So romantic at first, so sad at the end. It's this The Other Einstein another wonderful, wonderful book by Sourcebooks written by Marie Benedict.
This story is so precious, so romantic, told with the times it deserves.
It's a delicate book, dense, true, intense, human and with the great rhythm, success, miseries, failures of life, very well portrayed and represented.
It is so realistic that you can feel very vividly places, protagonists, their joys, sadness, victories, failures, human miseries and mediocrities.
I start to tell you I didn't know anything of Albert Einstein's private life.
To me he was the discoverer of the theory of general relativity but I didn't know if he had wives, children, nephews, nieces. Nothing.
Of course when I read a lot of time ago, yes I am so sorry with my readers, the author and Sourcebooks for this big delay, that there was the chance of reading a book about the wife of Einstein I thought intrigued: why not?
Sometimes I think that it is better not discovering anything about these great minds, because more I understand life, more I understand that each of us live with great or small miseries and that, unfortunately no one is unaffected by it. Maybe, no, without maybe, a great mind is affected by human miseries more than a common mortal.
The story starts focusing on little Mileva and her family. Mileva is a kid with great mental potentialities and born with a disability: she limps while she walks.
After all it's not a great lack, there are many cases like the ones of Mileva/Mitza Maric, Serb origin, but we are at the end of 1800's there were still many prejudices and life could be hard for someone born with some so-called lacks or deformities as called this disability by the parents of Mitza.
His dad believed and encouraged the mental, scientific potentialities of his daughter, although the wife skeptical, would want to protect her from life in general and men first of all. Mitza revealed not just her external beauty but also a wonderful mind.
So she went to studying at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic, where she knows: "Mr. Einstein" as she calls him, a sort of Prince Charming a man who would have chooses her as her princess although she wasn't perfect. Like in a fairy-tales she loved so badly: The Little Singing Frog.
With the other girls at the dormitory the idea of staying always distant from men for developing their big ideas in scientific terms the best thing that they could do but, love is love and Maric falls in love for Einstein.
She doesn't know what to do and so she spends some time at the University of Heidelberg for trying to understand her feeling returning in the fertile Polytechnic and re-meeting Albert soon and discovering that she would want to spend the rest of her life with him.
Albert is passionate, tender, cute, sweet, original with that curly hair so characteristic. Maybe not beautiful, but a true mind.
In the while during a vacation at Lake of Como, they still didn't have a work and Albert Einstein met the strong opposition from his family regarding this potential marriage because Mitza wasn't Jewish, but christian, the girl remains pregnant and Einstein disappears exactly as he was so present in her life.
The baby born but Einstein won't never meet this baby absorbed as he was by his life, his scientists friends, his theories, and his meetings and reunions.
It is a behavior more common than what we think, and it involves also important men: neglecting their children, seen maybe just extremities of their own ego, but too much taken by themselves for understanding what it means to create another human being with their partner and caring for them.
Yes, there is to add that the baby was hidden because she was born outside the marriage, and so never publicly revealed for an obvious scandal and for not ruining the career of the brilliant Einstein.
The author specifies that the destiny of this first daughter, in the novel dead for a horrible death maybe hasn't been so sad.
Maybe, true, she was adopted because not born in a regular marriage and so rejected but grew up by I guess a very wealth and rich family in this second case and very loved!
Who knows what happened to her: maybe there are other genial people in this world considering who her biological parents were.
Another strange behavior always kept by Einstein and that could give more than a suspect: he hasn't never spent any time at the house of the parents of the girl he said he loved so badly. No money, no time. Of course, but if you love someone you want also to seeing maybe the rest of the family of the object of your love. It's normal. But who knows why Einstein was interested in Maric.
A terrible suspect: maybe he understood her potentialities. Maybe he needed her brain for completing his work about relativity? Who knows...
Anyway Maric will re-join Albert Einstein for trying to see if he could have married her and in this moment the first daughter they had dies or disappears, we don't know exactly what happened.
In the while, this one is a novel but maybe there is the possibility, Maric influenced a lot Albert Einstein's work, helping him to elaborate the theory of relativity, and I don't doubt it for a second , because she was in love for him tremendously.
In the book the idea that Maric was one of the principal minds who helped Einstein to elaborate the theory of relativity but cheated by the husband several times devastating.
Just Albert Einstein has taken all the honors for this discovery while Maric that in the time became his wife had had other two children was relegated at the role of a housewife while she was a beautiful mind.
The comparison with the couple Pierre and Marie Curie very sad, because these two have always been a real couple, and they shared all their thoughts and considerations and without any fear or jealousy for their respective minds.
Pierre Curie, with great pride, maturity and wisdom helped his wife to coming out and to become a name in the scientific panorama.
A very well good job this one from Pierre Curie and an act of true love and consideration for her partner but also for another scientist that his wife was.
Two unforgettable names, connected, also as we all know with the discovery of radiations, and the possibility of curing cancer with it.
The life of Maric is a poor life, when she discovers that everytime she tells her intuitions to her husband "Aren't we Einstein, One Stone?" he tell for reassuring her, she does see just manipulation. His husband doesn't recognize her work with him as a real couple or also two loyal collaborators should have done.
The appropriation, considering that they were married and they could have been very happy together and partners in life and work, of intellectual property is a horrible gesture and unforgivable because it's like to try to steal the essence of another human being. Someone we won't never be in grade to be, because, simply we are just...other.
Of course this one is just a novel and we can't know if this story was real but I know that if this story was real and if Einstein took advantage from his wife for his work without giving her anything in return the story of general relativity should be re-written adding other people's credits.
Sometimes it happens: sometimes there is an intuition and the strongest part of the story wins over the weakest one.
Just it's...Horrible. Horrible, when it happens.
In discoveries it happens very often.
What Maric obtained once she divorced from Albert Einstein, he started an affair with his Jewish cousin Elsa in the while was to obtaining the money of the Nobel Prize for the education of their two children.
I highly suggest to you to read this beautiful book. You will appreciate at first the freshness of the tale, the hope of youth, and then the adult age, plenty of delusions and a beautiful mind who, unfortunately didn't meet the best man for coming out as she would have deserved.
I can tell you my delusion for the character of Albert Einstein (I had always thought he was a funny man) portrayed as a man self-absorbed, egoistic, plenty of ego and violent with his wife.
I guess that discovering a big theory able to change the destiny of the modern physics means a lot but what he did, avoiding to see his first baby, the destiny still unknown, not wanting to discover who the parents of Maric were, including the siblings of the girl, treated as people without consideration, and important only when he wanted to says good-bye without too many compliments to the wife, thinking: "I will leave her and the children with her parents" when he started his relationship with Elsa, many years later gives a poor portrait of this man presenting us an elegant, wonderful, surprising idea of his hidden wife, who, for love, created Albert Einstein the Genius.
I thank so much NetGalley and Sourcebooks for this stunning, very well-written, wonderful, sad, beautiful, masterpiece.
Anna Maria Polidori