The Only Woman in the Room

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

This fictional account of the famous Heddy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) packs a hefty punch and makes you want to know more about the woman behind the movies and the science.  A stage actress in 1933 Vienna, Austria she is noticed by an Austrian arms dealer during a masterful performance.  Her parents agree that she can court him out of fear of the growing Nazi control in Austria, and in hopes that this man may be able to keep her safe.  The couple is soon married and unfortunately, once married there is little to keep her safe from her husband except escape.  After several years she does escape not only her abusive marriage but also Hitler’s growing power.  She makes her way to Hollywood where she becomes a famous actress and at the same time engages her brilliant scientific mind.  Together with composer George Antheil she develops a radio guidance system, known today as spread spectrum technology, that she hopes will aid the Allies during WWII.   Benedict’s ability to bring this historical figure to life will leave readers breathless and begging for more.  The tension as Lamarr, then Kiesler, navigates the dangers of her abusive marriage and the coming turmoil of WWII is palpable as is the relief felt when she finally makes her way to safety.  Then, there’s the outrage on her behalf as she navigates the common discrimination against women of that era.  An absolutely stunning book!
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Hedy Lamarr was a famous actress born in Austria who came to America and was a Hollywood sensation. Her famous movies were Samson and Delilah, Algiers, Lady of the Tropics (1939), Boom Town (1940), H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), and White Cargo (1942). However, beneath her extremely attractive looks and actress facade, is an intelligent scientist who, along with her composer George Antheil, designed and invented a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes that used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers.  Although the US Navy did not adopt the technology until the 1960s,  the principles of their work are incorporated into Bluetooth technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of CDMA and Wi-Fi-eventually became the foundation for the modern cell phone. This work led to their induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. Unfortunately, in the 1940s, although World War Two presented a lot of employment opportunities to women in the defence industries etc., women were still not respected as they were viewed as unintelligent and that science was a field reserved only for men. No one took Hedy seriously at the time because of her profession, her gender and looks.  People thought women's place was in the home where they should concern themselves with trivial and inane activities like entertaining. Hedy escaped from Nazi controlled Austria as well as her abusive first marriage to wealthy arms dealer Friedrich Mandl, who was a very shady character from the start. He was too obsessive by sending Hedy dozens of rose varieties and expensive dates. Mandl was an Austrian military arms merchant and munitions manufacturer who was reputedly the third-richest man in Austria. She fell for his charming and fascinating personality, partly due to his immense financial wealth.  Her parents, both of Jewish descent, did not approve, due to Mandl's ties to Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, and later, German Führer Adolf Hitler, but they could not stop the headstrong Lamarr. Hedy was infamously known in her role in the steamy film Ecstasy which was highly controversial at the time, because graphic sexuality wasn't openly discussed at the time, and she was trying to reclaim her falling acting position by successfully portraying Empress Elisabeth of Austria to the Viennese audience. Mandl had close social and business ties to the Italian government, selling munitions to the country, and although like Hedy, his own father was Jewish, had ties to the Nazi regime of Germany, as well. Lamarr wrote that the dictators of both countries attended lavish parties at the Mandl home. Lamarr accompanied Mandl to business meetings, where he conferred with scientists and other professionals involved in military technology. These conferences were her introduction to the field of applied science and nurtured her latent talent in science. Hedy escaped to England where she met Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, who was scouting for talent in Europe.  