TITLE: THE EINSTEIN GIRL
AUTHOR: PHILIP SINGTON
Details: Received from Eason's Bookclub on Facebook,the book for June
When the story starts we find ourselves in Berlin in 1933 just a little while before Hitler will come to power
Martin Kirsch is a psychiatrist who becomes fascinated by a girl who is admitted to the hospital where he works. The girl had been found in the woods outside Berlin, naked, near death and without any memories. The only thing found with her was a handbill, advertising a public lecture by Albert Einstein.
Martin Kirsch who had actually seen the girl before in Berlin and finds himself attracted to her, takes on her case and soon fascination turns into obsession. His quest to find out who the girl is takes him to a psychiatric hospital in Zurich where he meets Einstein's youngest son Eduard who is under treatment there.
With the girl having amnesia, Eduard suffering psychiatric problems and Martin Kirsch also having health problems that affect his grip on reality, this is a story in which the truth is never clear and the trustworthiness of the narrators must be questioned at all times.
This is a fascinating story given that it deals with mental illness, Einsteins theories and Hitlers rise to power. However, I feel that at times those were almost too many heavy subjects for one story. I felt the human side of the story took too much of a backseat to the theoretical subject matters on several occasions, which interrupted the flow of the story a bit for me.
On the other hand, the creeping progress of the theories and darkness that would grow and grow and destroy so many lives during Hitler's 12 years in power was very subtly yet clearly conveyed on these pages.
This was not an easy or a quick read for me. It was however a very interesting one, leaving me with lots to think about and reflect upon.