The name conjures up a sultry Hollywood star from a time when movie actors and actresses (an acceptable term back then) and their lives seemed as unreal as the films they made.
Few people know Hedy (real name Hedwig Kiesler) was woman who fled nazism and an abusive, powerful, arms-dealing husband to come to America.
That she, along with composer George Antheil, invented a radio guidance system for torpedoes that used frequency-hopping to avoid jamming by enemy powers.
Or that the same technology they developed is an integral part of a device most of us use every day.
I know these things because I was fortunate to receive an ARE (advanced reader’s edition) of Marie Benedict’s The Only Woman in the Room from Sourcebooks. (And thank you, Sourcebooks, for that!)
You may recognize Benedict as the author of The Other Einstein and Carnegie’s Maid. If you don’t, the titles alone should clue you into the fact that this is an author whose historical fiction hones in on the little-known stories of the past.
Women’s history, to be precise.
I enjoy Benedict’s books because they aren’t doorstop-sized tomes, but enjoyable, quick reads that nonetheless manage to teach me something.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against doorstop-sized tomes, but they are an investment of time and energy, and quite frankly, sometimes I don’t have enough of either.
Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking Benedict’s writing isn’t well-researched because it’s accessible. In fact, it’s the opposite. By coming to know her subjects so well, she makes them easily understood by others.
So, if you’re looking for good historical fiction about the unsung women of history, pick up a one of Marie Benedict’s books.
The Only Woman in the Room is freshly published and should be available at your local library or bookstore.
And now, a brief update on our bees and crazy Ohio weather.
Yes, this is the same backyard and hive that was 50 something Fahrenheit and busy with bees only yesterday. And the “less than one inch” of snow that was predicted has somehow become 3″ on our deck railing.