical drama and part family saga, it reminds a reader of how easily the ties that bind can fray. Heartbreaking." —Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls

"Clear-eyed and compassionate, The Laws of Gravity wrangles with the complexity of choice…What do we owe one another? How can we forgive? How do we live with ourselves? Liz Rosenberg's details are riveting; they pierce. Her ideas about friendship triumph." —National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart, author of Small Damages and Handling the Truth

"A natural source for reflections ... I predict this thoughtful and intriguing novel will qualify as a topic for discussion among book groups." —San Diego Jewish Book World,

"[R]ealistic in its human detail, in the contrasting roles of women and men, the lives of children, the play of religion and spirituality." —

"Reading Liz Rosenberg's fine new adult novel is like digging for hidden treasure—and finding it!" —Alan Cheuse, NPR commentator, editor and author of To Catch the Lightning

"The gravitational forces in this simple but subtle story lift on waves of buoyant laughter, sink in troughs of despair, and ascend as if weightless into sublime wisdom." —Provincetown Arts Magazine

About the Author

Liz Rosenberg was born in Glen Cove, New York. She has written more than thirty books for adults and young readers, including novels, poetry, and nonfiction. For the past fifteen years she has been a book review columnist at The Boston Globe. Liz teaches at the State University of New York at Binghamton where she won the Chancellor’s Award for excellence in teaching. Her first husband was the late novelist John Gardner, author of Grendel. She lives in Binghamton, N.Y., with her husband, David, her daughter, Lily, and two shih tzus. Her son, Eli, lives in New York City as an actor and magician.

Product Details

  • File Size: 866 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (May 7, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A7GK4TE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,328 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The law cannot compel altruism. May 1, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This novel centers on a legal question: can someone be forced to give cord blood (or other body parts) to a relative? And the moral dilemma: how could they refuse to help a family member in desperate need? Nicole and Ari are cousins and have been close throughout their lives. Now Nicole is sick and needs the last chance of cure that may be found in Ari's son Julian's cord blood. At first he agrees to let her use the banked blood, but then Julian has a health scare that makes Ari retract his promise. Does Nicole have the RIGHT to that blood? How can Ari withhold it from her when it holds the possibility of her health and life vs pain and death. He stands alone against a legal team and the state Supreme Court judge who is hearing his last case before retirement.

Halfway through the book I was getting so irritated by the characters, especially Nicole, that I almost stopped reading it. Melodramatic and manipulative, the author tries to get the reader to a high moral ground and to root for Nicole's case against her cousin. I really did not care for ANY of the stereotypical characters in the novel, nor was their portrayal believable. Too much angsting. Aside from the annoying reminder of how beautiful and good Nicole was (as opposed to her mean, hulking, selfish cousin), I really didn't ever become fully engaged with the drama playing out. The book became more of a morality lecture with religious sermons about conscience, purpose, duty, and being a "brother's keeper" from the Jewish point of view.

If you like Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, and some of the other female authors who write about family drama, then you would enjoy this novel.

