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The Only Woman in the Room

The Only Woman in the Room

Book - 2019
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Hedy Kiesler is lucky. Her beauty leads to a starring role in a controversial film and marriage to a powerful Austrian arms dealer, allowing her to evade Nazi persecution despite her Jewish heritage. But Hedy is also intelligent. At lavish Vienna dinner parties, she overhears the Third Reich's plans. One night in 1937, desperate to escape her controlling husband and the rise of the Nazis, she disguises herself and flees her husband's castle. She lands in Hollywood, where she becomes Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But Hedy is keeping a secret even more shocking than her Jewish heritage: she is a scientist. She has an idea that might help the country and that might ease her guilt for escaping alone--if anyone will listen to her.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Landmark, [2019]
ISBN: 9781492666868
Branch Call Number: FIC BENEDIC 2019
Characteristics: 254 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

A fascinating look at a famous movie star with an unexpected past: Hedy Lamarr, the Austria-born screen siren who was also a brilliant inventor. Brisk pacing and atmospheric scenes of pre-World War II Europe round out this intriguing work of historical fiction. ~ Alissa Williams, Morton Public Li... Read More »

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May 27, 2021


May 04, 2021

This is a fictionalized biography of Hedy Lamarr, a truly amazing person who fled Nazi Germany, became a success and glamorous Hollywood actress, and solved a difficult technological problem that resulted in her getting a key patent for radio guided torpedoes that later became foundational for the development of cell phones and wireless communication. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more detail about and celebration of Lamarr’s scientific accomplishments. I was also disappointed that the author chose to avoid discussing complex aspects of her personal history, including her out of wedlock child and six marriages.

Feb 21, 2021

How do I order 2.

Feb 11, 2021

The "Only Woman" is Hollywood actress of the 1940's - 1950's, Hedy Lamar. It covers her Austrian upbringing and learning about her husband's munitions dealings. She runs away to Hollywood and her name is changed by Louis B Mayer, producer. In her effort to help the US war effort during WWII, she and a colleague develop and patent an invention for munitions control.

Jan 06, 2021

I was really looking forward to this book - and while quite informative about her life - I found the narrative to be difficult. We spent so much time hearing about HOW guilty she felt for leaving Austria - knowing that Hitler was planning such horrible things for her fellow Jews - terrible I know, but hard to believe she took that entire weight on her shoulders. All that hang-wringing got in the way of the better story which was her amazing invention. And her movie career and real life were just after thoughts to all that angst. Anyway, it's worth a read - but be prepared to do some skimming. I am going to try Clementine - next - hoping for better.

Dec 01, 2020

The author has chosen to write this novel in the first person which I think was a mistake. The writing quality is poor. The characters have no depth. It was a reading club choice which I had to read but nothing held me to the text so I skipped through it. Hedy Lamar deserves better. The entry about her in Wikipedia was better.

Oct 15, 2020

I loved this book! Learned so much about the off-screen life of Hedy Lamarr.
A must read!

Oct 02, 2020

Read and returned

Jul 18, 2020

A superb story with multiple lessons that is sadly scuttled by the author’s overemphasis on the protagonist’s gewissensbiss.

Mar 18, 2020

It's always intriguing to read of a person known for one thing but who has another, almost double, life we never knew about. Hedy Lamarr was known as a Hollywood glam actress but harbored a unique and fascinating involvement with key players in World War II and specifically torpedo design development. Benedict's remarkable story behind this actress is inspiring at a time when history has neglected such women of importance.

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