Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I just finished reading Madame Curie and Eclipse. It's funny to have those in the same sentence even. They're so different! But I loved them both.
I recommend Madame Curie by her daughter Eve Curie to anyone. It was SO good! I was surprised and how easily I was drawn into it and also how easy it was to understand the scientific jargon. Granted, I do lean toward what I might call being "scientifically minded", but I think Eve Curie did a masterful job of telling her mother's story in a way that laymen could understand many of the details of Marie Curie's work.
I admire Marie Curie greatly. She worked in awful conditions alongside her husband, Pierre, for many years to discover Polonium and Radium. I was struck by her drive to continue her work. I think she was a little insane about her rigorous work schedule but at the same time it's admirable. And she loved what she did. She even worked 12-14 hour days right up to her death at age 66!
I wish she could have had better resources for her research earlier on her career. I'm not sure that's changed much for scientists over the years. They slave so hard to make new discoveries, but very few are "sponsored" or supported with the things they need until those discoveries are actually made.
When I started the book, I knew very little about Marie Curie and her life. I think I knew what most people know - that she was a great scientist and discovered radium with her husband. I really enjoyed learning about the work she did during World War I! She created mobile x-ray "cars" that could be used in surgery and also found a way to make x-ray hospitals throughout France. She was only able to put together something like 10-15 of the cars, but she personally started 200 X-ray hospital rooms during the war to help the war effort. Amazing!
I was also struck by how intense her relationship with Pierre was. I was really sad reading about his death and how much her life changed after that. She never was able to speak with her daughters about him. It hurt too much.
I thought several times as I was reading about how wonderful it is to have a testimony of Christ's restored Church. Her inner struggles would have been so different and she could have been comforted in knowing that Pierre was waiting for her and in knowing that there is a greater plan than our mortal lives. I think she is waiting peacefully and happily in the spirit world and knows more of our Heavenly Father's plan for us. I like to think so anyway.
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer is a completely different kind of book. I have to step away from my thoughts of Marie Curie to even begin to think about Stephenie's Meyer's world of vampires and werewolves. :)
I loved it and would love to recommend it, but it all depends on your tastes! If you love fantasy and fiction and don't mind reading plots where the main character is a teenager, then read it!
I can't really say much about it without creating spoilers. I will say that the story's been rolling around in my head since I finished and I've been creating continuations as I anxiously await the next installment of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, which is due next fall. I better hurry up and lose myself in other books though because right now it feels like a really long time to wait. I'll be curious to read her next novel that comes in May of next year, The Host.