Read Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking Online


Made into a major motion picture, this moving memoir written by Stephen Hawking’s first wife covers the turbulent years of her marriage to the astrophysics genius, her traumatic divorce, and their recent reconciliation Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and remarkable scientists of our age and the author of the scientific bestseller A Brief History of TimeMade into a major motion picture, this moving memoir written by Stephen Hawking’s first wife covers the turbulent years of her marriage to the astrophysics genius, her traumatic divorce, and their recent reconciliation Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and remarkable scientists of our age and the author of the scientific bestseller A Brief History of Time, which has sold more than 25 million copies. In this compelling memoir, his first wife, Jane Hawking, relates the inside story of their extraordinary marriage. As Stephen's academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of a motor neuron disease. Jane's candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family reveals the inner strength of the author, while the self-evident character and achievements of her husband make for an incredible tale presented with unflinching honesty. Jane's candor is no less apparent when the marriage finally ends in a high-profile meltdown, with Stephen leaving Jane for one of his nurses and Jane marrying an old family friend. In this exceptionally open, moving, and often funny memoir, Jane Hawking confronts not only the acutely complicated and painful dilemmas of her first marriage, but also the relationship's fault lines exposed by the pervasive effects of fame and wealth. The result is a book about optimism, love, and change that will resonate with readers everywhere....

Title : Travelling to Infinity
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781846883477
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 487 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Travelling to Infinity Reviews

  • Beth Bonini
    2019-04-24 04:00

    In some cases, it is best to see the film first -- and this is one of them. I was extremely moved by The Theory of Everything, and particularly impressed by the central performances of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and Jane Hawking (Felicity Jones). In the film, Jane Hawking has a steady strength and a calm presence. Even when she becomes increasingly ground down by the demands of Stephen's physical deterioration, there is the sense that she is the strong centre of their marriage and family -- and a hugely important factor in his professional success.To read this book is to realise, rather crushingly, how very simplified and sugar-coated the cinematic version is compared to what transpired in real life. I had huge sympathy for Jane Hawking and her myriad difficulties, but this is a painful book to read in many senses. It also feels very slanted; perhaps that is inevitable in a memoir, but sometimes Jane Hawking's perceptions and perspective seem filtered through such a strong prism of depression, guilt and self-doubt that I felt that I really wanted some counterbalancing perspectives. Were her in-laws really so insensitive and lacking in understanding? Was Stephen so clueless about the physical/emotional toll on her?The book begins with a description of a young Jane who is just discovering herself through travels to Spain and a university education studying modern languages. She depicts herself as a typically upper-middle class British girl of her era, albeit of the bluestocking strain. (Both she and Stephen have families with long relationships with Oxford and Cambridge, and there is much talk of music and theatre.) She plays tennis; goes on a secretarial course; learns, falteringly, to drive. Their courtship is much more on-and-off than the film implies, and is interrupted at various points while both of them travel. They had barely started dating when Stephen was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, and one never quite gets the sense of why she wanted to persist with such a fledgling relationship at that point. Conversely, she conveys that getting married (and later, having children) gives Stephen the confidence and security to really pursue his own intellectual and professional dreams.I don't feel that I really learned all that much about Stephen Hawking in this book. Although she occasionally makes reference to his charm, wit and charisma, what mostly comes across is his intellectual arrogance, his disdain for her religious beliefs and his utter self-absorption with physics and his career. Frankly, he sounds like a selfish monster. Probably the genius, the physics, or the degenerative disease would have been difficult enough, just on their own -- but taken together they are a triple whammy. Even worse, she describes a Stephen who will not talk about difficulties, his own or those that they share. The physical and emotional burdens that she feels until Jonathan comes into her life (more on that) seem unbearable, and she often describes her total exhaustion. Add to that her own insecurity -- about being reduced to a domestic drudge, about not fulfilling her own intellectual or professional abilities -- and this book is a long series of laments. I was compelled by it, and yet it could be extremely tiresome. There is way too much detail about inessentials, and not nearly enough insight. She goes to great lengths to describe the innocence of her relationship with Jonathan --who becomes a friend and support in the household for many years, and later her husband when she and Stephen divorce. I believed her, and yet she protested way too much (which leads to inevitable doubts). She seemed to feel SO guilty for not being able to parent single-handedly, plus take care of an invalid AND his glittering career, plus ask nothing for herself . . . and yet, WHY? She is constantly trying to convince the reader of her worthiness, which is not at all necessary, whilst never quite believing it herself. Emotionally draining stuff.