Then Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler became the legendary Hedy Lamarr, American film sensation. During World War Two, Lamarr wanted to join the National Inventors Council, but was reportedly told by NIC member Charles F. Kettering and others that she could better help the war effort by using her celebrity status to sell war bonds. She participated in a war bond-selling campaign with a sailor named Eddie Rhodes. Rhodes was in the crowd at each Lamarr appearance, and she would call him up on stage. She would briefly flirt with him before asking the audience if she should give him a kiss. The crowd would say yes, to which Hedy would reply that she would if enough people bought war bonds. After enough bonds were purchased, she would kiss Rhodes and he would head back into the audience. Then they would head off to the next war bond rally. Unfortunately, National Inventors Council didn't take Lamarr's invention seriously at the time and it was technologically difficult to implement, and at that time the U.S. Navy was not receptive to considering inventions coming from outside the military. In 1962, (at the time of the Cuban missile crisis), an updated version of their design at last appeared on Navy ships.  I liked the ending quotations: "Time buckled and then folded back onto itself, back to the night that changed everything. That night set me on the path I stood upon today, one fraught with overwhelming guilt, the pursuit of redemption, and occasionally, unexpected joy. How many masks had I worn on my path, I wondered. Had I ever lowered one of my facades fully and braved my bare skin to the world? The closest I'd come was during my work with George, work that I'd been told was unacceptably "unfeminine". Work to which I'd refused to return after the navy's rejection, even when George begged me; I simply couldn't make myself that vulnerable again. Otherwise, I'd midwifed myself through multiple rebirths, donning a fresh persona with every new iteration, only to return to my original veneer again and again. Had I, in the end, become who they already thought I was? To everyone else, I was Hedy Lamarr, only a beautiful face and lissome body. I was never Hedy Kiesler, aspiring inventor, curious thinker, and Jew. Never the self I really was underneath the many role I'd played on-screen and off-screen.  Or had I used the world's perception of me as a disguise, a sort of smoke screen to distract them while I achieved my ends? Had I taken the persona to which I'd been relegated and made myself into a weapon against the Third Reich after all, just not the instrument of destruction I'd intended? I wondered if it even mattered what-or who-they thought I was, if I'd gotten my revenge against the European suppressors by funding the Allies tonight and perhaps, along with it, the redemption I'd sought. I had always been alone under my mask, the only woman in the room." Even after Hedy fled and lived safely in America, she felt guilty that she was safe and sound and that there are millions of people who'd perished by Nazi hands. Overall, this was a good novel. From the Author's note, "Perhaps if Hedy's society had viewed her not simply as a blindingly beautiful creature, but as a human being with a sharp mind capable of significant contributions, they might have learned that her interior life was more interesting and fruitful than her exterior. Her invention might have been accepted by the navy when she offered it, and who knows what impact that might have had on the war. If only people had been willing to look behind "the only woman in the room" to examine the person she was beneath, they might have seen a woman capable of greatness, and not only on the screen."
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I received a link to this title from my friends at Sourcebooks after its publication while emailing about a developing partnership. I look forward to reading this book and sharing a review on my various platforms when I read it, although I did not commit to reading and reviewing it in advance.
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Hedy Lamarr was best known for her beauty as a Hollywood actress. Yet, after reading this book, she should have been known for her genius.  She was born in Vienna, Austria, prior to World War II and led a very privileged indulged childhood.  Her first husband was a munitions dealer with ties to the Nazis and, eventually, she escaped from her unhealthy life there.
Upon entry to the US, she became a Hollywood actress, dependent on Louie Mayer, but never quite achieving full stardom.  Yet, as the book informs the reader, her genius in creating what was termed "frequency hopping" to prevent American torpedo detection was amazing.  Because of her being female, she was never given the recognition she deserved.
Benedict did a superb job of bringing Lamarr to life.  Her depiction of the events of Lamarr's life was done in such a detailed but fascinating manner.  When the book concluded, I was immediately drawn to find out even more.
Great historical fiction!
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I have become a fan of Marie Benedict’s books. She introduces us to women who have been forgotten by history and their fabulous, and unacknowledged, contributions to modern life.

Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Kiestler) came of age in Austria as an actress in the early days of Adolf Hitler. As the only daughter of a Jewish family she was encouraged to marry Friedrich Mandl, the ‘Merchant of Death’ (he sold weapons to the Nazis) and one of Austria’s richest men. He was charming until they married but became abusive and controlling afterwards and she decided to escape Austria and her marriage while learning all she could about his business.

She found refuge in America, became a well-known actress and decided to invent sonar detectors to avoid German submarines. Her inventions live on today in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology. Although she was granted a patent in 1942, she and her co-inventor  George Antheil received the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award until 1997 and were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for sending me the ARC.
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The Only Woman in the Room tells the story of Hedy Kiesler and her journey from Austria to the United States where she becomes film star Hedy Lamarr.  

Hedy's story is a complicated one as a Jewish woman in Austria who faces uncertain fate as the Nazis come ever closer to her country.  She marries an arms dealer to help insure her safety as well as that of her parents.  That marriage may provide safety or it may not be the safe haven she hoped for.  Without giving out too many details or spoilers, Hedy will eventually travel to America and re-invent herself as Hedy Lamarr.  

This book provided me with many insights into the career of Hedy Lamarr and her contributions to the war effort.  It also gave glimpses into the Hollywood scene at that time, as well as details of Austria during World War II.  

I did not find myself really drawn into the storyline and felt that it jumped forward at points, although trying to tell the story of someone's life does call for that at times.  Fans of historical fiction should still be satisfied with this portrayal of Hedy Lamarr.  

I received this book courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I was really excited to read this, having just recently learned about Hedy Lamarr's scientific contributions. The book is broken into two sections, the first detailing her marriage to an Austrian arms dealer on the eve of WWII, Fritz Mandel. She is still Hedy Keisler, Mandl sweeps her off her feet, and with the blessing (and cautions) of her father, marries him after only a few months. It doesn't take long to realize this won't end well for Austria, when dinner party after dinner party take place with an increasing political edge. Hedy eventually escapes to London, and the second part of the book, which find her in Hollywood, under contract with Louis B. Mayer. She eventually teams up with composer George Antheil and they do patent their wave type technology, but it goes no where with the war effort, which Is what she was hoping all along. The book just wasn't fleshed out enough, it felt really short, more like a list of accomplishments.
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An amazing book about an amazing woman and her accomplishments. I loved reading this and will definitely read it again.
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There are a lot of interesting women in history. Often we do not even know the role they played in important situations as their parts were obfuscated and men were put in as key player. Marie Benedict has made it her goal to put these women in front and she is doing that very well.
If you love old movies you have probably seen Hedy Lamarr at some point (and with old movies I mean those of the 1940's and early 1950's). What I was not aware of was that she also came up with the base for an invention we still use today.
We enter her life when she is about to meet Fritz Mandl in 1933 in Vienna. Though this part has interesting storylines it felt the story was focussing on how Hedy was one day going to move away from Fritz and how she would be able to do it with as much information as possible that could hurt him. The few things that showed her actual intelligence was the mention that she was able to keep up with the technical discussions at the table and was reading technical books in her free time (or time she spend imprisoned at the house). I made a note at page 190 that I missed the science part as it was specifically mentioned in the book summary.
When she arrives in Hollywood we get to read about the movies from that period and a lot of guys she was dating. Eventually we get introduced to George Antheil and the development of her invention is beginning. There is only a small chapter, when the 'Eureka' moment happens that we get a bit more on how the invention is supposed to work and how she came to that.
What we do see is a headstrong woman, a smart woman and a woman who has been fighting to be recognized. I did enjoy that part of the story a lot.
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I was not as enthralled by the book as I expected - and in fact at first I didn't realize it was based on a real story, so at some point I got sucked in the Wikipedia articles and wasn't nearly as interested in the book anymore. While it started great, I wasn't too keen on how long it spent on Hedy's abusive marriage... I kept waiting for things to actually happen. Unfortunately not a book for me, but I learned a lot from it and from my research on her life.
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Let’s get the niggles out of the way so I can go on to discuss what I loved about this book. The biggest problem I had here was that the novel felt a bit slow in the beginning. While I understand that Benedict wanted to give a side of Hedy that others authors might overlook (which is a good thing), I think she could have cut just a bit of that down. That said, the short period that Hedy was in London seemed to be totally neglected, and my thoughts were that she skipped ahead just a bit too quickly there. Finally, I would have liked just a touch more lead-in to Hedy’s interests in science, since it felt just a touch too sudden. I think she could have heightened Hedy’s interest and talent for science in her youth. This might sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t. See, the whole science and invention part was what I wanted to know the most about, so even though the whole bad marriage and escape from Vienna was good (if not excellent), maybe I was just had slightly different expectations.

This isn’t to say that the book isn’t consistently good, because it really is fascinating from beginning to end. Here’s a woman whose beauty and acting talent were what helped her rise above all the other “wannabes” but who also had so much more inside her than what we saw on screen. This dilemma, Hedy’s inner struggle, being forced into play acting for the public, while underneath she’s so much more – even painfully so, is something on which Benedict really focuses. Undeniably, this is what makes this novel not just a biographical piece of fiction, but also a strong statement about the price to both society and women in general, when they are subjected to recurring and constant misogyny. Everything else almost takes a back seat to this theme, and if you ask me, rightly so. The tragedy of Hedy Lamarr was not her fall from Hollywood’s limelight, her bad marriages, or even her feelings of helplessness in the face of the oncoming world war. No, her real tragedy was that her genius went unrecognized for such a long time, simply because she was a woman.

