Friday, September 30, 2016

The Other Einstein

Most people have not heard of Mileva Maric. She was a Serbian physicist and the first wife of Albert Einstein. Based on extensive research, author Marie Benedict has created a work of historical fiction that tells the story of a brilliant, beautiful, young couple in Zurich, Switzerland at the turn of the century. Mileva enters the Polytechnic as one of the only women ever to be allowed to study at this level. She is a serious student that has spent her life speeding towards this moment with the unrelenting support of her father. Having always shown a natural proficiency in math and science, Mileva finds herself holding back because it is unacceptable for a woman to outshine the other male students. Fellow classmate Albert Einstein is naturally intrigued and immediately sets out to befriend Mileva, whom he affectionately calls Mitza. In addition to the instant chemistry they share, their love of physics makes for an ideal team to discuss and examine the most challenging theories and even more astounding, create ones that do not yet exist. After an unexpected pregnancy, distraught parents on both sides and the glaring stare of Professor Weber, the couple manages to follow their bohemian dreams to live and learn together. One does not have to be Newton to understand that every object will remain at rest or in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. It would be fair to say, they had a lot of external forces against them. Mileva miserably gives up her career for her husband and family, and in turn is completely shattered when that is still not enough. This incredible work has captured my imagination and my heart. Through the authors descriptive words I could easily imagine this famous couple that literally changed the world. Highly recommend this incredible and worthwhile new novel.

Monday, September 26, 2016


Shelby is a typical teen living a typical small town life. Mom is the librarian at the elementary school, Dad runs a small shop on Main Street. Her future is magnificently displayed before her; plans in the making, NYC!, college approaching, life could not be more wonderful. On one icy night Shelby’s life is literally turned upside down in a tragic accident. All she wants now is to disappear, dissolve, cease to exist. The guilt and burden she carries is too much to show her face in daylight. After a breakdown, all plans out the window and a two year stint hiding in her parents basement, Shelby’s shell starts to crack and the truth and pain and future begin to shine through her darkness. With the help of an old friend, Ben Mink takes Shelby by the hand and slowly returns her to the world. It is difficult to navigate and without self love or self worth Shelby takes painfully small baby steps on the road to recovery. The title says it all, it is a story about faith. Faith in yourself, in those you love and of the world itself. Highly recommend this beautifully written novel by bestselling author Alice Hoffman. I was mesmerized by this young woman, moved by her mother’s endless love and inspired by the unlikeliest friendships. Shelby learns it can be as simple or as complicated as the paper wrapped inside of a fortune cookie, but either way it is up to you. And only you.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Loner: A Novel

Sometimes I read too many reviews before I dive in. I picked up Loner by Teddy Wayne completely by chance. It was a one dayer and my head is still spinning. David Federman is an awkward freshman at Harvard. Hailing from nowhereville New Jersey, an average looking guy from an average (actually above average but not in his eyes) family. David who was mostly a loner in highschool shocks his entire grade by getting into the most prestigious college. He wants to reinvent himself and LIVE a true young person’s life. He wants to experience things and ditch his virgin status. Starting out with the best of intentions he makes a strong effort in class, easily melds into the nerdy clan of the dining hall and meets Veronica Morgan Wells. She is just as her name sounds and looks like she jumped off the pages of Town & Country. From an elite NYC high school and of course - very beautiful. David begins a mission to befriend her, gain her trust and dreamily imagines them becoming a couple. Veronica barely acknowledges his existence until she needs him. Filled with surprising twists and turns and an original narration as David is telling Veronica the story. I was sucked into this novel with surprising speed. Suspenseful enough that it was unpredictable and twisted enough that the reader cannot easily decide whether to love or hate the characters. This incredibly original twist on a coming of age story debates the merit of higher education, whether you can honestly remake yourself and the most pressing ethical dilemma: can ones seemingly innocent manipulation destroy someone’s life. Highly recommend!