  • Mazola1
    2019-04-25 05:57

    This is Jane Hawking's story of her 25 year marriage to Stephen Hawking, who is arguably the most famous physicist since Newton. Stephen Hawking's improbable and inspiring story is well known -- how he made significant scientific breakthroughs and achieved great fame and celebrity despite being the victim of a debilitating and progressive neurological disease (motor-neuron or Lou Gehrig's disease) which eventually took away almost all of his ability to do anything for himself but to think. He may be the only scientist alive whose name is known to millions of people, and has achieved a celebrity status usually reserved for rock stars and accomplished athletes.Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time sold 25 million copies, an astounding and truly incredible fact considering the arcane nature of its subject matter and the fact that it is not dumbed down physics, but is actually quite hard to read and even harder to understand. It has been said that never in history has a book been bought by so many people who did not read it. That is probably a testament to the enduring mark Stephen has made on people by the force of his determination and unbreakable spirit in the face of great adversity.Also well known, and the subject of much gossip and speculation, is the story of how Stephen divorced Jane after 25 years of marriage to live with and then marry one of his nurses. Jane Hawking's book is circumspect and honest. Those looking for salacious details will be disappointed. But those looking for an insightful examination of what makes marriages and relationships succeed (and fail) will be richly rewarded. Jane Hawking writes that her story "would be quite ordinary, quite common to most people's lives, were it not for two factors: motor-neuron disease and geniuis." In other words, but for the fact that she was married to an iconic figure who was both a towering intellect and a devastatingly disabled person. Both of these factors did put unusual stresses on the marriage. While Jane describes these unusual difficulties, this also is an ordinary story, dealing with many of the common-place problems and joys that people encounter as they try to forge a life together. Some of these problems and joys, like shared interests and clashing beliefs, a spouse's annoying and endearing characteritstics, helpful relatives and toxic ones, are most likely found in virtually all relationships. Others are also common, if not pervasive. For instance, the stresses caused when one partner overshadows the other in accomplishment and attention. Added to this was the demanding nature of Stephen's illness, which consumed much of Jane's time and energies for many of the years of their marriage, and the difficulty of trying to raise three children while caring for a disabled husband. Jane's struggle to find her own career and to feel like something more than an appendage to a famous spouse mirrors the struggle that many couples grapple with -- how to be a unit or team while still being individuals. Bittersweet in places, sometimes downright sad, nonethess, at bottom it is inspiring, for it is the story of not one person of indomitable will and soaring spirit who survived great difficulties, but two.

  • Maria Espadinha
    2019-05-05 07:56

    Quando o Impossível AconteceAlguém disse um dia que:"The impossible only takes a bit longer"Pois é exactamente o que se passa aqui!...Se confrontados com a adversidade, optarmos pela luta, preterindo a passividade derrotista, avançamos no caminho da auto-descoberta!Enveredamos por um trilho de luz, de clarividência, sem lugar para dúvidas em relação ao próximo passo ...Esta história é um testemunho do poder da mente, que quando determinada a vencer dificuldades é capaz de produzir milagres!Por vezes, o impossível é apenas o que nunca antes foi tentado...NOTA: Esta seria uma leitura de 5 estrelas, não fosse a narrativa perder-se por aqui e ali , em pequenas trivialidades. Não obstante, não será para desprezar, tendo em conta a mensagem poderosa que transmite, e que até é corroborada pela autenticidade dos acontecimentos relatados!

  • Kitty
    2019-05-09 09:13

    Very disappointing and too long. I wanted to learn more what it was like living with a genius with a serious progressive illness. She was overwhelmed most of the time trying to be there for her demanding husband and the needs of the children, but it was more a complaint than trying to convey the situation. I wanted to know more about day to day life and not so many details of her houses, renovations, gardens, friends etc.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-18 11:59

    I really wanted to enjoy this book, but it just wasn't what I was hoping for. I honestly am not sure what I was wanting, but I guess it was something more learned and/or intimate than this. This felt like it was hundreds of pages of Jane trying to justify her life by writing about every last friend that they had over their shared past however-many years of marriage and all the daily activities she did to tend house, care for children, do grocery shopping etc. Maybe I wanted to know more about their relationship, her feelings and thoughts on the work he was doing (wasn't she at all involved in the discussion or theorizing?), interesting stories that would add nuance and color to an incredible scientific personality.But this book ended up being so pedestrian and mundane. I left the book feeling like it was a way for her to cash in on her relationship without having any viable content to share. She didn't take us on any journey of any exciting or interesting path. Instead, I just got to learn about where they lived, who they saw practically every single day, and other dull details of their lives.

  • Laura
    2019-04-27 05:50

    This the kind of book which you either love or hate.Certainly, if you watched the movie, you'll love it, even if I haven't done yet. All the romantics aspects would be some way exacerbated.If you are a fan of memoir/biography books you will find a mixture of everything in this book, such as: their personal lives (yes!), mixed with some hints of physics (of course) and history of science (in a biography?).In summary, even the idea of the author seems brilliant, she looses the main plot by trying to explain everything to us, poor readers.If you really want to know more about Stephen Hawking, please read his book A Brief History of Time.Update:Daily Mail review.

