Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Kiesler, Austrian actress of Jewish heritage, scandalizes Europe with her nudity in the art film Ecstasy. She sacrifices a promising career to marry a wealthy munitions merchant, but their relationship disintegrates as he grows increasingly possessive and controlling. Even worse—he supplies deadly weapons to Hitler’s regime. She flees husband and homeland for Hollywood, where film mogul Louis B. Mayer transforms her into an icon of exotic glamour. Professional success clashes with her personal life as marriage and motherhood compete with the demands of studio and stardom. Roused to action by Nazi atrocities during World War II, Hedy secretly invents a new technology intended for her adopted country’s defense—and unexpectedly changes the world.