With a debut that is at once hilarious and moving, Caitlin Hicks takes readers inside the malleable mind of a quirky adolescent in 1963 as Annie Shea tests her family’s strict boundaries and her own Theory of Expanded Love.
Trapped in her enormous, devout Catholic family in 1963, Annie creates a hilarious campaign of lies when the pope dies and their family friend, Cardinal Stefanucci, is unexpectedly on the short list to be elected the first American pope.
Driven to elevate her family to the holiest of holy rollers in the parish, Annie is tortured by her own dishonesty. But when “The Hands” visit her in her bed and when her sister becomes pregnant “out of wedlock,” Annie discovers her parents will do almost anything to uphold their reputation.
Questioning all she has believed and torn between her own gut instinct and years of Catholic guilt, Annie takes courageous risks to wrest salvation from the tragic sequence of events set in motion by her parents’ betrayal.
Praise for A Theory of Expanded Love
"Annie's disarming voice evokes nostalgia for a bygone era and hope for humanity in a weary, modern world."
"This worthy debut has a disarming humor."
"Hicks adopts Annie’s precocious voice skillfully and draws from it self-effacing humor, spiritual bargaining, and enough charm to fill the corridors of Vatican City twice over. This is an involving tale of religious evolution that reminds us that good faith is what sometimes grows out of defying convention and braving the unknown. "
“In a nutshell: I love the story. The voice is fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this and had a lot of fun reading it over, three times! As a Catholic who grew up in the 60′s and 70′s this spoke to me on many levels and I laughed right out loud on more than one occasion. It was a joy."
–Erin Niumata, VP Folio Lit
“Excellent, a huge fall from grace. A lovely glimpse of childhood faith & the big questions about God. . . bravely truthful.”
–Rosa Reid, Writer and Editor
“Annie is the most beguiling character I’ve met in a long time.”
–George Payerle, Editor
“In the end, it is not Annie’s eyes, or brain or mouth that brings her story over the finish line with grace and power and love... it is her heart. Hicks bares Annie’s heart again and again and again and in doing so, the reader’s as well. It’s BRILLIANT!”
–Lance Mason, Author, Santa Barbara
Accolades for A Theory of Expanded Love
iBooks "Best New Fiction" Pick
Judith D. Collins' "Top 50 Must Read Books of 2015" Pick
2015 Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Finalist (Literary Fiction and Religious Fiction Categories)
2015 Chanticleer Somerset Winner (Literary Fiction)
2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Winner (Inspirational Fiction) and Finalist (Religious Fiction)