  • Shaikha
    2019-04-21 10:02

    I've been trying to finish this book since high school but I ended up dropping it every time; it was a bit long for me at that time. But after watching the movie, I was determined to finish it and I found it absolutely overwhelming and compelling! I did enjoy the movie more since the book had a lot of unnecessary details. Nevertheless, this book is incredible and deserves to be read at least once in a lifetime! 👏🏼

  • Renee
    2019-05-03 06:11

    "Just as we thought we had escaped the worst of the winter's ills, the spring of 1976 lay in wait with a series of cruel tricks which made of it an obstacle course akin to a snakes-and-ladders board, though with many more snakes than ladders and with the dice weighted to land on the snakes."" was obvious to everyone, except to Stephen and his subversive minions, that I would not be well enough to travel."[During her second wedding] "There were the odd distracting moments -- such as the horrible scratchy pen which turned my signature on the registers into an untidy scrawl, bringing back humiliating memories of a failed art exam in calligraphy at St. Albans High School." This book was incredible in that I have never seen, read, or experienced anything as negative in my life. Every minute was an opportunity to complain and to beg for sympathy. I was in awe by 20%, and then I just had to keep reading to see if the entire book could really continue at that rate. It did! Amazing. A situation will be described as terrible, awful, and traumatic, only to be referred to as "not bad" in comparison to what horror was next for her! I think she would have garnered the sympathy craved if she had described life more evenly, as yes certainly there were plenty of struggles. But she was also financially secure (buying and remodeling several houses with help from parents/in-laws) and traveling the world. So many things (the chicken pox! ohmygosh the chicken pox!!) were blown out of proportion that it diluted the actual challenges.

  • Stu Schreiber
    2019-05-15 04:52

    Actually read the book after I had seen the movie. Always interesting to see what they include from the book. Enjoyed both but think I enjoyed the movie best.

  • Susan
    2019-05-03 07:54

    This book wasn't what I was expecting. After seeing the movie Theory of Everything, I wanted to read the book to get more insight on the relationship between Stephen and Jane Hawking as well as the struggles with motor neuron disease. I was expecting a narrative, and instead got what at first seemed like a laundry list of their everyday tasks for twenty-five years. The beginning was painful to get through because of the indiscriminate need to include even the most minute details of their lives. Everything was laid out chronologically as the book was compiled of a million small stories that didn't create any kind of narrative arc, only served to give a complete account as to what they ate for breakfast and which flights they took to what countries. She also delved pretty deep into the science of Stephen's book as well as her own studies on Medieval Spanish poetry, which might be interesting to some but was dry to me. Her editor did, in deed, fail her in this respect.However - I think the book IS important for the reasons Jane describes in the epilogue. To show what it is like living with/taking care of someone who has motor neuron disease, especially someone who is a famous scientist. Many people insist that this reads like a huge complaint by Jane, but I think she has been so pushed back into the corner that she more than deserves to tell her side of the story (and the caretakers side of the story). Yes, she does defend herself very loudly and yes, she does complain about the stresses of their lives very often. But I don't blame her. Her attitude and will to do whatever it took was inspiring, and by the end of the book I was moved to tears. Read this if you have a lot of time and patience, and it will be worth it if you stick with it to the end. It really is an amazing story, and while it wasn't the passionate drama I was expecting, I think it was beneficial. I was also surprised at how different the movie portrayed the second half of their lives from what Jane describes. I think that even with the movie she was done a great injustice. She is still struggling with the idea that Stephen is an idol and she is the woman who couldn't give him everything he needed. I have nothing but respect for her.

  • Janie Cai
    2019-05-18 03:54

    Since it took me over two months to finish this book, I felt compelled to write a review. I was (and still am) strongly debating whether this book deserves three stars or four. As I remember Eileen once saying in a previous review, a three suggests mediocrity. However, a four suggests some form of brilliance to me. To rate this book a four would be comparing it to books like I Know Why The Caged Bird Sing and Brave New World (and other books that I've rated a four), and this book simply doesn't fit into that category.At times, she frustrated me, and at other times, I truly sympathized (and sometimes emphasized) with her. I am not criticizing her actual life or her relationship with Stephen but rather her writing style. It was monotonous and repetitive at times, and while her sentence fluency and vocabulary is actually quite amazing (rightly so, considering that she studied romance languages), her story just seemed to be a blur of pessimism and unnecessary detail. I'm not really sure what I wanted or expected out of it; perhaps I wanted a little more of Stephen's personality or a little more optimism or some more insight from her present self. Simply put, I often grew bored of her reiterations.Despite this, I do have an even greater respect for Jane Hawking. To survive and prosper in such emotional turmoil is frankly amazing. To this day, she is a friend of Stephen and champions for the rights of disabled people. Regardless of her writing style, Travelling to Infinity does give an enormous amount of insight into what it's like to have ALS and what it's like to be a caregiver for someone with ALS.

