At nineteen, as she was starring in a play in Vienna, she attracted the attention of the richest man in Austria, Fritz Mandl. Hedy's family knew he would not take no for an answer and, for a while, she was mesmerized by him. Marriage to this powerful, imperious man was outwardly privileged, but inwardly shortly became a prison. Mandl made every single decision, from her attire to the table settings to the guest list. She was merely a pretty face at one end of the dining table, powerless, and knowing the price she could pay for dissent. When Hedwig overhears her husband kowtowing to Hitler, she flees the gilded cage. Meeting L.B. Mayer in London, by the time Hedwig Mandl arrives in America, she is Hedy Lamarr.
And the rest is - almost - history. But the most interesting and terrible part is yet to come: Worl War II and America's part in it. I'm no believer in spoilers, so we'll stop there. This author has a way of getting udner the skin of her women, and the results are compelling as well as entertaining (and, many times given the social mores of the day, infuriating and heart-breaking).
A previous bio by this author of Albert Einstein's wife, The Other Einstein, brought to life another woman underestimated and marginalized.