Only Woman in the Room
by Benedict, Marie






A beautiful woman escapes her Austrian arms-dealer husband to become Hollywood legend Hedy Lamarr while hiding a secret double life as a Jewish scientist and sharing vital information about the Third Reich.





Benedict (Carnegie's Maid, 2018) reimagines the lesser-known aspects of renowned Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr. In 1937, fleeing her abusive, controlling husband, military-arms dealer Friedrich Mandl, and an increasingly powerful and ruthless Nazi regime, the Jewish, Austrian-born Hedy escapes to London, where she connects with and charms an impressed Louis B. Mayer. In Hollywood, she is billed as the most beautiful woman in the world, but her flawless face masks an inquisitive scientific brain. Unable to forget the military secrets she learned while married to Mandl and eager to assist the Allied cause, Hedy teams with avant-garde composer George Anthiel, ultimately inventing a radio-guided torpedo system. Though never used during the war, their ingenious invention was instrumental in the evolution of blue-tooth technology. Benedict's compelling fictionalized biography pays tribute to the overlooked scientific contributions and the hidden depths of a stunning beauty and beloved movie star of superior intelligence and verve through an irresistible combination of Hollywood glamour and international intrigue. Lamarr-smitten readers who want the full true story will revel in Richard Rhodes' stellar biography, Hedy's Folly (2011), too. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





One of the most beautiful women ever to grace the silver screen, Hedy Lamarr also designed a secret weapon against Nazi Germany. In her latest portrayal of a lesser-known woman scientist, Benedict (The Other Einstein, 2016, etc.) spins the tale of Lamarr, born Hedwig Kiesler, from her late teens in Austria through her success in Hollywood. Born to Jewish parents in a posh Vienna neighborhood, Hedy endures her mother's criticism while following her father's encouragement to pursue both science and acting. Although she finds early success with the risqué Ecstasy, the film's nudity haunts her efforts to be taken seriously. Just as she achieves the respect of her peers as a stage actress, Hedy catches the eye of Fritz Mandl, a wealthy, charismatic older man who owns several munitions factories. Rumored to have mistreated his former mistresses and to be in league with the fascist (albeit anti-Nazi) Austrian Christian Social Party, Fritz determines to wine, dine, and wed Hedy. Once married, however, Hedy finds herself virtually imprisoned and often abused by her jealous husband. Yet Hedy proves invaluable to Fritz when she begins to gather secret information from their well-connected, politically ambitious house guests. After all, who would suspect such a beautiful woman of understanding military secrets? Yet as Germany and Italy begin to join forces against Austria, Hedy discovers just how mercenary Fritz can be. A daring escape leads Hedy to America, where she vows never to be under another man's thumb. Once out of Fritz's reach, Hedy not only returns to acting, but also embarks on a new career as an inventor. Remembering the sensitive information carelessly revealed at Vienna dinner parties, she develops a brilliant radio-communication device. But will the American Navy accept such a weapon from a woman? A captivating story of a complicated woman blazing new trails. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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