  • Stu Schreiber
    2019-05-12 11:11

    A compelling story written by Jane Hawking the wife of Stephen Hawking for 25 years. Didn't know what to expect since I, like most, have been fascinated by the life and challenges of Stephen Hawking and his rock star image. Relationships, in general are complicated, and when you add Stephen's motor-neuron disorder and genius, Jane and Stephen's relationship becomes even more complicated. Despite his brilliance, Stephen is human. Jane writes of his bravery, inspiration and arrogance. I felt myself in awe of Stephen's mental capacity but not liking him as a person. Interestingly, its the same way I felt after reading about Steve Jobs. Jane stays in their relationship for the love of their family and deserved better than watching Stephen leave her for one of his nurses. We are often reminded how it is often impossible to know what its like to live in someone else's shoes. Stephen Hawking is on the top of that list and I found myself more than willing to excuse any and all of his flaws. Stephen Hawking is one of the truly fascinating men of the last 100 years. It's hard to imagine what it must be like to be Stephen Hawking. That we can never understand.Finally, this is an incredible story but I found something missing that keeps me from calling it a great book.

  • Natalia
    2019-04-23 09:08

    Este es el primer libro sobre Stephen Hawking que leo en mi vida, conocía previamente su trayectoria como gran científico y los logros personales de no dejar que la parálisis permanente con la que vive lo haya detenido nunca, pero más allá de eso no conocía de su vida. En mi propia ignorancia, reconozco que lo que me motivó a leer este libro fue la película The Theory of Everything (La Teoría del Todo), por el simple detalle de ver a Hawking caminar, moverse y hablar como el resto de las personas antes de que fuera diagnosticado con la enfermedad de la motoneurona a unos escasos 21 años, donde apenas comienza recién a vivirse la adultez y de la figura anónima que lo acompañó por años y a quien recién ahora se le va otorgando el reconocimiento que se le merece, porque ésta en realidad no es la vida de Stephen Hawking, sino de Jane Hawking, quien fue su primer esposa por veinticinco años, quien a pesar de todas las adversidades que le avecinaban, decidió casarse con él, ser su compañera por veinticinco años de matrimonio y la madre de sus tres hijos. El libro nos da una mirada detalla y concisa (que a veces puede ser un poco lenta por la falta de diálogos), de casi tres décadas de vida en común. Fue interesante conocer y leer como esta sencilla joven de Cambridge conoce y se enamora de un joven Stephen, así como al mismo tiempo fue bastante conmovedor ver a este famoso científico ser un poco más humilde. Sus viajes por Europa, especialmente por España y Francia, su amor y pasión por la poesía medieval, su creencia en Dios a diferencia de Stephen, quien se considera un ateo permanente y sus primeras dudas luego de enterarse de la enfermedad del joven. Conforme los capítulos van pasando (y algunos son tan largos como los años en que transcurre la historia recordada), se puede apreciar una gran gama de personajes famosos que se hicieron amigos de la singular pareja y fueron una gran ayuda (especialmente cuando Stephen comienza a perder de forma gradual los movimientos de forma notoria sin poder realizar las funciones más básicas y al mismo tiempo su fama comienza a crecer), como Kip Thorne, Roger Penrose, George Ellis, Dennis Sciama, Gaileo Galilei, Isaac Newton y muchos más de alrededor del mundo y la historia. (Personalmente, me sorprendió y me gustó que Jane mencionara a Chile, mi país, y lo ocurrido en la dictadura militar de Pinochet, nunca pensé que hubiera conocido a varios chilenos o que nombrara la figura de Pablo Neruda). A la vez se puede apreciar la evolución de la misma Jane con el correr de los años, de la joven estudiante a un ama de casa y posteriormente madre de tres hijos, Robert, Lucy y Timothy y su camino para lograr su propio mágister en poesía medieval española. Claro que no todo el libro es color de rosa, luego comienza a ponerse difícil y comienzan a verse las verdaderas pruebas. Como figura protagonista de su propia vida, muchas veces, Jane Hawking parece estar relegada a un personaje secundario en comparación de la creciente fama de Stephen con sus descubrimientos sobre los agujeros negros y el encontrar una ecuación que unifique toda la teoría del origen del universo. Muchas veces dejando sus propios sueños, especialmente su tesis, para apoyar no solo los sueños de su marido, sino la crianza de sus primeros dos hijos, Robert y Lucy, especialmente siendo una madre primeriza y que no siempre puede contar con la ayuda de Stephen, debido a su notoria discapacidad. Así como al mismo tiempo las tareas más básicas en la casa comienzan a ser complicadas. Se puede admirar su esfuerzo y empeño por querer que las cosas salgan bien, pero también se comparte un sentimiento de injusticia debido al poco cuidado que se le daban a los discapacitados en esa época, porque dudo que Jane hubiera podido lograrlo si no hubiera sido por la gran ayuda que recibió de muchas buenas personas que pasaron por su camino. Pero el precio del esfuerzo y de la fama no siempre es con las más buenas intenciones. Jane tiene que enfrentar un mundo que muchas veces se muestra más que injusto y prejuicioso, un mundo que puede aceptar a Stephen Hawking como un genio, pero donde ella es mirada en menos debido a su condición de mujer, esposa y sin título universitario donde como señalé al principio, relegada a un papel secundario muy inmerecido cuando siempre se le debió de dar más y muchas veces proviniendo de los lugares menos esperados y más cercanos al mismo tiempo. También debe enfrentar sus batallas internas, especialmente cuando en medio de su matrimonio con Stephen, encontrará el amor con Jonathan, un músico viudo que entra a formar parte de la familia como amigo y ayudando tanto a Stephen como a los pequeños Hawking, muchas veces ocultando el afecto que ambos sienten debido a la situación de Stephen, un dilema moral enorme que muchas veces no le será fácil a Jane, quien al fin y al cabo es una mujer con sueños y anhelos como muchas en el mundo que buscan la felicidad y el amor, especialmente cuando éste aparece en los momentos más inesperados y singulares. Narrativamente me gustó mucho, quizás no a todos les guste o pueda ser una lectura algo pesada, pero Jane hace gala y honor a sus inspiraciones poéticas a la hora de narrar sus memorias, una tarea que no siempre suele ser fácil, porque si algo es seguro, es que la memoria colectiva nunca coinciden a la hora de recordar detalles. He encontrado similitudes tanto en The Theory of Everything y Hawking, donde un joven Benedict Cumberbatch interpreta a Stephen en sus comienzos como científico y cuando la enfermedad de la motoneurona aparece en su vida. Pero aquí se puede leer la vida de una mujer que contra todo pronóstico logró formar una familia y ayudar a uno de los científicos más inteligentes y respetados del siglo, titularse de su carrera a pesar de los años que le tomó y aunque sabemos cómo terminó todo entre el matrimonio Hawking para los que conocen la historia, no hay que verlo como un triste final, sino como el avance a un siguiente capítulo. Resumiendo en pocas palabras, es un relato de toda una vida en conjunto, un proyecto de vida y convivencia y un relato de amor genuino y conmovedor en honor al amor en pareja, el amor hacia los amigos, los padres, los hijos y la vida misma.

