In 1896, most 20 year old women are married and burdened with children and housekeeping duties, but Mitza is not like other women her age. She is the only woman in the physics class where she meets Einstein. She is there because of her intelligence and her perseverance. The perseverance to change the societal mold that women are only intelligent enough to be wives and mothers. She wants to obliterate the stigma of a modern woman with high intelligence and a career.
She was truly a match for the famous theorist and the author wanted to explore the possibility that she influenced the famous man’s theory of relativity and other theories he put forth. This claim is currently hotly debated in scientific circles. Just how much did she contribute to his early work? Did she light the spark that eventually led to his theories? Did he ride to fame on the back of his first wife?
I was quickly drawn into this story and was drawn to Mileva immediately. A woman living at that time with radical ideas, and a high IQ, that were encouraged and developed by her father. I am no physicist nor a mathematician and frankly have never been particularly interested in these subjects. So, I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging this story was. There are references to math and physics throughout the book, but the author manages to somehow bring forth the passion that Einstein and Mitza had for these subjects, which kept the story from seeming dry or boring.
While this is a fictional story about Albert Einstein’s first wife, Mileva Maric and is focused mainly on her, you still get a glimpse behind the curtain and learn so much about the famous physicist in this way. The book was exhaustively researched by the author and is based loosely on surviving letters between her and Einstein and letters between her and her best friend Helene.
I love to read a story about someone close to an historical figure. I enjoy learning about the famous person from the perspective of a close acquaintance. I learn so much about them this way. So many historical books are edited to make these figures seem almost superhuman. I like to learn about their not-so-nice traits, their habits, the way they present themselves to the outside world, and see what they are like from an outside perspective.
It portrays a side of the noted physicist that’s not always flattering. It tells the untold story of Einsteins first wife and their relationship. It shows their passionate love and the electric sparks that flew when their genius minds met and collaborated together. It’s interesting that there are certain people that make you smarter and better, just because you have some kind of synergy. You can bounce ideas off one another and they make you think deeper than you could ever do alone. This is the type of relationship these two had.
About the Book:
A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history.
What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century.
In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever.
A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.
About the Author:
Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. While practicing as a lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women — and finally found it when she tried her hand at writing. She embarked on a new, narratively connected series of historical novels with THE OTHER EINSTEIN, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein’s first wife, a physicist herself, and the role she might have played in his theories. Writing as Heather Terrell, Marie also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare.
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.