A BEND IN THE STARS by Rachel Barenbaum
Relativity and Russia star in this detailed novel of science and politics. Siblings Vanya (male, older, trying to prove Einstein’s Theory of Relativity) and Miri (female, a surgeon in a man’s field, following her deserter fiancée) flee across Russia trying to stay alive long enough to prove Vanya’s theory by photographing a solar eclipse as World War I begins.
You do NOT need to understand the Theory of Relativity to enjoy this epic novel while meandering through Russia. A triangular love story ensues when Miri saves a Jewish mystery man who then falls in love with her. The story is really the love story and the chase for a photo of the eclipsed sun all while being chased by a murderous villain.
The details are all there. The science is understandable, the characters are likeable (or detestable), the country is unmanageable, the climax is heart pounding. An enjoyable, if lengthy, read.
4 of 5 stars