  • Bonnie
    2019-05-03 05:54

    This is a book about Stephen Hawking's courtship and marriage to Jane Hawking, and their family life. Jane married Stephen when he was newly diagnosed with motor neuron disease and given about two years to live. That was over 40 years ago and he's still alive. She was terribly burdened with his care, on top of taking care of three children, without much money. She has genuine, legitimate complaints about his treating her like a slave? So why is she so irritating? I think it's because she has so little self-awareness. She never delves into why she might have decided to marry a man with a serious, life-threatening disease, never a hint that it might have seemed glamorous or noble to her. She does seem to have been smitten with him -- his feelings for her are much less apparent. He needs her but he seems as often irritated with her as loving. It is striking how old-fashioned her attitudes are. It sometimes feels like an early 20th century book. She views her role almost entirely as mother and wife. Yes, she does manage to complete a PhD, but the time is stolen from an endless round of teas, birthday parties, and other forms of entertainment. Really? She has to do all of this? It seems that she takes pleasure in this role but also complains about it. There is hardly a mention of any real communication between Jane and Stephen, except in their joint commitment to some political causes.Finally she meets John, who loves and values her. Because she's committed to Stephen and the children, she absolutely won't leave him, and the new man becomes part of the household. apparently with Stephen's consent. It's hinted but not made explicit that Stephen is no longer able to have sexual relations with her -- although she did become pregnant by him a few years earlier. That episode is recounted by her saying that she wasn't always careful about birth control. What?! They're having sex? He's not just her fourth child? She is furious at his sister asking if the child is John's, although it seems a reasonable question, if intrusive. The bizarre thing is that Jane is baffled to learn after a few years that Stephen apparently wasn't happy with the new arrangement. It is this kind of obtuseness that makes her so annoying. But as a picture of their home life, and what it's like to be married to a "great man," it's fairly compelling. And she does get her revenge on the evil nurse who manipulated him into leaving Jane and marrying him, and we do learn that apparently THEY were having sex.

