A brilliant sliding-doors reimagining of the passionate life of the first woman to win a Nobel Prize – and the life Marie Curie might have led if she had chosen love over science.
Poland, 1891. Marie Curie (then Marya Sklodowska) was engaged to a budding mathematician, Kazimierz Zorawski. But when his mother insisted Marya was not good enough, he broke off the engagement. A heartbroken Marya left Poland for Paris to study chemistry and physics at the Sorbonne. Marie 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, 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 lives of Marya and Marie, Half Life is a powerful story of love and friendship, motherhood and sisterhood, fame and anonymity – and a woman destined to change the world.
Jillian Cantor is the internationally bestselling author of ten novels for adults and teens, including In Another Time, The Hours Count, Margot and The Lost Letter. Her books have been translated into 13 languages and chosen for Amazon Best of the Month, LibraryReads, Indie Next. She lives in Arizona.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (April 7, 2021)
Length: 416 pages
Raves and Reviews
‘Explores not only the fascinating inner life of the famous scientist Marie Curie but also the life that might have been if she’d chosen love over science in her early years … 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.’
– Marie Benedict
‘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.’
– Jean Kwok
‘Thought-provoking, skillfully written and hard to put down.’
‘Cantor has created an absorbing biographical novel and performed an engaging riff on the “what if” ponderings we all experience.’
‘In a time when many of us are more tuned in to scientific advances than we've ever been before, this reimagining of what might happen if pioneering scientist Marie Curie had taken a different path is just what the doctor ordered.’
– Good Housekeeping
‘Cantor’s details of language, customs, and how people interact in those times and places are spot on.’
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