I bought this book because I loved the title and the picture on the front cover, not that they seem to be related. I was surprised by what I found inside. This is not a novel, nor is it a classical biography (in this case, of Marie Curie!), although it does describe Marie Curie’s life pretty much from beginning to end.
What the author did is far more engaging: Based on her initial encounter with Marie Curie through a journal she wrote after a husband death, sent to her by her editor when she was in a writing slump, following the death of her own husband of 20 years, she started writing about her own experience by contrast with Marie Curie’s.
So, she explores the life of a woman who lived at a different time but she also uses that to explore her own processing of her husband’s death. She also explores the place of women in society (in science, in academia), between independence and duty, as well as the need to honor once parents. She also discusses guilt, happiness, ambition and detachment, the sources and consequences of these feelings and orientations. The author makes a smart use of hashtags (not something I had seen in a book yet) to highlight what theme she is discussing. There is an index of hashtags at the end.
The book also includes a Spanish translation of Marie Curie short diary written in the first year following her husband’s death.
This book does offer a fascinating review of Marie Curie’s life. I did read the biography written by one of her daughters when I was young; I have a very clear memory of that, I was so fascinated by it.
I was quite entranced by Rosa Montero’s writing and will gladly look for her fiction.
Montero, Rosa. La ridícula idea de no volver a verte. “Biblioteca Breve”. Seix Barral, Barcelona, 2013.