Review by Magda
This historical fiction book is based on the fascinating life of Belle da Costa Greene in the late 1900s. She was born into a mixed marriage, but her mother made the painful decision to pass all of her children as white. Because of this decision and an introduction into the world of rare books by her father, the first Black graduate of Harvard, Belle had an impressive career as the personal librarian of J.P Morgan and the director of this library. She traveled the world in search of rare books and manuscripts for Pierpont Morgan Library on 5th avenue in New York, which remains a leading rare book institute to this day. Part of the book reads like a romance novel, describing the life of Belle, who never married. This book is an easy yet fascinating read about the long-gone era of the Gilded Age.
Find The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray in one of our branches.