Review: ‘The Other Einstein’ by Maria Benedict

Publication date: 18th October 2016

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmarks

BLURB

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. PoeThe Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.


My review

This was a really good novel, told in first person past tense, and narrated by Mileva Maric as she goes from an incredibly intelligent and optimistic student to a tired housewife with two young children and an absent husband. Obviously it is fiction but the book is well researched and delves in to the private lives of the Einsteins. Mileva Maric was an amazingly talented physicist and mathematician who was forced to give up all her work for her marriage and was probably instrumental in the four 1905 papers that made Albert Einstein’s name.

The writing was really fluid and easy to read. The only problem I had was with the occasional information dumps that didn’t quite fit into the plot.

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