Title: The Other Einstein
Author: Marie Benedict
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: So many cities! This novel took place across Europe, Germany, Switzerland, and Serbia to name a few countries.
Release Date: Oct 18, 2016
In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow. This is the story of Einstein’s wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.
Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.
The blurb for this book had me and I knew that I needed to request it from Net Galley. I’ve read all the “wife” books listed and I’ve also read Z, all of which I enjoyed and learned so much.
Benedict drew from resources such as letters written from the Einsteins to each other, as well as other papers, documents, and books written about the Einsteins. She brilliantly takes this research and weaves a novel of excitement, joy, heartbreak, and science. You get to know this much lesser known Einstein and you learn to love her, sympathize with her, and root for her in the end.
Mitza comes from an Eastern European upbringing in a time when most Europeans were unaccepting of these peoples and furthermore, women were homemakers and nothing else. With the nontraditional encouragement of her father, Mitza studies physics in an environment filled of men and in classrooms where she constantly has to prove herself and her intellect.
She meets Albert in class and a romance ensues. Does she give up her dreams of becoming a scientist to marry Albert or is it possible to find a balance and a place in his scientific world?
I very thoroughly enjoyed this novel and getting to know Mitza. I accept the liberties that Benedict took and the suppositions that she made because this is, after all, a fiction novel. In the end, it only made me wish that more documents, letters, etc., are in existence so that I could do some further research myself and find definitive answers. Benedict’s writing does this for the reader; it makes you want to know more.