“Embedded in its secretive rules about the workings of the world – hidden forces and unseen causal relationships so complex that I believed only God could have created them – were answers to the greatest questions about our existence. If only I could uncover them.”
The saying goes that behind every good man is a better woman. Could the case have also been true for Albert Einstein? He was married to a woman named Mileva Maric who herself studies physics at a time where women were just starting to be allowed in universities in certain countries. Einstein and Maric studies together in Switzerland and had three children after they were married. Could some of Einstein’s ideas come from his wife?
This book was added to my to-read list very recently after it cam out and I didn’t have to wait too long on the library’s eBook waiting list to read it. The waiting time is much longer now. While the book is non-fiction, the author tries to add in as many historical details as are know about Einstein’s relationship with his first wife.
In this historical non-fiction version of Einstein’s life, he takes full credit for his wife’s ideas by having only his name put on the papers they write together. Maric never finishes school and this author proposes it is because she was pregnant with Einstein’s child and had to go away and have the child in secret. The child was never a part of their long-term life together and may have died or been given up for adoption (this book has her die). As Einstein’s fame grows, he is pulled away from family life and ends up being a person you wouldn’t want your sister to marry. Maric finally has enough and leaves him with their three children.
I read this book not knowing exactly how much was factual and how much was fiction. At the end, the author explains what is know and there are now several more books I want to read about Marie Maric’s life. If the goal of historical fiction is to create a curiosity for history, this book is fantastic at doing that. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I know this is a topic I have not come across before and it was fascinating. A book club would enjoy discussing this book.