  • Carolyn
    2019-04-22 04:50

    1.5 stars This book has been described as optimistic and inspiring, but it seemed to me that the writer was very negative, complaining and demanding sympathy. There were many great challenges in her life and the reader could be more sympathetic if she wasn't complaining about everyday stresses that most everyone experiences.She knew Stephen's medical condition when they married, but blames her time caring for him on delaying her work on her PHD in Spanish literature. But she describes endless concerts, parties, dinners, picnics, ballet shows, travel, renovating a number of their homes and making gardens. She complains about her in-laws as not being helpful enough although they did help, and so did her relatives, friends, students, government agencies and the University. Not many people as caregivers for severely disabled relatives have such wealth or resources.She was happy when she moves her "platonic" lover into the home with Stephen and the children. Then goes on trips to Europe with this man and attends many musical events with him. She is annoyed when Stephen receives medals and honours, and mentions that only twice she received gifts at these events. She is furious when Steven's sister asks her if her third child is Steven's or the live in boyfriend. She lacks self-awareness and seems to feel entitled and resentful of her husband's fame. After 25 years marriage Stephen announces he is divorcing her to marry one of his nurses. She is very upset as she seems to want both men. After Stephen leaves, she marries this man, astounded that Stephen didn't approve of the arrangement and felt neglected.. At the close of the book Stephen is divorced again and the three of them and her children are spending happy times together. I know Jane Hawking didn't appear to come across this way but much of her writing I found just plain irritating.

  • Megan Lynch
    2019-05-06 05:11

    It took me quite awhile to read this book, but I think that's just a mixture of being busy & not wanting it to end! I became extremely attached to Jane & her family & my heart ached at how beautifully honest she is about both the triumphs & struggles of being married to Stephen. I was struck & inspired by her intelligence & drive, & I can honestly say I was sad when it was over because it was like saying goodbye to a friend.

  • Aleishas Reviews
    2019-04-20 04:02

    3.5 Stars

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-05-07 06:59

    **3.5 - 4 stars**This was an absolutely fascinating read – Of course I have followed Stephen Hawking’s story just like everybody else, he always struck me as quite an enigmatic character but apart from his public persona I did not know a great deal. And I knew nothing of Jane Hawking, his first wife, who in this memoir tells it as it was for her and it is at turns emotional, funny and very engaging.It is a love story, it is also the story of two people coming together and making a life, a life that is difficult and expected to be short lived. Jane Hawking does not pull punches with her narrative, but shows her inner strength in the face of adversity, both the good and the bad things that happen are told with an open honesty and a tendency to be blunt that is very appealing.Of course this is a very personal story – as such I found myself wondering how much of it was coloured by what came later – I can’t say that Stephen Hawking came across as terribly likeable overall – although of course very brave, absolutely determined and often inspiring. Added to that was a sense of the arrogance that extraordinarily intelligent people can have, his disregard for Jane’s belief system and his impatience with other people is sitting right there, sometimes making me shake my head. Jane herself is not always likeable, which I guess shows that she wrote honestly even about herself, but I admired her grit and total and absolute love for her family that kept her going through some difficult times.The science was intriguing, the lifespan of the relationship and marriage entirely compelling, the slow disintigration of health is sad yet strangely empowering as Stephen fights on regardless, so overall a terrific read if a little long winded and dry upon occasion, for the most part it was entirely bewitching.I have not seen the movie as yet – The Theory of Everything, as I understand it, takes the more romantic aspects of the story told here and creates a rather wonderful film. I shall look forward to seeing it, however I am very pleased that I read this first as I believe right here is where you will find the most truth, even if skewed by being told by only one side of the equation.Definitely recommended for fans of Non Fiction and anyone with an interest in a real life lived.Happy Reading Folks!

  • Dawnie Temple
    2019-05-13 09:53

    I have never read something so in depth before. To hear the struggles the whole family have had to go through was inspiring,inspiring to see that at the end of it all they both could stay friends,i wish sometimes my Marriage had gone that way. But then again being controlled is not what a woman wants in life. Really want to see the Movie now to see how they can put a Brilliant Read into a Motion Picture..

  • Michael
    2019-05-04 04:02

    A wonderfully written and poignant tale of Jane's marriage to Stephen Hawking. I loved watching A Theory of Everything and wanted to read this to understand more about these two fantasic people and their stories.

  • Jo Weston
    2019-05-05 05:53

    Rather long, perhaps, but I found it fascinating.

  • Laura Leilani
    2019-04-22 08:07

    Went into this book expecting some bitter bashing of her ex husband and was happily disappointed. Jane does a great job of telling her side of things in a fair manner. I also expected her to play the martyr card but she never does. She is human. She does her best. Sometimes she fails. Her writing was top notch, much better than I was expecting. Reading this book after reading Stephens autobiography was the right move. I highly suggest that for others. Jane and Stephen both talk about the same events and people, but with differing perspectives. Also, reading Stephen's short version was a good overview to reading Jane's longer, much more detailed version. Honestly, I was frustrated at first, by the lack of description of her feelings. I know English people don't trumpet their emotions about like Americans, but I still expected some hints as to why Jane fell in love in the first place. That is my only criticism, and I actually ended up respecting Jane's holding back her private emotions by the end of the book. It made her tale more heartfelt than reading some overly sentimental gushing. A great read and realistic peek into their lives.

