A review by ashleyreads88
The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray

challenging emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
The Personal Librarian is the story of Belle da Costa Greene.  It's heartbreaking but hopeful.  Belle was a young Black woman who passed as white.  The Personal Librarian tells Belle's story as the librarian of J.P. Morgan.  It's about her professional and personal life as Morgan's librarian, and the challenges she faced being a woman in a man's world.  The way Belle navigated auctions and negotiated was inspiring. Were there times when she was manipulative? Yes, but it was to get deals done for the rare manuscripts for the library.  I loved how strong and fearless Belle was, I loved watching her growth, how she loved the library and wanted what was the best for it.  She had great attention to detail in making the library what it was.  After reading this book, it made me want to go visit the library to learn more and see firsthand what Belle did.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

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