Title: The Other Einstein
Author: Marie Benedict
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Number of Pages: 304
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.
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I must admit that I’m not really into science, and I know almost nothing of Albert Einstein’s personal life. This book caught my attention for portraying a woman whose voice was silenced, just like many others throughout history. In case you’re interested in reading it, just keep in mind this is a work of fiction. The author did some research, of course, but there isn’t a lot of information available about it, only theories, and so, this story isn’t 100% accurate.
This story focuses mainly on character development, so it’s a great thing that our main character, Mileva, is a very interesting one. Her determination to succeed in a man’s world was very inspiring! It’s no surprise that Albert Einstein became interested in her, and I could completely understand why she was drawn to him as well. But throughout the plot, she made decisions I couldn’t understand at all. She started as a smart student with a goal, and ended up being, like she feared, just one more like the others. Her family changed her perspective, and her decisions were made only with her children in mind, which I can understand, but how could she not have seen the real Albert before they got married?
Is it just me thinking like this? I don’t cherish the idea of a possible future family as much as I cherish a career, so I’m not certain if anyone out there would make the same decisions as Mileva in her position
And while Mileva was painted as a genius, but a victim, Albert became the bad guy. He was portrayed as a complete bastard, and his reactions to everything related to his marriage were childish. I don’t think it was necessary to go that far away, but some actual reasons for his behavior would have been welcomed.
The story also had potential to create a good friendship between the four intelligent ladies living together, all trying to succeed in their studies. However, the jealousy between them disappointed me. Only one of them remained with Mileva until the end, and if it was to be like this from the beginning, the other two shouldn’t have been there at all.
The best part about The Other Einstein was the writing. The author is an excellent storyteller: kept me interested in what would happen, made the story a complete page-turner and played with my emotions. I found the pace a bit boring, however. The first part of Mileva’s life dragged for a lot of chapters, more than half I believe, and it was full of unnecessary scenes. Then, what I really wanted to know (mainly Mileva standing up for herself) was rushed.
You can buy this book through