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The Only Woman in the Room

Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)
Regular price: £18.29
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Summary

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.

©2019 Marie Benedict (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • S. Loew
  • 26-01-19

incredible true story about heddy Lamar

This was a book club pick and I couldn't be more excited to have read it. In fact, shortly after, I was able to hear the author speak in Charleston and she was just as captivating as her book. It's a story about a Hollywood movie star, Heddy Lamar. She weaves historical fact with her imagined dialogue based on an enormous amount of research. She has written other historical fiction books including The Other Einstein. The book is riveting and comes on the heals of a documentary released in 2018 about a little known story about Heddy Lamar's amazing invention of a radio guidance system using frequency hopping for torpedoes during WWII. A must read. beautifully written and the narrator was fantastic. I applaud her ability to easily (or it seemed so) pronounce difficult German and Austrian names and words. bravo!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Gayle Govednik
  • 15-01-19

worth reading

excellent book! wasn't sure I would like it...I loved it! I learned so much about Hedy Lamar, the war, and the oppression of women.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa H
  • 18-01-19

A Brilliant Woman Ahead of Her Time

The Only Woman in the Room

Hedy Lamarr was both stunningly beautiful and stunningly smart. But could the world handle both?

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

SUMMARY
May 17, 1933, the beautiful Hedwig Kiesler is on stage performing the role of her life in Vienna, when she captures the attention of the richest and most powerful man in Austria. Arms manufacturer, Friedrich Mandl lavishes dozens and dozens of roses on the young actress after every performance. Hedwig soon finds herself married to Friedrich, living in a castle and attending lavish dinner parties where the discussions are on arms manufacturing, weaponry, politics, and German aggression. She understood these conversations more than anyone would guess.

Desperate to escape her controlling husband and the rise of the Nazi party, Hedy disguises herself and flees from Austria to London in 1937. She lands in Hollywood, and becomes the beautiful screen star Hedy Lamarr. But her guilt for surviving, when so many in her birth country perished, ultimately move her to action. Because of her unique intelligence, insight and knowledge of weaponry, Hedy is able to invent an improved guidance system to enhance the accuracy of Navy torpedos. But will anyone listen to a woman about such things?


REVIEW
This fabulously written book explores Hedy’s early life, her disturbing marriage, her glamorous Hollywood stardom and her brilliant inventions to help the Allies defeat the Nazi’s. But THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM is about so much more. My favorite part of this book is in fact, it’s concept. Author MARIE BENEDICT is passionate about shining a light on the hidden roles of women in our history and rewriting them back into the narrative. She has done an exceptional job at that here, as well as in her previous two novels: The Other Einstein (2016) and Carnegie’s Maid (2018).

I was drawn like a moth to a flame to this necessary and insightful book. The book reveals Hedy to be an amazingly strong and brilliant woman. She was a woman who knew how and when to stand up for herself. If this book isn’t on your reading list, it should be. She exudes perseverance and fortitude, and is a role model for us all. I listened to the Audible version of this book and Suzanne Toren’s narration brought Hedy’s voice to life.


Excerpt from Authors Note:
“Whether Hedy’s work on spread spectrum technology was purposefully disregarded or unconsciously forgotten, it appears that embedded in her oversight were misconceptions about her abilities; about all women really. Faulty assumptions about women’s capabilities....has caused many to think more narrowly about the manner in which the past has been shaped. But unless we begin to view historical women through a broader, more inclusive lens, and rewrite them back into the narrative, we will continue to view the past more restrictively than it likely was. And we risk carrying those perspectives over into the present.”

