By Marie Benedict
Mileva Marić was determined to master both physics and mathematics. In 1896 the Swiss Federal Polytechnic university in Zürich, Switzerland was one of the few places that allowed women to enter its doors of higher education and earn a degree. In a world that frowned upon women pursuing education Mileva had another strike against her - her Serbian heritage.
She was resigned to the life of an academic but then she met Albert Einstein and her life and history were forever altered. As a fellow student at Polytechnic Albert Einstein forced, through persistence, his way into Mileva's life. But academia and romance were not an option for a woman intent on pursuing the higher sciences and science was the passion that Mileva's heart desired.
But when Albert pulled her into the world of intellectual discussion with her fellow students a new world of thought and collaboration opened before her. And for the first time in her life Mileva considered the possibility of a life that held the promise of both science and marriage.
When Albert promises her a life as his equal Mileva allows herself to be swayed be his unique and disheveled charms. But loving a genius is no easy task as Mileva soon discovers. And the sacrifices she makes for her role in the collaboration of Ein Stein as her husband references them will have a marked effect on her life.
The Other Einstein is a look at a marriage that is at times beautiful and at other times troubling. It would be interesting to see how different Mileva's life would have been had she been born in a different time or if she had crossed paths with Albert Einstein only as a fellow student. His was an overpowering and oppressive personality that Mileva too late recognized. He was too busy blaming others for his problems when it likely could be laid at his own lack of personal drive and ego.
The Other Einstein focuses on Mileva and her thoughts and feelings but it is obvious that the man who promised to treat her as an equal resented her role in his success and was determined to keep her and contributions hidden away in the shadows. But Mileva was a woman who overcame obstacles throughout her life and Albert's unexpected change was the latest to overcome.
This is a book that adds a hidden facet to the life of Albert Einstein and world that he called his own. Historical fiction can be a tricky subject to tackle and Marie Benedict manages to not only conquer it but make it fascinating as one leaves one century behind for another.
I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review and opinions.
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 and for
Fortune 500 companies. 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.