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The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel by Marie Benedict

The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel by Marie Benedict

She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?

Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich’s plans while at her husband’s side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.

But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis…if anyone would listen to her.

A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece. (publisher)

Hedwig Kiesler is an Austrian Jewish, even if she doesn’t think of her as a Jewish since her family isn’t religious. Rich older man sees her in a stage production of Sisi and wants her. Hedy’s father sees trouble coming and thinks this man, who is an arms dealer, could bring protection for Hedy in the pre-WWII days. After the marriage, the charming man turns into a controlling man who doesn’t want her to carry on acting and just wants a trophy wife to show people.

She manages to escape from her marriage and ends up in Hollywood and carry on her acting career and becomes known as Hedy Lamarr.

I liked the first part in Austria better and learning more about her early years. I felt the latter part of the book was a bit rushed. I didn’t totally buy the author’s idea behind the adoption. She spent the first part of her life not even knowing she was Jewish and then suddenly wanting to save all the Jews.

Also, I felt like her interest in science came from nowhere. During the war when she comes up with the idea of frequency hopping thing but there was no mention in the book before that she had any interest in science and suddenly, she is a genius.

She was a fascinating woman, and this was an interesting read, but I have to admit that I had higher hopes for this one.

3/5

Published: Sourcebooks Landmark (January 8, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

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