Publisher Audible Studios
Published January 8, 2019
Narrated Suzanne Toren

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Avid listener LK
  • 20-01-19

A potential Nobel Laurate

There are surprises in each chapter- from scantily dressed early screenplay artist to terrorized wife of a wealthy arms dealer barely escaping him and her beloved Austria for Hollywood . But few know of her invention which if employed could have saved thousands of Allied soldier’s lives and which formed the basis of many inventions including cel phones. A beauty indeed but a woman with a remarkable mind. Regrettably she was not put forward for a Nobel prize for she was certainly meritorious . L.K. MD FRCPC EMERITA PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Blodeuedd
  • 18-01-19

The Fascinating story of Hedy Lamarr

The book is in two parts. Before Hollywood and Hollywood. I did like the before bits a lot more, Hollywood was good too, but the more I think about it, the more i think I know why. See this is a fictionalized story of Hedy Lamarr. The bones are there and the things we know, but not everything was known about her Austria days and I felt that the author embraced that more then and let her pen fly. And then when we came to Hollywood there was so much she wanted to talk about that we know happened. Like what a meat market Hollywood was which she surely wanted to talk about cos of MeToo. And how Hedy worries about war, and then war comes so she worries about Jews. And on top of that she is making so many movies and they are all mentioned. Plus her inventions. See, there was just so much going on there. Still good, but I really liked the drama of the first part.



Part one. Hedwig Kleiser, Jewish, even if she does not think of her that way, she is Austrian after all. Actress and now celebrated in the stage production of Sisi. She is 19 an a whirlwind. I liked her from page 1. Then then drama starts, a rich older man wants her and she obeys. This is Austria in the 30s after all. Her father knows trouble is coming and the third richest man in Austria might just protect her and them then. He is a controlling man who just wants pretty armcandy to show his friends.



And this part was exciting. A husband she grew to fear more and more. Tensions rising in Austria. Her husband being part of the Austrian political elite. It was this whole other life I did not know she had had.



Then comes Hollywood. I did feel she suffered a bit too much from survivors guilt. She went on and on how she could have saved the Jews of Austria. I think not.



And the thrilling part how freaking smart she was. I wish the author had showed more of that in her earlier years. It was like she suddenly was a genius. I mean she invented something that now was a forerunner to bluetooth, wifi, gps (and the military swept that under the rug, aholes.)



That is why I really enjoyed this book. What a fascinating woman! Everyone should read it and see for themselves.



Narrator

I liked her narration because it felt like it was an older Hedy talking. It brought you really close into the story.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 01-02-19

Outstanding Historical Fiction

I am happy that I had an opportunity to learn about this brilliant, tough, kind woman. I seldom enjoy books written in the first person, but this was done very well. An outstanding read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • stacy
  • 12-01-19

What A Woman!!

Wow! Hedy LaMarr was much more than a pretty face (although she had that too). I cannot believe the life this woman lived. She was married to some pretty powerful men. She was a Hollywood star. She was an inventor that helped military solve problems that other scientists couldn’t. She really lived an amazing life. Wow!
It’s worth the credit!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • 02-02-19

Captivating Story

This is a novel based on the life of Hedy Lamarr (1904-2000). She was primarily known as an actress, but she was also an inventor. She developed, along with George Antheil, a radio guidance system for torpedoes. The navy did not implement her system until the 1960s. She also developed the principle of Bluetooth technology. She also had patents for various microphone and sound systems innovations. She had many patents in her name. She was a Jew and fled Austria ahead of the Nazis.

I found Hedi’s fight against the Nazis and role as an inventor most interesting. She was a very intelligent woman and I wonder how much more she could have achieved in today’s world. I enjoyed the novel because it was based on fact.

The book is eight hours and fifty-four minutes. Suzanne Toren does an excellent job narrating the book. Toren is a well-known narrator. For over thirty years she was a key narrator for The American Foundation for the Blind. In 1988 she won the Narrator of the year for the American Foundation for the Blind. In 2009 she won the Best Voice in Non-Fiction by Audiofile Magazine.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-01-19

Captivating and inspiring

I couldn't stop listening! The author did an excellent job in capturing Hedy's story in this entertaining and exciting novel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Brenda
  • 23-01-19

One of the Best Historical Fiction Books!!

A great story about the rise of Hitler, one familiy:s endurance as Jews in Europe, the rise of a beautiful and talented actress who escaped the War while not revealing herself as Jewish, the sexual bias against women that prevented the use of an invention accepted by the US Patent Office and the selling of bonds by this same woman in support of the War effort, all told by The Only Woman in the Room, the amazingly talented and brilliant Hedy Lamarr! Worth every minute. I learned di much! Many thanks to a brilliant author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful