The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It 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.
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Could not finish, would not recommend.
The book appears to be an expose of a brilliant woman physicist, the strong woman behind the man, as it were. Mileva Maric collaborated with Albert Einstein and, according to the author subsumed her own intellect and insights to enhance her husband's career. Einstein is portrayed as a arrogant and dismissive. One might expect explanations of their scientific endeavors but their courtship assumed center stage in the book, minimizing Maric's contributions to Einstein's scientific and mathematical theories. Sentence structure is awkward. Historical fiction certainly can take liberties, but it must draw the attention of its readers. I admire the author's desire to bring to light Maric's story, but the book failed to engage me.
I thank Source Publishing and NetGalley for the advance review copy.
I love learning when I read. I guess that is why I find historical fiction so appealing. This is a wonderful book that fits the bill! I never knew Einstein was married to another
The only reason I give this 4 stars is I wanted more! It is a fiction book and I understand that. But, I wanted to feel more attached to Mileva. I wanted more embellishments.
This is still an amazing and intriguing read! It is not to be missed by any historical fiction reader!
I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review
The heart of this novel is this amazing woman who had so much potential yet got lost to history. I feel she's a prime example of how women have gotten lost in the shuffle of possible famous historical figures, smothered in the achievements of the men in their lives. She had so much to give and unfortunately was not given the credit she was due.
Yet part of the problem I feel was her. I don't know if historically her personality had any basis in fact. However as portrayed in this work, I can see why history forgot her. She started out strong, with dreams as large as the world and the guts to pursue those dreams with all of her being. She faced down family condemnation, societal blocks, and physical limitations to pursue a degree and a dream of making a name for herself in the intellectual world.
Once she hooked up with Albert romantically however, it seems like her dreams, personality, and needs became subsumed by his. It didn't happen all at once but gradually. By the time we approached the end of the book, she finally drew the line in the sand and struck out on her own.
However, the journey to that decision was painful. I watched this woman I had grown to admire make herself subservient and a second-class citizen to her own husband. She put his needs above her own so many times that she lost track of what she actually wanted. She put her trust in him again and again, never learning the lesson once he betrayed her over and over. At least by the end, she found her spine and stood up to Albert once his demands reached a certain unbelievable level. By the books send, I admired her again.
Now Albert... that's a figure that's interesting in this book, whether it's in the fashion of an admirable figure in science or a douche bag on the level of Hitler is up to the individual reader. If even a quarter of what he did in this book really happened, I have to question the level of admiration given to him by history.
I do know for a fact that the list presented to Mileva at the end of the book did happen; that alone makes me distain him as a human being. But throughout the entire book he treats Mileva horribly. He steals her ideas, cheats on her, physically and emotionally abuses her, and threaten the lives of her and his children for his ego. At least I can say the author shows her skill at characterization by making such an icon of scientific history so ultimately flawed as a human.
I think that’s what can be taken away from this book and what makes it such a gem. The author’s skill at making her characters so flawed and unlikable yet making us root for them all the same takes serious characterization chops. Even though I hate Albert as a person, his brilliance and charisma still stand out. And Mileva… the crap that woman went through, partly what she allowed herself to go through, shaped her into a person that at the end I could admire and root for. The character journeys portrayed in this book are its heart and soul.
To me, this book was about Mileva as a person and historical figure. I feel the world lost out on a treasure once she hooked up with Mr. Douche-bag. The author takes the reader on emotional character journeys that leave you gasping and heart-wrenched. Whether you grow to love or hate Mileva and Albert, at least through this work, they still touch you in a deeply emotional way, right to your soul. I highly recommend this work to anyone looking for an incredible character journey or who enjoy obscure historical figures.
Also studying at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic was Albert Einstein, and they soon became a couple. They shared a “scientific language” and worked together on scientific theories. But she soon was betrayed by Albert. When she became pregnant prior to their marriage, he did not support her. As her little girl lay dying, Albert resented her time tending to her daughter. Once they were married she discovered that he had other relationships. And probably his worst betrayal was publishing their scientific theories under solely his name, thus denying recognition of her talents.
