A Theory of Expanded Love – “Hilarious”, “beguiling”, “bravely truthful”

#2 Cartwheel finalA Theory of Expanded Love is a coming-of-age story featuring a feisty yet gullible adolescent, trapped in her enormous, devout Catholic family in 1963.

Surrounded by twelve brothers and sisters, and desperate for attention, 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 one of her brothers gets left behind at Disneyland and ‘The Hands’ visit her in her bed, when her sister becomes pregnant “out of wedlock,” Annie discovers her parents will do almost anything to uphold their Catholic 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.


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Share what KIRKUS REVIEWS called the ‘disarming voice‘ of Annie Shea with your book club, what early reviewers have called “exquisite, spell-binding, lyrical“, “simultaneously fascinating and heartbreaking”, “a gem of a read”. Enter your email address above for your free subscription to THEORY OF EXPANDED LOVE newsletter — and you could win up to five signed paperback copies of A THEORY OF EXPANDED LOVE for your reading group as well as a weekend for two at Art House in Roberts Creek. The weekend getaway prize is transferable.

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Caitlin Grant Simmons

My life and work have been profoundly affected by the central circumstance of my existence: I was born into a very large military Catholic family in the United States of America. As a child surrounded by many others, I wrote, performed and directed family plays with my numerous brothers and sisters.

Since then, I have become an author and international playwright. Monologues from several of my plays are featured in Smith & Kraus’ series Best Women’s Stage Monologues (New York). I wrote the play, later adapted for the screen, Singing the Bones, which debuted at the Montreal World Film Festival to stellar reviews and has screened around the world.

While A Theory of Expanded Love is my debut novel, I have published several short stories and worked as a writer for CBS and NBC radio, and have performed my fiction and non-fiction for Candian Broadcasting Co national radio. My writing has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Vancouver Sun, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Fiddlehead Magazine, Knight Literary Journal and other publications.

My path as a writer has always been a personal spiritual journey, although my work is not religious. I am drawn towards stories that I don’t hear often in the mainstream culture. I enjoy bringing to life personal, pivotal stories which have the kernel of transformation and which connect us all to each other.


Excellent… A lovely glimpse of childhood faith & the big questions about God… bravely truthful.”                                     –Rosa Reid, Independent Book 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, Writer, Health Professional

Annie is the most beguiling character I’ve met in a long time.”                                                                            –George Payerle, Independent Book Editor

More reviews here: http://www.caitlinhicks.com/wordpress/blog/