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

A Theory of Expanded Love is a coming-of-age story of tradition and redemption about a feisty adolescent, on the cusp of her teen years in a huge, noisy Catholic family.

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When the Pope dies, and a family friend is short-listed to become the first American pope, Annie creates a hilarious campaign of lies to increase the heavenward status of herself and her family, but soon is haunted by her own dishonesty.

When she discovers a wedding photograph of her mother next to a soldier who is not her father, when ‘The Hands’ visit her at night, as her sister faces a scandal, Annie realizes her parents will do almost anything to maintain their reputation in the parish.

Questioning all she has been taught, and torn between her own gut instinct and years of Catholic guilt, Annie takes courageous risks to wrest salvation from the sequence of events set in motion by her parents’ betrayal

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“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 f@#$% brilliant!”
–Lance Mason, Writer

SOMMERSET AWARDS sticker copy     Caitlin Grant Simmons      Forewords book of the year awards - INDIEFAB Finalist

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 Canadian 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.


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, with dates and locations of author readings. Where possible, the author would be open to an invitation to be a guest at your gathering.

To see full KIRKUS review:


Many more reviews here: https://www.caitlinhicks.com/wordpress/blog/