The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

God’s Patterns In Science

einsteinThe Other Einstein by Marie Benedict is a fascinating account of Albert Einstein and his first wife Mileva Maric. It is a blend of fiction and fact gleaned from the correspondence of Einstein and his wife.

The novel is written in the first person from the point of view of Mileva. The reader becomes intimately acquainted with her. She was a woman ahead of her time. One of only a handful of women to enter Zurich polytechnic in 1896 where she studied physics and maths. “The world of physics was where I belonged… hidden forces and causal relationships so complex that I believed only God could have created them.” As a Christian her faith was strengthened by science. She saw science and faith as linked and not in opposition to one another. “I sensed God’s patterns unfolding in the physical laws of the universe… I felt God [here], not in the pews of Mama’s churches.” Mileva believed “The secrets of God lurked in the corners of science.”

The novel shows the power of family in the education of Mileva. Her father encouraged her from a young age. He recognised her exceptional brain.

Personality is another factor in Mileva’s success. She refused to give up in a man’s world and partnered Einstein in the field of maths and physics. “Together we would ‘unlock the secrets of the universe’ .” She believed herself to be equal to Einstein, no matter who shunned her.

Good friendships are important as one goes through life. “These friends… made me stronger.” Though miles may separate them, a strong friendship bond is impossible to break.

The novel has the sensitive topic of infant mortality. The late nineteenth century was a perilous time for infants, many not reaching the age of five but dying from what are now merely childhood complaints. Mileva found striving in the field of physics a lifeline.

There are also the difficult topics of adultery and domestic abuse. At the time neither were seen as acceptable topics to talk about. Women would suffer in silence. Mileva comes across as a woman who put up with much. And Einstein comes across as a most unpleasant man.

The Other Einstein was an interesting read about an extraordinary young woman. I am not a scientist but I found it to be a compelling and fascinating read and I can highly recommend it.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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