I have written and rewritten this review at least 4 times. Why? Because no matter how much fluff and justification I try to come up with I keep circling back and deleting and trying to find nice politically correct ways to say Albert Einstein was a dick.
This was a great story of his first wife. She was a rock star to put up with his crap for that long. I had to continuously remind myself that it was a different time back then and with her not actually passing her exit exams it changed the course of her life. I also feel like she didn’t pass because of morning sickness and that it’s all Alberts fault. I’m kidding. Kind of.
The fact that she was one of the first women to be accepted to University makes her noteworthy in itself. But add to it the fact that she was majoring in physics and could have had an amazing career is just great.
I’m not sure if this was authors fiction or not but on a personal level I loved the way she was searching for God in physics. Even through the death of her daughter she searched to find God’s plan and purpose in physics. At least in the story causing her to come up with the theory of relativity. I’m not sure if that part is true but I like to have faith she was searching for God and found him.
After reading this book and the letters Albert that are published on Princeton University’s website I say there is no way that she didn’t at the very LEAST contribute to the theory of relativity. They were married and lived together and HE even stated in his letter that they worked together. This combined with the fact that once they split up she continued to get his prize money from the Nobel Prize from that theory just tells me she helped if not more.
In the book I found it maddening that time after time Albert would do some A hole move and she would struggle internally before forgiving him. This was probably the authors design but holy moly it was infuriating. It also makes sense during that time period that with two sons to think about she would feel trapped like their future relied on Albert and didn’t want stain their reputation with a divorce.
I want to understand that but being a mother in 2017 I just have a hard time wrapping my head around it.
So lets say for a second you take out the “fiction” in this historical fiction. Albert was still an ass! He still left her name off any published work, had an affair with his cousin, and sent his wife a ridiculous list of demands forcing her to leave him or live as a slave for the rest of her life. In the book at least she left him and I cling to that ending in hopes that that’s what actually happened.
No matter how much of this historical fiction is actually fiction, I believe it. I’ve read the articles I’ve looked at dates and came to the same conclusion that the author did. Obviously I didn’t research as much as her but was fascinated from the start.
I never even knew Albert had a wife! Possibly because I have seen pictures of him and thought it was a stretch to think that hair would be considered “charming”. But mostly because NO ONE EVER TALKS ABOUT HER!!!! I’m 32 and this is the first I’ve heard of it.
I’m extremely grateful for this book and hope that others read it and it sheds some light on the “great” Albert Einstein.
I also encourage people to look further into the amazing life accomplishments of this woman.
Here are a few links I found
Jame McNab shares an excellent point of view and says it better than I ever could. Click here to read He’s also responsible for the cover picture. High five James.
Here’s an article from Scientific American that offers more facts as well.
Here is the most fascinating link Princeton University Letters to Mileva