A brilliant sliding-doors reimagining of the passionate life of the first woman to win the Nobel Prize ydash; and the life Marie Curie might have led if she had chosen love over science.
In Poland in 1891, Marie Curie (then Marya Sklodowska) was engaged to a budding mathematician, Kazimierz Zorawski. But when his mother insisted she was too poor and not good enough, he broke off the engagement. A heartbroken Marya left Poland for Paris and the Sorbonne to study chemistry and physics. Eventually Marie Curie would go on to change the course of science forever and become the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
But what if Marie had made a different choice?
What if she had stayed in Poland, married Kazimierz at the age of twenty-four, and never attended the Sorbonne or discovered radium? What if Marie had chosen her first love and a life of domesticity, still ravenous for knowledge in Russian Poland where education for women was restricted instead of studying science in Paris and meeting Pierre Curie?
Seamlessly entwining the sliding-door moments of Marie Curieisquo;s real life with Marya Zorawskacsquo;s fictional one, Half Life is an inspired and utterly compelling story of love and identity that explores the meaning of loyalty and friendship, motherhood and sisterhood, fame and anonymity dash; and the consequences of the choices we make. It explores what would have happened if a great scientific mind was denied opportunity and access to education. But instead of delivering a predictable outcome of how the life of one remarkable woman and the people she loved might have been irrevocably changed, the truth is Marie or Marya would still have led a full and passionate life.
Intelligent, thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining, this is historical fiction at its best.
msquo;Explores not only the fascinating inner life of the famous scientist Marie Curie but also the life that might have been if sheasquo;d chosen love over science in her early years aellip; This thoughtful, compelling story delves into issues faced by modern women, while inviting readers to ruminate on their own life choices and the domino-effect of those decisions.wsquo; Marie Benedict
ssquo;A dazzling must-read. A poignant exploration of ambition, family, gender and love. A tender, nuanced and inspiring novel for anyone who's ever been torn by conflicting passions and loyalties; in other words, a book for all of us. squo; Jean Kwok