The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict – Book Review

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I found this novel to be quite intriguing.  It takes the belief that Albert Einstein thought up his early theories all by himself and stands it on its head.  While at school in Switzerland, the young Einstein meets and courts fellow student, Mileva Maric.  Mileva is a brilliant woman, one of only four women allowed to study at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic.

While Mileva is shy and suspicious of Einstein, eventually by consistently appealing to her mathematical mind and promising to share theories with her, Einstein finally manages to break down her barriers.

The novel follows their marriage, leaving the question of exactly how much of the Theory of Relativity was Einstein’s.  Their story truly brings up questions of what we really know about Albert Einstein, how much of this theory was really his, and if not why did he award his monetary prize from the Nobel award to Mileva.

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I highly recommend this novel.  The story is interesting, and the way Mileva is portrayed really gives the reader a sense of who she was, and the questions this book brings up gives readers something to look into and decide for themselves.  Well done, Benedict!

 

Fates and Traitors, a novel of John Wilkes Booth by Jennifer Chiaverini – Book Review

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Just a note, I read this novel during the week of the 2016 election.  I read it slowly, and found it to be just a little bit in tune with the attitudes expressed by many people during that week.  Now, on to the review.

This is a novel that chronicles John Wilkes Booth life from his parents “marriage”, to his childhood and into his adulthood.  Most of the novel is told from the point of view of first his mother, then his sister, Asia, who adores him, Mary Surratt, the first woman to be hung for treason, and Lucy, the young and naïve young woman who he meets during the time-period of his decision to murder President Lincoln.

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I really liked the approach of telling Booth’s story from the female point of view.  Actually, the part about his parents’ life was the most interesting to me.  I had no idea that his father was as well-known an actor as he was.  I found that the love that his mother, sister and Lucy felt for Booth was to blame for clouding their judgment on Booth.  However, who wants to think, even for a moment, that a beloved son, brother or lover could be capable of an act of murder.

I highly recommend this novel.  It is Chiaverini at her finest!

The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan – Book Review

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First of all, I have to say that I loved this book. It has everything that I feel that a novel needs.  MacMillan knows how to plot, develop characters and elicit sympathy.  While the main character Zoe may be a musical prodigy with an astonishingly high I.Q., she is also a “murderer” responsible for the death of three other teens.  Her story is one of injustice and payment for an accident.  However,  the question remains, are you ever done paying for your sins?  And, when is that sin yours alone?

After “doing her time”, Zoe gets her Second Chance.  A new step-father, step-brother and new baby half-sister.  But some secrets just can’t be kept hidden.  Is her new family anything like the shiny surface?  When Zoe is recognized by the father of one of the teens Zoe “murdered”, her Second Chance falls apart.

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I won’t give away any details, since I want you to read this exceptional novel.  Well done, MacMillan!