The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
This book was so difficult for me to read – not because it was not enjoyable, but because I could tell that Mileva’s work and life would involve sacrifice and erasure. I was biased to love this book from the summary on the back alone: a largely untold story about an intelligent woman’s journey isolated in a man’s world and profession and the struggle to balance love and career. From the course of history, the reader already knows part of the story’s ending, making the unfolding of this drama even more heartbreaking and emotional.
Mileva faces numerous obstacles including her Eastern European heritage and physical limp with her undeniable brilliance and determination to succeed in a world that will not accept her. She struggles with her self-worth all the while being looked down upon and ignored. At the nature of her suffering is the exploration of both the corrosive nature of ambition and the danger of a lack of human connection. She suffers injustice at the hand of the time period, the intense social stigma and pressure, as well as sexism. Challenges such as pregnancy, marriage, and social gendered roles treat Mileva, as a woman, harshly and her life is not without struggle. Having her work and discoveries omitted is just one sacrifice of many that Mileva must make as a thoroughly unconventional woman in a conventional world. Despite the odds, Mileva emerges scarred, but triumphant. Her spirit, while undergoing moments of doubt, remains fierce and determined.
Mileva’s tale is one that is both common and extraordinary; common in her experience of the sacrifices of womanhood, the role of a wife, and motherhood and extraordinary in her genius and undeniably courageous spirit. While the truth lies somewhere between the facts and the fiction, her life represents the dismissal and erasure of women not only by history, but also by men. The Other Einstein is a captivating look at the life of Albert Einstein’s first wife and explores the implications, struggles and weight of Mileva’s role as the other Einstein.
I enjoyed this book immensely despite the anxious nights spent flipping pages until the early morning. It is truly a sign of merit when I cannot stop telling everyone I come into contact with about my current read. If you enjoy stories about fascinating heroines, intelligent women who must balance ambition and society, or intriguing explorations into the dark corners of history read this book. This book is released on October 18th here’s the link on Amazon to preorder!! If you want to check out the author’s website, click on this link!
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
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Book cover image from Netgalley.
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