Once very idealistic, she began to realize that she could not be a mother to their two sons and maintain a professional life. This belief was reinforced by Albert – and society, in general. Fortunately she was able to express her frustration with her close friend Helene. She also met Marie Curie who was very open about how supportive her husband was in her career.
This book definitely changed how I view Albert Einstein, and made me angry. This brilliant woman was unable to fully explore her potential due to the societal mores of the time. Thank you to Marie Benedict for being Mitza’s voice now.
*I received a free copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I had hoped that “The Other Einstein” would be similar (“The Paris Wife” is noted on the back of my copy). That I would learn more about a genius and the personal life behind the well known facts.
What I learned from “The Other Einstein” – about the first wife of Albert Einstein – Mileva Maric. What I learned was that either Albert Einstein was a horrible, cruel, selfish and self-centered person (which is entirely possible) – or that this book is highly fictionalized.
The blurb on the back on my copy states, “In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, 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. The Other Einstein” offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow.”
Mileva’s “light being lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow” is an understatement to say the least. One of the few women to attend a university to study physics, she was often regarded as the smartest one in her class. Once she met and fell in love with Albert Einstein, she seemed to completely love the sense of self and confidence that allowed her to break such ground. She was disregarded by Einstein, her work was stolen by him – published under only his name, and later in their marriage, was relegated to the role of meek housewife – mistreated in every way.
It was frustrating to read of a woman who was so intelligent, so creative be constantly ignored, disrespected and insulted. This woman seeks to discover the mysteries not only of the world she inhabits but of time and space. Sometimes, even more than that. “Occasionally, if I relaxed into my reading and calculations – instead of studying and working so earnestly – I could see the divine patterns I desperately sought. But only in the periphery of my sight. As soon as I turned my gaze directly on the patterns, they shimmered away into nothingness. Perhaps I wasn’t yet ready to view God’s masterwork head-on. Perhaps in time, he would allow it.”
And in the story, that is exactly what happens. After a tragedy, she has an insight/divine inspiration that directly leads to the theory of relativity. Which then, according to the book, her husband publishes under his name alone. And the recognition and glory that follows is his alone and she becomes lost in his shadow.
Per what I found on Wikipedia: “There is no strong evidence to support the idea that Marić helped Einstein to develop his theories. The couple's first son, Hans Albert, said that when his mother married Einstein, she gave up her scientific ambitions. Einstein remained an extremely fruitful scientist well into the 1920s, producing work of the greatest importance long after separating from Marić in 1914. She, on the other hand, never published anything.”
Which is one of the things that spoils this book for me. It felt much more fiction than fact, and coupled with the disappointment I felt every time Mileva accepted such shabby treatment, made “The Other Einstein” less of an interesting or satisfying novel.
The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict, is a look at lost dreams, failing hopes, and 'what ifs’. What if Mileva, little known first wife of Albert Einstein, had never forsaken her path, and graduated with a physics
This extraordinary woman had the misfortune to be born into a world reluctant to allow women university education, especially in the 'hard’ sciences of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Mileva had to fight for the chance, with everything working against her. She was a female of Eastern European descent who walked with a pronounced limp, and was subject to open and veiled scorn alike.
Mileva met Albert at university in Zurich. He was the first in her small class to be welcoming, and soon enough managed to sneak under her guard and into her affections. This proved her undoing, in more ways than one. A pregnancy and birth out of wedlock led to Mileva failing her final work towards her physics degree, and never going back to finish. Instead, she married Einstein, and had two more children by him. Sadly, only the middle child survived, though by that point, Mileva was separated from the renowned physicist.
This work is one of historical fiction, speculating on the relationship between Mileva and Albert, including the notion that she helped him develop the theory of relativity we know him for today. Of course, we cannot know all of the truth today, but it's a fascinating look behind the scenes of the famed physicist’s life, and an even more fascinating look at this sharp-minded woman determined to go against conventionalities. History is as relative as time; it is the story written by the victor of an engagement, especially in absence of strong compelling evidence to the contrary.