  • Natalia
    2019-05-09 04:04

    Reseña ya disponible en el blog.Hacia el Infinito... al comprarlo, no había leído ninguna reseña de este libro, ninguna. Estaba vagueando por Cúspide, vi la portada y me enamoré (literal, jaja). Si no fuera por la portada, no lo hubría comprado, que conste mi manera de juzgar a los libros jaja. El libro es bastante largo, consta de casi 600 páginas y casi no hay diálogos (gracias a Dios me di cuenta de esto casi al final del libro, o si no habría sido una eternidad para mí). Al ser del género autobiográfico se avanza relativamente lento; aunque creo que si lo lee una persona a la que le guste la física, irá a un paso más rápido. Esto porque el libro contiene muchos datos acerca de Newton, Einsten y demás personajes célebres, además de que Jane nos intenta explicar con sus detallistas palabras (jaja) lo poco que entiende de este mundillo de la física en el que su marido Stephen Hawking se ve envuelto.Las primeras páginas del libro, como era de esperarse, trata sobre cómo conoció a Stephen y cómo se vio atraída a él. Él y su familia tenían la fama de extraños, por lo que ella al principio estaba medio renuente a juntarse con él... pero siguió haciéndolo. Y después de eso fue inevitable el desenlace: una relación. (Vamos, que no estoy spoileando nada xD).La historia nos narra fantásticamente cómo es que le diagnostican la enfermedad a Stephen y cómo va evolucionando la misma. Jane nos relata mucho sobre la sociedad, la poca esperanza de vida que le dan a Stephen y sobre cómo se trataba a los discapacitados en ese entonces. Todas estas son cuestiones que los dos van a tener que aprender a sobrellevar con el paso del tiempo. Durante todo el libro leemos y sentimos con pesar algunas de las experiencias que tuvieron que pasar...leer más.

  • Shannon Lee
    2019-05-17 08:00

    Jane Hawking is an excellent writer. She uses words and metaphors very well and paints some lovely pictures of the English countryside and Cambridge, in particular. This book, however, is l-o-n-g. Too long. I understand that a life dedicated to a debilitated genius and three children has been extremely challenging but reading about every luncheon, party, family vacation, child illness, and attendance at functions held in her husband's honour became tedious. Parts of this book read like that annual letter you get at Christmas from your cousin abroad crowing about all the of their accomplishments and strife during the past year. Mrs Hawking skirts around the most interesting aspects of her relationship with her famous husband and doesn't answer a number of questions that are on the tips of everyone's tongues. In short, I guess we need more of the juicy bits! The book should have been 25% shorter. However, this is a woman I admire and she certainly could have a career as writer.

  • Heather Browning
    2019-05-09 09:48

    I've always been impressed by Stephen Hawking; the strength it must take to do the type of work he does, while managing his disease. What I'd never thought of was the amount of strength it must take to be the other people in his life; those whose lives are taken up in providing support and care. Jane Hawking is fairly extraordinary in the life she managed to build for herself and her family while managing all these factors. She's completely honest about the level of challenge they faced, and the sense of despair at trying to surmount all the obstacles is obvious throughout. Makes me a feel a little inadequate for complaining about my own difficulties sometimes, but also more aware of how much you need an extended support network to help.

