The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

For me, this was an easy read. The main character, Mitza Maric was very relatable and the story was engaging. Mitza was a physic student at the same university and in the same program and classes as Albert Einstein. She started out as friends with Einstein but it gradually turned into more. Unfortunately, Einstein who at the beginning of their relationship treated her as an equal in mind and spirit and wanted a bohemian lifestyle together where they worked on the big physics theories of the times changed when she became pregnant out of wedlock. He seemed to care more about his reputation than about her and the baby, would not visit her or the baby and did not marry her until almost 2 years after the baby was born but never saw the child or allowed the child to live with them. He definitely seemed to lack empathy and was very self-absorbed especially after the death of his first child who he never even saw. Mitza’s studies suffered due to her relationship with Einstein and the unplanned pregnancy and she ended up failing her final exams and not getting her degree. The life she wanted was pretty much ruined by Albert Einstein and she had to bend to Einstein’s wishes and demands to get him to marry her to legitimize her child and save her reputation and give her children a father. She seemed very trapped by society’s views on gender roles and social norm of the time. The more Einstein’s reputation and fame grew the less time and respect he gave to his wife and family. The theories that she and Einstein worked on together only ended up with his name on them. This book is a work of fiction but the author did base the ideas and plot of the story from the letters the Einsteins wrote to each other and their friends and colleagues so there is no definitive proof that Mitza did collaborate or actually came up with any of Einstein’s theories and deserves credit. But there is proof that Albert Einstein was not much of a people person and did have expectations that Mitza would be a housewife and not an equal towards the end of their relationship. I did not know anything about Albert or Mitza Einstein’s life but this book encouraged me to read and research more about them and the controversies surrounding them and their relationship. Albert Einstein was put up on a pedestal by the world for his groundbreaking theories that changed science forever but he was a very flawed human being who I wanted to strangle many times while reading this book..

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.

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