Monday, March 9, 2009

Review: The Red Leather Diary

I am excited to tell you about The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal, by Lily Koppel. The book has such an interesting premise – a long lost diary, found when a young author for the New York Times happens upon a large stack of trunks that are being moved from the basement of the building she lives in. After rummaging through the trunks and finding a number of treasures, a red leather diary found it’s way into Lily Koppel’s hands. In a time of her own life where she is trying to find her way in the journalism world, this diary found her.

The diary once belonged to a young Jewish girl living in Manhattan from 1929 to 1934. Florence Wolfson was given the diary for her 14th birthday, and didn’t miss a day until the diary ended 5 years later. She was an ambitious teenager who was moved by such thing as art, theater and books. She strives to reach her full potential in all of these things. She loved attending the theater, going to museums, and reading literature. “There’s so much to do — music, art, books, people,” Wolfson writes in her diary. “Can one absorb it all?”

Also, like most girls her age, Florence was very focused on her looks. She took great pride in her appearance, and the clothes that she wore (which were made by her mother, who owned a clothing shop). She was also a very adventurous and curious teenager, experimenting intimately with both boys and girls. It is interesting to hear about the different views on relationships from that era, and the views from someone who was so young and inquisitive during that time.

I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. First, it gave me some insight into a life that I couldn't even dream of. Living in a Manhattan long past, living as a teenager in a big city in general (my hometown has around 400 people in it!), and living in a world where such experiences as going to the theater, hitting up museums, and getting other amazing opportunities are available. Also, Florence's experiences and desires make me want to find different opportunities for myself, to achieve my full potential, since that was what she always seemed to strive for.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be transported into the life of a teenage girl in the early 30's, life her life and have her adventures. If you are looking to achieve greatness or looking to live up to everything you can live up to, then you should read this book.

Thank you to Lily Koppel for finding me, allowing this book to find it's way into my hands. I appreciate the opportunity you have given me, and I am excited to strive for greatness!!

Additional Information:

To purchase this book from Amazon, click HERE.

Click HERE to visit the website of The Red Leather Diary.

Click HERE to visit Lily Koppel's website.

The Red Leather Diary book trailer:


Serena said...

I've heard so many positive things about this book and the author's writing. Thanks for another great review!

bermudaonion said...

This book came Saturday and my hubby started thumbing through and commenting on it. I told him he could read the book, but he said he wouldn't read it until I had. It's going to jump to the top of my TBR pile, so I'll read it next. I'm really looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...


I love love love this book. It is almost like the "Gossip Girl" for its day. It is really interesting that even with all the stuff young girls have today, we all go through the same challenges to find our place in the world.

Ronnica said...

Very interesting. I write my own journals with the understanding that someday someone will read them...I'm afraid they're going to be disappointed!