  • Dian Achdiani
    2019-04-26 09:11

    Review menyusul XDEdit to add:Baca buku ini lelah. Lelah pertama, karena kalimat-kalimatnya panjang-panjang, banyak anak kalimat yang punya anak kalimat lagi. Apalagi terjemahannya agak... begitu deh XDLelah kedua, membaca dan menempatkan diri sebagai Jane di sini, bener-bener lelah. Dari sejak ketemuan lalu pacaran, Stephen sudah didiagnosis memiliki penyakit, dan diduga daya tahan hidupnya paling 1-2 tahun lagi. Tetep saja Jane menikahinya. Jadi, tahun-tahun dalam hidupnya penuh dengan mengurus Stephen, melahirkan, menyelesaikan tesisnya sendiri, terus mengurus Stephen, melahirkan lagi, belum lagi pindah benua dari Inggris ke Amerika, melahirkan lagi... lelah bacanya...Untung banget karena ayah ibu Jane maupun ayah ibu mertuanya selalu menolong, belum lagi tetangga, teman-teman, mahasiswa yang ikut kos di rumah mereka, dan terakhir Jonathan. Heran juga kok bisa Jonathan bertahan selama itu...Kemudian saat Stephen sakit di Jenewa dan harus menjalani operasi, lalu harus hidup dengan tabung trakeotomi, sepertinya dari sinilah segalanya berawal. Teman-teman mengusulkan agar ada perawat khusus untuk Stephen (selama ini diurus Jane dengan segala kerepotannya, plus orang-orang dekat: orangtua, tetangga, teman). Jadi diaturlah tim perawat untuk shift jaga Stephen (dan nyusun itu aja udah rempong). Untuk pertama kali Jane bisa bernapas lega (karena dia juga harus ngatur anak-anaknya, apalagi si bungsu masih bayi) tapi lama kelamaan tim perawat itu 'menguasai' Stephen, terutama ketuanya, Elaine Mason. Stephen lebih mendengar suara Elaine daripada Jane, berujung mengusir Jane......lelah banget.Ambu bandingkan dengan A Beautiful Mind, walau Travelling to Infinity ditulis Jane dengan sudut pandang 'aku', sementara A Beautiful Mind ditulis orang lain dengan sudut pandang orang ketiga, tapi kurang lebih sama aja. Bedanya adalah, dalam TtI kerasa Stephen arogan banget, segala hal berputar di sekelilingnya, sementara dalam ABM Nash terasa agak lebih membumi (walau tetep juga sifat kasarnya ada). TtI diakhiri dengan perceraian, walau kemudian ujungnya perkawinan kedua Stephen berakhir juga dan Stephen beberapa kali mengunjungi keluarganya dengan Jane sudah berstatus sebagai istri Jonathan, sementara di ABM Nash memang sempat bercerai dengan Alicia, namun mereka menikah lagi, rukun lagi juga dengan anaknya...Persamaan antara kedua buku ini: kalau udah mulai nyebut teori ini-itu, langsung skip aja XDDYah, selesai dengan lelahnya. Mari membaca sesuatu yang lebih ringan XD

  • Amanda
    2019-05-18 11:49

    I struggled with this one - I couldn't tell if I wanted to applaud her no-nonsense, no holds barred approach to telling a story of living with a mathematical genius trapped in a severely disabled body or just shake her and say "stop complaining about your everyday life, speak up to make a change or just leave!". I cannot imagine what toll her need to hold up her family, raise her children and take care of her husband took, and maybe that's why she never came across as someone who could be satisfied in the happiness of a moment. Instead, everything had something wrong - her parents moved to a care facility but the important thing was she was left to deal with the house. She got to go to Jerusalem while Stephen picked up an award, but she was bothered by a loud taxi driver, etc. She lived with a megalomaniacal genius which I can imagine was a lonely existence, but she portrayed herself as a mute victim, unable to address anything directly and instead just waiting for the other shoe to drop or the world (including her husband) to dismiss her. I didn't feel she really took responsibility for her role in her life and instead looked at her life as something that just happened to her. Lastly, the book was supposed to be about her life with her ex-husband, but instead it was a weird collection of decorating memories, list of friends she made and a retread of how very hard it was to write a thesis on medieval poetry with only some time devoted to her daily challenges - in the end, it was as if she was using the book to reclaim some identity or level of importance that she thought she lost by being Stephen Hawking's wife.

  • BookWorm 221
    2019-04-25 11:09

    www.bookworm221.tumblr.comA very interesting book about the life of the woman behind Stephen Hawking during those first years of his career.It was incredible to read about the many difficulties that they went through when they were younger and also the way she narrates her story and how it was like for her to care for Stephen and her family. Keep Calm and Read OnInstagram and Twitter @bookquotes221

  • Barbie Tew
    2019-04-28 05:53

    After seeing the film Theory of Everything, I wanted to read the book on which it was based. The book adds so many more details over a span of 25 years and I could better understand the circumstances and pressures that Jane experienced. The book is rather long and at times repetitive, but I learned much from Jane's perspective. The movie was good at showing the main themes, and the book gives more of the nitty gritty of life in the Hawkings' home. Usually I recommend reading the book first, but I agree with other reviewers in saying that I'm glad I saw the film first. I doubt if I would read the memoir again, but I'm sure I'll see the film many times.

  • Gabrielle Malinski Nery
    2019-05-15 04:54

    Na segunda tentativa, foi. E depois de finalmente terminar esse livro, fico grata por ter me obrigado a passar pelas partes que não empolgavam no começo.Foi incrível acompanhar mais de perto os esforços da Jane pra ter uma vida relativamente normal mesmo com as terríveis consequências da ELA e da crescente publicidade em torno de Stephen. E mesmo assim, depois de mais de duas décadas de esforço, ela recebeu zero reconhecimento. Foi realmente um livro ótimo, apesar do começo beeem lento.