PS - I chose this book because I am currently having a bone marrow drive at the school where I work.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Liz Rosenberg was a professor of mine when I attended Binghamton University in the 80's and I loved her classes. As my children grew up I read them all of her children's books while fondly remembering her "Writing for Children" creative writing class. I read about the publication of this novel in an alumni magazine and pre-ordered it right away. Once again my former professor amazed me. I became so engrossed in this novel that I found myself sneaking chapters through out the day like a thief! The story was so unique and contemporary, a family arguing in court over 'cord-blood' that could possibly save a members life. A heartbreaking novel that really made me want to do some legal research of my own just to follow up on the possibilities. This would make an excellent book for a book club. It is full of debatable plot points, religious viewpoints, life lessons, love lessons, foreshadowing and literary techniques galore. It is so rich and beautiful that I think I will have to read it again right away just to make sure I didn't miss anything! My kindle is highlighted and annotated but there is always more beauty to find in a novel that is this gorgeously written. Wow-this story and these characters will stay in my mind for a long time, and they are welcome to linger.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read if you are a lawyer June 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Did she not have an editor to review the legal details? Just about everything is wrong in the way she describes how a case is handled in NY State courts. The judge's opinion is practically unreadable if you've ever studied real judges' opinions. She proves the old adage, "write about things you know" -- and if you stray from that, find a really good editor who knows what you don't know. Everything that had to do with the court case (which was pretty central to the book) was pure frustration to read.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! May 24, 2013
The Laws of Gravity is an utterly engrossing read. Its exploration of the fragile nature of family loyalty and its significance in our lives is a subject that touches us all. The story centers around Nicole and her extended family, and that is riveting enough. But by introducing the judge as a central character, Rosenberg has added unexpected richness to the narrative. I enjoyed the window into Nicole's Long Island Jewish family--the aunt with so many Christmas decorations in her living room that her guests thought they had come to the wrong house. I read the last few pages of The Laws of Gravity in bed on Mother's Day morning. Only later did I realize how appropriate that was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Laws of Gravity June 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really liked this book by the end. It was a little slow getting started and for a while, I thought I might not finish but once the story picked up and other characters were introduced I could not put it down. I found the story poignant and touching. It really examined the reasons why people do things and sometimes those reasons drive the way people act. It also shows what those emotions can do to people in the long run. The premise is interesting and the story is emotional, not for those too close to terminal illness, themselves. I recommend it highly for a thoughtful and touching story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and heartbreaking story. June 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story of love and jealousy, family and friends touched me more than I thought it could. A close loving family ripped apart by fear and selfishness could happen to anyone. The characters were so well drawn I felt I knew them. I couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good summer read June 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i found this to be an interesting and easy read on my kindle. not sure i would buy it as a hardcover book. author deals well with a difficult subject - i was not expecting the ending
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Needed Kleenex
Well written. You could feel for the characters, but it did not have typical family dynamics.
Published 6 hours ago by Andrea Carrino
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
Very well written. I found it hard to put down after the first few chapters. I did have a hard time getting past the first few chapters because it started out so sad. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Celeste Freeman
4.0 out of 5 stars Fear vs compassion
I like this book. I like the characters and the way they are developed. This story looks at fear and how fear can overcome compassion and common sense. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Rhonda
4.0 out of 5 stars The Laws Of Gravity
This is a book that will touch your heart in many ways. You can find a time in your own live to relate to it. Family have there ups and down and hard decisions are made. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Barbara Hobson
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read that grabs your attention and makes you question ...
Interesting read that grabs your attention and makes you question what you value and who do you answer to. Worthy book for any book club.
Published 16 days ago by Elaine b gutenstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Liz Rosenberg' s ability to create these characters is incredible. From the first page, I connected with them. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Vicki
5.0 out of 5 stars A circle of emotion
Without going into detail of the story line be prepared to have an emotion upheaval. I questioned and pondered quite a few aspects of my own life while reading this novel. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Liz Moore
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the double entendre in the title!
This book is very thoughtfully done and very thought provoking. The characters are real. My heart breaks for all of them. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dee Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
Another fine work by an exceptional author, Liz Rosenberg gives the reader something to really think about. She's a great author !
Published 2 months ago by Nancy
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
This book touched on several interesting themes. The ties between families. It explored relationships in a realistic way and it touched on the importance of keeping oneself... Read more
Published 2 months ago by G Carson
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More About the Author

Liz Rosenberg is the author of 4 novels, 5 books of poems and more than 20 award winning books for children. She has edited five prize winning poetry anthologies (including THE INVISIBLE LADDER and LIGHT GATHERING POEMS) and her picture book, THE CAROUSEL was featured on PBS' Reading Rainbow. Her newest picture book, TYRANNOSAURUS DAD (illustrated by brilliant newcomer Matthew Myers) is a Children's Book of the Month Club bestseller and has garnered praise from Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal and elsewhere, and was an Amazon top 10 children's book.

Her first novel for adults, HOME REPAIR was a Target Breakout book, a BookBub pick, and voted top ten for Book Clubs and Most Likely to be Next Oprah Pick on Goodreads. Her second, THE LAWS OF GRAVITY, was published by Amazon Publishing in spring of 2013 as part of a two-book deal. It has been a top ten best-seller in the United States, Canada and the UK. Featured on Booktalk, NPR and BlogTalk Radio, it is also a Jewish Book Network selection for 2013, and was named a Reader's Choice and Editor's Choice on Bookbrowse. Woman's World called it "perfect for book clubs," and The Boston Globe hailed it as "a thoughtful story about morality, personal responsibility, the law, and above all, the complicated, sometimes incomprehensible ties of family."

Liz Rosenberg was born and raised on Long Island. She met her husband, David, when they were 7 and 8 years old respectively, at summer camp. They became friends in high school, each married other people, and ten years after they had reconnected in high school, finally got married. They have been married 3 times to each other because they are both terrible at keeping track of paperwork. They have an actor & magician son, Eli, and a 10 year old daughter, Lily.

Liz Rosenberg's first husband was the late great American novelist John Gardner, author of Grendel, Nickel Mountain, How to Become a Novelist and more than 25 other works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and scholarship. Together they taught at the State University of Binghamton until his untimely death in l982 in a motorcycle accident. She continues as a full professor at Binghamton University's English Department and has guest taught all over the world, from Russia to Austria to Singapore, and throughout the United States. Ms. Rosenberg spends her time reading and writing. Her hobbies are reading and writing and her passions are-- right, reading and writing.

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