Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Winter Reading 2022 Her Hidden Genius

Marie Benedict is a master at creating historical characters that are relatable and believable. If you have read some of her other books such as The Other Einstein, The Only Woman in the Room, or The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, then you know what I mean. She takes the facts about these famous women and then adds her own best reconstruction of scenes with their friends, family, and coworkers to allow readers entrance into the lives of these remarkable individuals. This time she takes us into the Paris lab, the London university, and shows Franklin's love of science no matter where she worked.

Just like her stories of Hedy Lamarr and Mitza Maric Einstein, this book shows the way women were treated as less capable and less important than husbands or coworkers. All the microaggressions, petty jealousies, and other attempts to push women into the shadows come through clearly in the tale of Rosalind Franklin and her work to capture the image of DNA for further study. Anyone who is unfamiliar with Franklin's research and her treatment by coworkers will find themselves pulled in without the need for prior knowledge. Those who already knew the public side of Rosalind's life will find themselves finishing the book and saying, "That's just how I thought it happened!"

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