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  • Magnificent!

    You are in for a magnificent treat when you read Margaret Porter’s exquisite new novel. This elegant fictionalized biography sheds gorgeous light on a woman once considered the most stunning in the world, but one who also had a brilliant mind, who invented technology that permits you to read my review right now, who had six failed marriages, difficult relationships with her children, and felt invisible behind her glorious exterior mask. But we see Hedy here, in the author’s meticulously researched novel written in poetic style that allows the actress, with her gifts and flaws, to shine clearly through. We find her, young Hedy Kiesler, an Austrian of Jewish heritage, nude in the shocking movie “Ecstasy” in which she feigns an orgasm, the first on screen in a non-pornographic movie. She is heavily courted and hastily marries a much older ultra wealthy munitions merchant who destroys their relationship with his increasingly possessive nature. The marital death knell is sounded when she discovers he is supplying weapons to Hitler’s regime. She has the guts and confidence to leave him ultimately for Hollywood, where Louis B. Mayer remakes her into Hedy Lamarr, an exotic glamorous being who still stuns on celluloid today. She illuminates the screen with her radiant beauty and intelligence. But her success interferes with her life as a wife and mother, leaving her with five more failed marriages and strained relationships with her children. Yet this is only one facet of the very complex Hedy, who had a fine although never formally trained scientific mind. Impacted by the atrocities she witnessed during World War II, Hedy secretly invents a new technology intended for her adopted country's defense, one that makes possible my posting this review today. It is spread spectrum technology which served as the gateway to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The great beauty is equally brilliant, and it is her invention that redeems her later in life, when she leaves Hollywood and later becomes a recluse, hiding away when her physical beauty decays. “Beautiful Invention” swept me into Hedy’s life from the first page, so captivated was I by this incredible woman, fleshed out in the most compelling fashion by Porter’s very assured prose, plotting and execution. Yes, historical fiction and biographies are my most favorite genres, but “Beautiful Invention” surpasses every expectation. I thank the author for the advance copy in exchange for my authentic opinion. 5/5

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