Everyone should pick up Lily Koppel’s The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal. This book is amazing. I picked it up during my lunch on Friday and started reading it on my commute home. I couldn’t put it down!
I wasn’t searching for anything in particular when I picked it up, turned it over, and began reading what it was about. It immediate drew me in. I am such a sucker for anything involving history.
The book tells the story of the young Florence Wolfson. She kept a diary during her teenage years in New York City (1929-1934)…the diary was later found by Koppel in a steamer trunk. Koppel, a young reporter at the New York Times, tracked down the now elderly Florence and was able to fill in all the gaps about her life. Absolutely amazing.
It was so interesting reading about the history of the streets I walk every day. It was easy to transplant myself back in time to the Manhattan of Florence…and the one my grandmother always speaks of. This book was also sentimental to me in some ways. My grandmother grew up in Manhattan around the same time and worked at Schrafft’s, a restaurant Florence and her friends visit. I could almost picture my grandmother or one of her aunts serving them sandwiches and tea. After years of hearing the stories and details, my grandmother’s Manhattan was finally able to come alive for me.
Everyone should go out and read this book. Florence’s life was exciting and risque, and you will also get a history lesson along the way.
Visit this website for more info about the book: http://www.redleatherdiary.com/