Usually, this is the part in my review where I talk about the writing style and other aspects of the novel such as character development. As for the latter, there is no question in my mind that Benedict put her heart and soul into successfully molding her fictional version of Lamarr into a living, breathing, believable woman, that perfectly matches (and yet also enormously challenges) the picture we have of Hedy in our minds from her photos and movies. It would therefore only follow that her writing style lent perfect credence to both Hedy and the action included in this story. I already appreciated Benedict’s even-handed use of language from her previous novel “Carnegie’s Maid,” so I was not surprised to find a similar touch with this novel. Mind you, Benedict seemed to add more emotion behind her prose in this novel, possibly because the theme here of the systematic marginalization of women was even closer to her heart than the previous book’s theme of class disparity and the socio-economic gaps between them. So, despite what might have felt like a slightly slow beginning, Benedict’s narrative soon builds dramatically to where we can’t stop reading until the end. Add to this that Benedict brought me to tears at one scene, not because it depicted any amazing success or heartbreaking failure, but because the event epitomized Hedy’s helplessness to gain recognition for who she really was and not what she portrayed to the public, and I was hooked.

The question then is, did what Benedict so effectively achieve here outweigh my above noted niggles enough to earn from me a coveted full five stars? To be absolutely truthful, the more I think about this book – and the fact that I can’t stop thinking about it, even though I’m already well involved in another book already – the more I believe that this novel is almost perfect. If I rated on a 10-star scale, I’d probably want to give it nine and a half stars. Since I don’t have a ¾ star available, I think that I’ll just have to round it up and give her full marks, because I will be warmly recommending this book to as many people as I can.
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Rich with period detail and cameos from a few historical figures, Marie Benedict’s latest offering THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM  is an informative look at the world of Hedy Lamarr from her early life in Austria through her triumphs on the silver screen and on to her lesser known success as an inventor.

Her marriage at age 19 to the very rich and much older military munitions manufacturer Friedrich Mandl,  an avowed fascist,  is exciting at the outset but it soon becomes obvious that her husband is not only authoritative as well as verbally and physically abusive he is also power hungry and not above aligning with Hitler to achieve his monetary goals. The narrative is colorful many of the details are engrossing and lush, while the realities of Hedy’s husband’s involvement in the events  leading up to World War II are recalled 

While the ending was rather abrupt, this book does do justice to the contradictory lives lived and battles fought by a woman whose outward beauty caused men (except Howard Hughes) to focus on the exterior while dismissing the brilliance of her mind. 3 1/2 stars
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When you hear the name Hedy Lamarr, you no doubt immediately picture “The Most Beautiful Woman in Films,” with her raven locks, porcelain skin and impossibly gorgeous face. What you probably don’t envision is Hedy Kiesler, the savvy, headstrong inventor. Yes, that’s right: Hedy Lamarr lived a double life. And in THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM, author Marie Benedict illuminates both sides of this complex woman’s life in a way that only a gifted writer can, resulting in a glittering, spell-binding tale of glamour, intrigue and fierceness.

Divided into two parts, THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM begins in pre-World War II Austria, where the young theater actress Hedy Kiesler has just wrapped up a magical performance as Sissy, Austria’s beloved empress. Although she has had some negative press in the past, tonight Hedy shines --- and it is not long before she is treated to a well-meaning yet highly embarrassing barrage of roses. This decidedly un-Austrian move takes Hedy by surprise, but she handles it well, and soon finds herself being wooed by Friedrich Mandl, the richest man in Austria.

Before long, Hedy and Fritz are married, and her life takes a drastic turn. Where she was once showered in affection and respect, she is now treated like a possession. Fritz makes her give up the stage and forces her to play the new role of his wife --- impeccable hostess, passionate love-maker and silent companion. Hedy, who possesses a strong wit in addition to her impossibly good looks, soon feels stifled, oppressed and angry. But Fritz is not only wealthy, he is also a powerful arms dealer with dangerous connections and a vicious temper. Hedy makes one failed attempt at running away before she realizes that she will have to be very, very careful if she is to escape Fritz --- and possibly Austria --- with her life. Benedict does not shy away from Fritz’s cruel tendencies, and her portrayal of a woman suffering in a violent marriage is compassionate yet realistic. Despite her later fame, Hedy truly feels like “one of us” in Benedict’s deft hands.

