The Only Woman in the Room, Marie Benedict’s novelization of the real life of actress Hedy Lamarr, is a quick, interesting read. Lamarr was a famously beautiful actress in the 1940s and ‘50s, but her impact on the world goes far beyond her looks. Those who are interested in the golden age of Hollywood will enjoy the book, but it has broader appeal. Benedict uses her research to imagine how a young Austrian woman with unrivaled beauty and genius-level intelligence but whose heritage endangers her in pre-WWII Europe can go on to become a famous actress and the inventor of technology that still impacts us today. This book gives a fictionalized account of Lamarr’s remarkable life and will leave readers with a whole new perspective on a woman who pushed to be recognized for more than her appearance.
Raela Schoenherr is an editor at a Minnesota publishing company. She loves to talk books and writing on Twitter at @raelaschoenherr.