Benedict’s book is astounding. I breezed through it in a few quick hours, secluding myself from family so as to better sink into the story world. There is nothing worse than being abruptly torn from a truly engrossing story, leaving one momentarily dazed and confused by the shift, especially for mere trivialities. The writing was beautiful, always engaging, often drawing tears and melancholy. What could Mileva have accomplished, had she stayed her own course? As a bonus, the cover art is quite magnificent.
🎻🎻🎻🎻🎻 Highly recommended
My Rating: 4/5 stars
"I want to know God's thoughts, the rest are details.”
- Albert Einstein
If the research is to be believed, it wasn’t Albert Einstein at all who was interested in God’s thoughts, but his wife, Mitza certainly
By 1896, Mitza Marić was yet again an oddity. What is known about Mitza (and there is very little known) is that she was and incredibly bright child whose father encouraged her education at every turn. Because Mitza was a woman, she and her father spent a great deal of time and effort lobbying for her inclusion into higher education institutions. When Mitza met Albert Einstein, she had already accomplished more than most women anywhere the world could ever dream of accomplishing. She was a new student in the physics program at Zürich, an outcast among her classmates except for Einstein who saw her for what she was, a brilliant mind with insights and knowledge that should not be ignored.
Over the course of their long and incredibly troubled courtship and then marriage, Mitza and Einstein constantly found solace in their work. When physics and mathematics were the topics of conversation, the bond between them strengthened. However, when the topic of conversation was their lives together as a couple, things became far more strained. Though Einstein apparently wanted Mitza in his life, he only wanted her when it was a convenience to him or they were working on a new project. For Mitza’s part, Einstein and their growing family eventually become her whole world and she did most anything to ensure her husband’s happiness. What most anything entails are some of the saddest moments of Mitza’s life.
The Bottom Line: While The Other Einstein is slow starter, I found it to be well worth the wait. What one must remember when diving into this read is that it is historical fiction and there is no way to prove or disprove the theories posited by Benedict. With that being said, what Benedict does posit is absolutely intriguing and wrapped in a story that is ultimately about loss. Quite literally from birth, Mitza Marić was at a distinct disadvantage that never, ever left her. Over the course of her life, she experienced only a few moments of true happiness and those were always overshadowed by long spans of extreme unhappiness, tragedy, and loss. There never seems to be a moment when Mitza isn’t dealing with some sort of turmoil in either her personal and/or professional life. Unfortunately, a fair number of those incidents involved the man she loved beyond reason, Albert Einstein. Benedict’s story does not paint Einstein in a positive light at all yet pulls from the reader a great sense of sympathy for his long-suffering first wife. In the end, The Other Einstein is the story of one woman’s loss of her sense of self, loss of love, love of the little independence she was allowed, loss of her family, and loss of the little control she had over her life. For the modern world, the loss may be just as profound if you consider the loss of a brilliant mind who may have been just as integral to our understanding of physics as Albert Einstein certainly was.
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.
Can I just say how much I loved this book. This is definitely one of my favorite books of 2016.
The Other Einstein is, obviously, more about Albert Einstein’s first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Maric, more
First off, let me say that while this book was clearly meticulously researched, it is still fiction, and some of the gaps were filled in with fictional details. I was drawn right into the pages of this book, though, and I felt like I was there with them, watching them become friends and lovers and then husband and wife.
I found Mitza to be absolutely wonderful. She was VERY human, and I found myself wondering how differently things could have looked for her, if things had just worked out differently along the way.
As for Albert, I find myself rather less star-struck now than I have been for a long time by him. I think that the goal of humanizing him in this book was definitely successful, because he feels more like a human being than just a great genius who is sort of untouchable. He had flaws, and he had these moments where he was not nice. Moments where I absolutely hated him. And even though I finished the book a couple of days ago, I find I’m still thinking about the book, and still processing my feelings about Mitza and Albert.
I really enjoyed my time reading this book, and I had a really hard time putting the book down. I am not normally that into historical fiction, either, so I feel like this book has great appeal across the board.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I am never compensated for my reviews.
Benedict's telling of the woman behind one of the greatest minds falls flat. Her writing style, which consists of short, choppy, basic sentences that have little to no imagination and lack in
"...I needed the fresh air on my face. I had mountains of homework, physics chapters to read, and mathematical calculations to make. I longed for bracing Milchkaffee, but one was to be found at the pension.
I heard a knock on my door and jumped. No one ever came to my room at this hour. I cracked my door open a sliver so I could see who it was.
Helene stood in the hallway.
'Please come in.' I hurried to welcome her."
Did she take too many liberties of this fictional account? Perhaps–Einstein is written as a womanizing, abusive, hands-off father. To support her story, there were discoveries of correspondence between Einstein and Maric that confirm the birth of their daughter, Lieserl. Unfortunately her fate was never known for certain (she may have been adopted or died of scarlet fever in infantry). They did eventually marry and went on to have two sons. While pregnant with their second son, he was corresponding with a previous love, Marie Winteler, professing his love for her and expressing unhappiness in his marriage. Maric and Einstein separated when she learned of his his attraction to his first and second cousin Elsa, whom he later married.
I had to push through this book, especially early on, to even finish.
Mileva “Mitza” Marić, is someone we should all get to know.
Reading her story one can't but be in awe of this woman. The story had a steady pace and plenty of in-depth details that were very familiar to me. I was literally transported back in time of the old Europe.
Melanie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the publishe
MY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️▫️
PUBLISHER SourceBooks Landmark
PUBLISHED October 18, 2016
An intriguing fictional account of the revolutionary and tumultuous times between Albert Einstein and his brilliant first wife, Mileva.
The gifted Mileva Maric was
“Miss Maric, I am madly in love with you. I promise that my love will never impede your profession. In fact, my love will only propel you forward in your work. Together, we will become the ideal bohemian couple—equal in love and work,”
With these words and promises she was lost. He was giving her everything she had ever dreamed of. Albert believed that together they could solve the major scientific riddles of their time. Mileva and Albert collaborated on research and papers eschewing archaic complicated ideas. But as the papers and articles they co-authored starting gaining recognition things began to changed. As Albert’s fame increases, Mileva is somehow standing deep in his shadow.
THE OTHER EINSTEIN is a fascinating read about the gifted female physicist, who was smart enough to cross barriers and enter the all male physics and mathematics classroom in 1896. This book is a work of fiction, but the author MARIE BENEDICT provides several websites that contain the papers and letters that were used in formulating the book.
The story is well written and a quick read. If you enjoyed Loving Frank, Mrs. Poe or The Paris Wife you will like this book as well. A discussion guide is included in the back of the book making it ideal for book clubs.
I read this book free as part of the Big Library Read facilitated by Overdrive. It's a reading program through your local library that connects millions of readers around the world with the same e-book at the same time. It's a worldwide digital book club. The Big Read website includes a interview with Marie Benedict and a discussion forum. The Other Einstein is available on Overdrive June 12 to June 26, 2017.
So one might wonder why I would be interested in this piece of historical fiction. Basically, I really, really, really enjoy the women-behind-the-men genre that is so popular right now. Other books in this genre that reads might find fascinating are The Paris Wife and The Aviator’s Wife.
In this work, we get to meet Mileva “Mitza” Maric. She is a brilliant woman, studying to be a physicist in the early 20th century. All her life, her parents have encouraged Mitza to pursue a life of the mind. Not only did they recognize her intelligence, but she had a physical deformity that they believed deemed her unmarriageable.
The story opens in 1896 as Mitza and her father are walking through the humid, “foggy, Zurich streets to the Swiss Federal Polytechnic campus.” She is the only female enrolled to study physics. There are five men in her class, one of whom is Albert Einstein.
The first 100 pages of the novel drag. It seems most of the scenes are repetitive and the science gets in the way. They are about science, Mitza’s determination and brilliance, and the two’s attraction toward each other.
When Mitza and Albert go on a romantic getaway to Lake Como in Italy, the novel takes off. Albert comes off as a royal a**hole. I wonder how much of that is really true. But, this is biographical fiction.
The Other Einstein receives 4 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.