The Red Leather Diary

The Red Leather Diary

Reclaiming A Life Through the Pages of A Lost Journal

Book - 2008
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For more than half a century, the red leather diary languished inside a steamer trunk. Rescued from a Dumpster on Manhattan's Upper West Side, it found its way to Lily Koppel, a young writer, who opened its tarnished brass lock and journeyed into an enthralling past. The diary painted a breathtaking portrait of a bygone New York--of glamorous nights at El Morocco and elegant teas at Schrafft's during the 1920s and '30s--and of the headstrong, endearing teenager who filled its pages with her hopes, heartaches, and vivid recollections. Intrigued, Koppel followed her only clue, a frontispiece inscription, to its now ninety-year-old owner, Florence Wolfson, and was enchanted as Florence, reunited with her diary, rediscovered a lost younger self burning with artistic fervor.

Joining intimate interviews with original diary entries, The Red Leather Diary re-creates the romance and promise of a remarkable era and brings to life the true story of a daring, precocious young dreamer.

Publisher: New York : Perennial, 2008
ISBN: 9780061256783
Branch Call Number: 974.7104 Ko
Description: xi, 321, 14 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Howitt, Florence 1915-2012


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Aug 05, 2013

Florence was a smart, privileged Manhattan teenager when she started her diary in 1929. For five years, she wrote of her daily life, and her thoughts and dreams. Decades later, Lily Koppel, a journalist with the NY Times found the diary in a dumpster at the side of the road where a brownstone was being renovated and the story of how this novel come to be began. After much searching she finally finds Florence who is now 92 and living in Florida.

The story was definitely an eye opener as to the life and freedom that the affluent teenager had in those days. Her life was certainly more exciting and adventurous than teenagers of today.

Although it has gotten mixed reviews, I certainly enjoyed it and wld give it a 4 out of 5


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