The Other Einstein is another incredible Marie Benedict novel which once again sheds light on another unsung woman way ahead of her time but who would unfortunately never get proper credit for her true genius. A woman whose husband not only was jealous of her insightful creativity, but quite frankly punished her for her ability by intimidation.
Mitza Maric was a highly intelligent girl whose father saw the promise and potential for her to become a scientist, regardless of her gender. As a young woman she never felt pretty, as she had limp and her parents had always felt no one would ever marry her. Her father sent her to a University in Zurich for science during the 1800’s, something unheard of back then. The only woman in classes, Mitza kept her head down and excelled, much to the surprise of her teachers and classmates.
This caught the eye of one of her classmates, Albert Einstein, who developed a crush on Mitza. As he attempted to court her, she was torn between her love for science and her love for him. He promised her she could have both and she believed him. Against her father’s wishes and sadness, Mitza leaves the University without her degree.
Her love for Einstein takes many twists and turns with Mitza always giving in to Einstein’s wishes, believing him when he would say she makes it all about her and with him always promising to give her the recognition she deserves. And then Einstein deliberately leaves her name off of a paper whose concept was her idea. This paper catapults Einstein into celebrity and solidifies Mitza’s changing relationship with him.
Their romance seems to deteriorate further, perhaps due to Einstein’s jealousy of Mitza, or his own guilt for what he did, but he begins to treat Mitza as someone whose only purpose is to cater to his needs, even having her walk steps in back of him when they are out with others.
By this time, Mika’s life is filled with anger, rage and sadness. She cannot tolerate the mistreatment of this man who had once promised her a world of science and discovery in which they would create together equally, only to be made to feel not only unworthy of her intelligence, but an unacceptable partner to this man she once thought her soulmate.
As in all of Benedict’s books the research is impeccable and the storytelling mesmerizing. Stories such as these shed light on just how far women have come and brings to light the sadness and abuse women who had any intelligence endured with their only flaw being a brain.