It’s the first day of Women’s History month. There are so many amazing women to celebrate, it could be hard to know where to start. Since one of my book clubs is reading “Her Hidden Genius” by Marie Benedict, I’ll start there.
Marie Benedict writes historical fiction, officially. The subjects of her books, however, are real women whose accomplishments were overlooked or stolen by men. They are fictionalized biographies that hold more fact than fiction.
“Her Hidden Genius” is the story of Rosalind Franklin whose ground-breaking work on the discovery of DNA’s double helix went unacknowledged for decades. It is fascinating and heart-breaking.
The first book by Marie Benedict that I read was titled “The Only Woman in the Room”. It is about Hedy Lamarr, the Hollywood actress whose scientific brilliance and first-hand knowledge of Nazi secrets helped the US win World War II.
I have since read all of her books except the most recent, “The Mitford Affair”, which I have on an 8 week hold at the library. Her other books in the series are “Carnegie’s Maid”, “The Other Einstein”, “The Mystery of Mrs. Christie”, “Lady Clementine”, and “The Personal Librarian”.
Every book is so well written you will think the author had personal knowledge of these remarkable women’s lives and will not be able to tell what parts are fictionalized. If you’re interested in reading one of her books but don’t have time for all of them or don’t know where to start, I highly recommend you start with “the Personal Librarian.”
It is the story of Belle da Costa Greene, JP Morgan’s personal librarian, a black woman who passed as white and whose legacy, the public library, I am eternally grateful for. Benedict cowrote this book with Victoria Christopher Murray to help ensure the black experience was authentically written.
No matter which one you start with I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be ready to get the next one as soon as your finished with the last. Happy reading my friends.
One thought on “Marie Benedict Fan”
I tead ‘The Only Woman in the Room’ when I inhaling 1940s and 50’s movie star biographies, years ago. I think I’ll look up some other Benedict books. Thanks!
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