At the same time, tensions are beginning to brew with the new German leader Adolf Hitler. Hedy trusts and believes that her marriage to Fritz will keep her safe, as he has vowed to protect Austria and keep it independent from the Nazis. But it soon becomes apparent that Fritz follows the money more than his morals, and he begins dealing arms to the Nazis. As a Jewish woman, Hedy feels betrayed and terrified, though she is lucky in that she can more or less hide her Jewish roots. Still, as she learns more and more about the Nazis’ plans, and her husband’s role in the attack on the Jewish people, her need to escape becomes more pressing than ever.

One night, Hedy dons her maid’s uniform (after drugging the maid to sleep, of course) and escapes. Her plan is to head to Hollywood, where many Jewish emigrants have found success, or at least safety. She manages to meet and charm Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, and secures herself a lucrative deal that allows her to return to her first true love: acting. Still, she cannot ignore her roots, and as the news from Europe becomes more and more terrifying, she starts feeling guilty about her role in marrying Fritz and keeping his secrets. This is where her story takes a surprising turn as she begins to unite her memories from Fritz’s business meetings with some scientific research and becomes an inventor. Juxtaposing glamour with science, Benedict develops a perfect portrait of this memorable woman, and reveals a forgotten, covered-up and necessary portion of history.

Benedict shines in her exploration of Hedy’s second life. Lamarr has only just begun to receive praise for her brilliance, and Benedict has picked the perfect time to really highlight this side of her personality and reveal it to readers. As Lamarr tinkers and invents a frequency-hopping system meant to prevent torpedoes from hitting their marks, she faces prejudice, misogyny and humiliation, yet she does not give up. Although her designs were never actually used in World War II, Benedict explains in an Author’s Note that her system could have inspired the scientists and engineers who developed GPS. As always, Benedict’s research is thorough yet not overwhelming. She is a true master of the historical fiction genre, and her portrayals of strong women never fail to amaze.

In a fun twist, I actually read this book on my phone. When I realized that I was holding some of the technology made possible by Lamarr’s efforts, Benedict’s story truly came to life for me. Who knew that we all would be so close to the most beautiful woman in films without even realizing it? Beautifully written, compassionately rendered and compulsively readable, THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM is the perfect work of historical fiction for our time. Benedict has done Lamarr true justice, and I feel certain that she would love this book.
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An incredible historical fiction title spanning Austria to Hollywood.  I was engrossed from beginning to the end.  Ingenious, intelligent and a actress all the way , this title was so enjoyable!  My only disappointment was when the story ended---and I wanted to know so much more!!!  Thank you for giving the opportunity to read this book ---I absolutely loved it!!!
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Hedy Lamarr is one of those incredible great women of history that we often forget. The easily known fact of her life is that she was a great Hollywood starlet during the MGM contract days. The often forgotten part of her history is that she was also an inventor, developing spread spectrum technology which allowed for unjammable radio frequencies.

In The Only Woman in the Room, Marie Benedict writes a fictionalized version of Hedy Lamarr's life, starting with her experience on the stage as the lead character in Sissi at the age of 18 through September 1942. Given the incredible nature of Lamarr's life, from escaping a bad marriage and a war to becoming a starlet and inventor, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of The Only Woman in the Room, which was provided to me by Sourcebooks Landmark via NetGalley.

Unfortunately, Benedict's depiction of Lamarr's life is a missed opportunity. With such a rich life to draw from, we get mostly a surface level look at the goings on and life, as we keep from moment to moment months apart with little by way of transition. It's uncertain if Benedict was attempting to build a journal like feeling by dating and location tagging each chapter, but would have been stronger fully done as absentee journal entries. As it is, we're getting glimpses into a life, without ever truly seeing her as more than a flat character.

Benedict's true strength comes in detailing Lamarr's possible feelings regarding the war itself. Clearly, she understands the trauma and emotion that comes with survivor's guilt, which Lamarr clearly suffered from. It's this that gives the story real strength. I would be happy to see Benedict instead write a story focusing on that kind of detail than trying to recap the life of a known figure.

