A special thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Benedict's telling of the woman behind one of the greatest minds falls flat. Her writing style, which consists of short, choppy, basic sentences that have little to no imagination and lack in description made this book hard to read. She starts too many sentences with "I". For example:
"...I needed the fresh air on my face. I had mountains of homework, physics chapters to read, and mathematical calculations to make. I longed for bracing Milchkaffee, but one was to be found at the pension.
I heard a knock on my door and jumped. No one ever came to my room at this hour. I cracked my door open a sliver so I could see who it was.
Helene stood in the hallway.
'Please come in.' I hurried to welcome her."
Did she take too many liberties of this fictional account? Perhaps–Einstein is written as a womanizing, abusive, hands-off father. To support her story, there were discoveries of correspondence between Einstein and Maric that confirm the birth of their daughter, Lieserl. Unfortunately her fate was never known for certain (she may have been adopted or died of scarlet fever in infantry). They did eventually marry and went on to have two sons. While pregnant with their second son, he was corresponding with a previous love, Marie Winteler, professing his love for her and expressing unhappiness in his marriage. Maric and Einstein separated when she learned of his his attraction to his first and second cousin Elsa, whom he later married.
I had to push through this book, especially early on, to even finish.