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Summary

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. 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.

Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most 20-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.

©2016 Marie Benedict (P)2016 Random House Audio

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Speculative but powerful look at a woman pioneer

What did you like most about The Other Einstein?

A story I never knew I should know.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Other Einstein?

The meeting and wooing of the two, their meeting of minds at first, but there were many moments that showed me the disadvantage throughout history of being born a woman.

Which character – as performed by Mozhan Marno – was your favourite?

Mitza herself. It's her story and her voice that shines.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Oh yes... without giving too much away it concerned the fate of the protagonist's child. Weeping buckets in the streets, never a good look.

Any additional comments?

Speculative biographical narrative of the woman behind one of modern history's most influential scientists.

4.5 stars. The exact facts may, most likely, never be known, but this really gets you thinking: "who WAS the instigator? Who was the brains? Was it all really who history has led us to believe?

I saw the TV programme with Geoffrey Rush a short while ago and had this book in mind since then. With International Women's Day just past, I decided it was a good time to read about the wife and colleague of Einstein, but whose name I didn't even know.

Mileva “Mitza” Marić. A true story. A Serbian woman, with a limp, fighting to show she deserves her hard-won place at a Polytechnic in Zurich. Treated with disdain by almost everybody, one other student at first shows kindness and later respect for her mind, her ambition and her great talent for mathematics and physics. He is Albert Einstein.

This story charts the rise of Einstein through the eyes of the woman who loved him, and exactly what life there would be for someone in his shadow. Mitza speaks to us directly, and though the author has had to take liberties, surmise, take educated guesses, it feels as though it all COULD be true, things fit the known facts. Mitza shows us just how hard any woman back then would have had to work to show herself even the equal of a man, and how the natural trials of females (pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, domestic drudgery) severely limited and curtailed their potential. Maddening really.

I loved the scenes with Marie Curie, with two female scientists talking about men. I bawled (while listening on the streets!) to some very upsetting scenes of Mitza's first child and her fate. My feelings about Albert steadily changed through Mizta's story and I'm not sure I will ever think of him in quite the same way again, however many liberties have been taken with the truth.

I sped through this in less than two days, the narrator's voice on audiobook a personal and involving one. Little-known stories in history are those that make it, that the big events are built on. That deserve to be read and known and remembered.

This definitely deserves a wider readership. An early pioneer of important science and a victim of Victorian thinking, Milena both defined and was defined by history.

A sample copy of this audiobook was provided by Nudgebooks for an honest review.

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Fascinating and frustrating

An excellent dramatised account of the life of promising scientist Mitza Maric. The narration is beautiful, and the tale both fascinating and frustrating, as the talented Mitza encounters the prejudice of a male-dominated society, attempting to create a life for herself as a physicist in the shadow of her revered husband.

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  • Aileen Ravalo Voyles
  • 13-03-17

Thoughtfully written

If you like historical fiction, this is a great book for you. Beautifully written. You may get emotional when reading this, you may get upset but just like all great books, it will make you reexamine what history has always told you about life and reexamine how you see your life as well.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Savannah
  • 26-02-17

This book is something you want in your library for life!!

Like many of us, I totally forgot that Albert Einstein had a wife early in his life. She was pushed to the background by society yet she was willing to push back ! A brilliant mathematics and physics scholar. I absolutely admire this remarkable woman!
I was disappointed in Einstein as a person..but I do believe he had some form of Autism which could explain his inability to sustain a relationship unless it was in the context of science.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Beckymmoe
  • 28-05-17

Fascinating story, great narration

Marie Benedict's The Other Einstein was a fascinating read, and one that is significantly adding to my TBR pile--with nonfiction, for a change! (Lots of great suggestions in the author's note at the end--thanks, Ms. Benedict!)

The author freely admits that her book is a fictionalization of Mileva Maric Einstein's life and that she makes use of much speculation (especially with regards to exactly how much of a contribution the first Mrs. Einstein made to her husband's famous Theory of Relativity--I'd love to think that her version is the truth, but it's probably a bit of a stretch and I doubt it could ever be proved), and as such I kind of hoped that Albert wasn't as much of a, well, b@stard as he seems to be in the book. Though I can still hope that at least one pretty jarring scene is completely fictional, Princeton University has been kind enough to publish volumes of Einstein's writings and correspondence and their English translations online, and I've now read the memorandum myself that made me gasp out loud when I read that part of the book (18 July 1014, Memorandum to Mileva Einstein-Maric, with comments in Volume 8--don't read it until after you've read the book, though!) and then the next few letters after that one, and...just whoa. I'm not sure I'll ever hear the name "Albert Einstein" again and be able to think purely happy thoughts about him. How can a man be so scientifically brilliant and so spectacularly not brilliant in his personal life?

(Interesting side note from the letters, not the book, since Mileva wouldn't have known this: Albert wouldn't let his second wife/cousin(!) Elsa be there when he spent time with his sons from his first marriage, because "it is not right to have the children see their father with a woman other than their own mother" yet he had no such scruples about divorcee Elsa's children from her first marriage spending time with their mother and a man who wasn't their own father...double-standard much? Oh, and just to really make it next to impossible to look up to him as a father figure and husband--he apparently briefly considered proposing to Elsa's 20-year-old daughter Ilsa instead... Yeah. He's a prince among men. But a brilliant scientist.)

Anyway.

Though the story was a bit slow in parts, overall I quite enjoyed it. I look forward to both reading more about Mileva (and her children!) and more from Ms. Benedict in the future. The narration was excellent; I much preferred having someone else do all of that fancy pronouncing rather than me butchering it in my head ;)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachael
  • 15-06-17

Behind every great man... is an incredible story

Would you consider the audio edition of The Other Einstein to be better than the print version?

The narrator did an amazing job with this book. I would recommend it over print

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Other Einstein?

when Albert told Mileva that she is always trying to undermine him at the most important times in his life, and eluded to the fact that she had their first baby ON PURPOSE just to spite hime. That was such an outrageous claim

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Alot of the book moved me. This amazing woman who sacrificed so much due to what life, and the man she loved, dealt to her...she was never recognized for her brilliance and that is especially saddening.

Any additional comments?

I could not stop listening to this audiobook. I finished it in a day and a half. I would recommend to those who find this book as outstanding as I did to check out the show GENIUS on National Geographic Channel. The actress who plays Mileva on that show I think does an excellent job, especially after reading this book. I think that, although some scenes may have exaggerated in this book, the book in its totality seems pretty close to fact.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • arbonneisfreedom
  • 04-11-17

Outstanding!

A captivating story that I could not stop listening to. The characters, their lives, as told here, are fascinating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Indianalar
  • 03-11-17

The Rest of The Story

Subperb writing skill delivery, could not put it down before completion. Written with love and light.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan Dare
  • 28-10-17

An outstanding read... hard to put down!

I highly recommend this book. Although a work of fiction, its fact-based account of Einstein's treatment of his first wife was often astonishing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-10-17

More SHEstories like this are needed

During these times when privilege seems so little understood (by the privileged), these perspectives of HiStory are reminders of how far we've come, but how far we still need to go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DCowan
  • 08-09-17

Wow!

Amazing read and beautifully written. I highly recommend this one! But be sure you have some tissues handy - there are some heartbreaking moments.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • June D.
  • 28-07-18

Insight

Husband Albert got all the attention, but Mrs. Einstein was cheated out of a more productive life at a time when women were not recognized for their intekkect. Who knows what she would have accomplished? Even husband Alblert cheated her out of deserved recognition.