One of the best parts, was Benedict's author's note in which she allowed herself to truly breakdown what about Hedy Lamarr inspired her. Her reverence for Lamarr shows through turn of phrase, as she aptly describes the true implication of Lamarr's invention in the long term. While spread spectrum technology wasn't used in World War II, it changed the future of technology entirely and Benedict clearly appreciates and undestands Lamarr's true contribution to technology and history.

I look forward to seeing Benedict leaning into her writing strengths in future endeavors, as she clearly has the writing in her.

Review will be published to links on January 22nd, 2019.
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THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM by Marie Benedict is another work of historical fiction by the author of The Other Einstein and Carnegie's Maid. Benedict used the life of Hedy Lamarr as the basis for her newest title.  As such, the book begins in pre-WWII Europe, focusing first on Hedy's childhood and the impact of her father's early death plus her marriage to a munitions supplier. It is the first half of the book that seems really slow; what kept me reading was wanting to know how Hedy escaped her abusive marriage, but the author seemed to gloss over that daring feat. Suddenly, instead, Hedy knew Louis B. Mayer and was off to Hollywood to begin her film career.  That transition was abrupt and the scientific work that she subsequently did – inventing a contribution to WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication – is also treated as a relatively minor part of the story.  Overall, I think these events could have been explored in a shorter format with more recognition of Lamarr's many and varied talents.
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Actress....spy....scientist....Hedy Lamarr was all of those things, but we are only now coming to learn about  most of them. As a young Jewish actress in Austria while still in her teens, Hedy meets and falls in love with Friedrich Mandl, a wealthy industrialist who supplies armaments to many, and he's not picky about his customers. The time is post the Great War and leading up to WWII, and Friedrich has fingers in many pies, and connections with those in Austria who want to remain independent, as well as with those in Germany who seek to combine the two countries. Dazzled by Friedrich, Hedy marries him, only to find that he's controlling, manipulative and abusive.  As his trophy wife Hedy hears many secrets about what is being developed by the Nazis and more, and she files all the information in the brilliant mind that no one seems to see, being blinded by her lovely face.  Her relationship with Friedrich, who is half jewish himself, keeps her from becoming a victim of the Nazi's, but eventually the relationship becomes untenable and she escapes, eventually coming to America to become a leading lady. But behind that beautiful face is a sharp intellect and the mind of the scientist. Hedy partners with a composer to develop a radio guidance system for torpedos.

Hedy's story is fascinating and amazing, a story in which a brilliant woman is denied the credit she deserves because men can't see beyond a pretty face.   Fans of historical fiction and WWII stories will love Hedy's story.
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Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for the chance to read and review this book.
Marie Benedict is one of my favorite authors. Her books just keep getting better and better! In the book description, this book is listed as a masterpiece, and I agree. This is the story of Hedy Lamarr. Even though she is most widely known as a glamorous movie star, she was also a scientist. She was very bright and interested in science. She just had one big problem-no one would listen to her because she was a woman. I love to read stories about strong women and this one did not disappoint. I hope Marie Benedict never stops creating  fantastic novels about courageous women!
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Let me just start out by saying how much I loved this book and the story it brings to life. Marie Benedict beautifully highlights the story of Hedwig Kiesler, more famously known as Hedy Lamarr, the talented Austrian film actress. This story brings attention to the contributions that Hedy Lamarr made to a world that often weighed so heavily on her shoulders. 

We follow Hedy through three very different stages of her life; one as a young Jewish Austrian girl, another as a wife bound by a promise to her husband in an unsettling, dark relationship, and the starlet/ inventor who hoped to create a secret communication system to help defeat the Nazis in World War II and release her from the guilt that was woven into the fabric of who she was. Each of these stages speaks to the resilience, strength, and determination of Hedy Lamarr and the legacy that she left behind. 

Recommendations: READ THIS BOOK. I have spent most of January reading titles that speak to the widespread marginalization that exists in our world among people and groups and this story is important. Thank you to Marie Benedict for bringing forth a story that might otherwise go unheard. Read this with your daughters and with your friends, book clubs or alone, there is an important testament to be shared. 

This review will be shared to Goodreads,  Instagram, Facebook, and Amazon
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