Janellyn51's Reviews > The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal

The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel
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's review
Oct 07, 2011

liked it

A writer finds a bunch of steamer trunks in a dumpster in uptown Manhattan...lucky her! She found an old diary....and was enthralled enough to find the writer of the diary, Florence Wolfson. I found that I enjoyed the descriptions of old NYC, things like the charm of having little statues of Mercury on top of the traffic lights, how delightful was that? But Florence herself, at any rate, the Florence of the diary, bugged me. While I can comiserate with her on some level when it came to her parents and their joyless relationship....I just think that on so many levels she was a self absorbed, overdramatic little creep. I don't have a problem with her sexual experimentation, it was interesting to read about that given the time period...what I totally didn't like was her callousness to other people's feelings. It was all about her. I think it was interesting that she thought she was so fabulous and destined for such great things...which never really happened, although she did have a very comfortable life once she got past the diary years....she was involved with some interesting people through her College writing organization. Joy Davidson who went on to marry C.S. Lewis and have a film about thier relationship, and another girlhood friend married Delmore Schwartz. I did like the way that Lily Koppel put it all together, it was an easy read, and you didn't have to get all bogged down in minutiae. All in all, if you want to read a book about a spoiled, self centered, full of herself teenager...this would be the book for you! I did like the man she married, and I hope she didn't put him through a bunch of baloney because she didn't get what she wanted out of life or anything like that. He sounds like he had class and was firmly grounded!

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