By Michelle Ule
I picked up The Other Einstein because, like so many, I'd always had an affection for the quirky Albert Einstein.
This historical novel has changed my opinion. As a biographer, I recognize it is not biography. I realize the author, Marie Benedict, has taken liberties with the known facts to craft a story.
She did a fine job.
You don't need to know anything either to appreciate this well-written novel of pre-World War I life in Serbia, Switzerland and a few points in between.
Benedict admitted the science daunted her at first, but after working on the project, she was able to explain just what Mileva "Mitza" Maric Einstein and Albert explored, seemingly together.
Some people believe she had nothing to do with the infamous EMC-squared theory of relativity.
But even my nuclear engineer husband knew Albert was not a strong mathematician.
"Of course his wife helped." Mitza was known for her math skills at the time.
(She was the only woman, and one of only six students, in the upper level science courses where she met Albert.)
What's the deal, Albert?
Albert Einstein himself is presented as an intense, frequently late, happy and brilliant scientist who pursued the Serbian national.
Mitza fell in love as well, and as always, those chapters were the most enjoyable in the book.
As their relationship took a deeper and therefore more intense turn, tension arose between the familiar story of a woman's desire for academic and career success and a similar man.
It brought back many uncomfortable memories from not just my life, but from the lives of young women I know today.
This one was just played out 100 years ago in a different and far more elevated setting.
I couldn't bear what happened in the end, but I'm hoping Benedict wrote truth within the setting of her novel.
The pioneering female scientists of 100 years ago are worth reading about--think Marie Curie as well.
I recommend this one as an intro to the world.
Did Mrs. Albert Einstein help write the theory of relativity? Click to Tweet
The Other Einstein exposes historical and scientific truth--or not? Click to Tweet
She is writing nonfiction in 2017--and essay for Discovery House's Utmost Ongoing (August), and as the biographer of Mrs. Oswald Chambers (Baker, October).
You can learn more about her at www.michelleule.com