Read advance reader review of The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, page 2 of 11

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Personal Librarian

by Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray X
The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Jun 2021, 352 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews


Page 2 of 11
There are currently 77 member reviews
for The Personal Librarian
Order Reviews by:
  • Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)
    A Secret Well Kept
    I have not read anything by this author before, but considering how much I enjoyed this book, I will follow her. I enjoy historical fiction that incorporates real people and events, and this book does that. The main character was a fascinating women who kept a difficult secret her entire life. It is not easy to live a lie, especially in the spotlight, as she was, but Belle did it successfully. It also is rife with details about valuable and priceless art and books, as well as what life was like during that century. It's an education in and of itself. You can almost see and hear what it is like to ride a carriage through the streets of NY. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading other books by Marie Benedict.
  • anonymous
    the personal librarian
    I enjoyed the book. While I was reading I didn't know that this was based on an actual person. It was amazing to see what she had to go through as a woman and a person of color to live and work during that time. I'm not sure that things have changed enough. I would recommend it for book clubs as it would generate several topics to discuss.
  • CaroleNatickMa
    Personal Librarian
    This is an incredible book about an amazing woman. A young black woman passing as white, entered the world of J.P. Morgan and conquered it. Taking a job as J.P.Morgan's personal secretary, she proceeded to help him create and build the Pierpoint Morgan Library. Based on a real woman, this fictional account brings to light and life Belle de Costa Greene. Amazing on so many levels, Personal Librarian is not a book to be missed. Never mind that the writing is excellent, the story is fascinating.
  • Nona F. (Evanston, IL)
    Perfect tale for Hollywood biopic
    If Belle da Costa Greene, born Belle Marion Greener, had not existed, Hollywood would have had to invent her, and many people would have thought the story pure fiction co-authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray have written a riveting fictionalized biography of a fascinating woman, the daughter of a prominent black Reconstruction-era civil rights activist, who lived most of her life passing white in New York City as millionaire J. P. Morgan's personal librarian.

    Without formal training, Greene was the force that shaped the important Morgan collection of medieval manuscripts and early modern books for over forty years, and helped steer the Morgan family into opening the collection to the general public. A fascinating story in itself, Belle da Costa Greene's circumstances and inner monologues give an unusual double view of white privilege at a time even more intolerant of "the other" than today. Largely forgotten today and hardly recognized at the institution she led for decades, Greene is a figure deserving of greater recognition, which this compelling novel should achieve.
  • Kristen H. (New Bern, NC)
    Hiding yet in plain sight
    I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very enlightening to read. Everytime I sat down to read, it felt like I was sitting down with a good friend. I really took my time with this book because I didn't want it to end.

    The two authors really complimented each other and did a great job with being as historically accurate as possible.

    I myself cannot imagine having to hide who or where I came from and it really opened my eyes as to how fortunate I am.

    Love this book and would recommend it to book clubs for a great discussion in a most proper way.
  • Charlene M. (Myrtle Beach, SC)
    The Personal Librarian
    The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray blends the angst of trying to fit into, not just a male dominated world, but a white world as well.
    In 1905, Belle Greene's mother has decided to give up her heritage as a black woman, to give her children the advantages of education & jobs that are available to only a few. Belle gets a highly coveted job to be JP Morgan's personal librarian. Marie Benedict at her best.
  • Susan P. (Mount Vernon, WA)
    A Librarian who is extraordinary
    This book grabbed me from the start and through to the end. Couldn't stop reading it. The history is amazing, the woman who curates the library is fascinating. It's also a story of survival at great personal cost. Don't want to give away the ending so just pick up this book and start reading. You won't regret it.

Beyond the Book:
  Belle da Costa Greene

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Seek You
    Seek You
    by Kristen Radtke
    In the first pages of Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, Kristen Radtke's sophomore ...
  • Book Jacket: The Man Who Hated Women
    The Man Who Hated Women
    by Amy Sohn
    If debates over women's reproductive health seem stuck in an earlier era — the fact that birth...
  • Book Jacket: The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois
    The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois
    by Honorée Fannone Jeffers
    Honorée Fannone Jeffers' The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois explores the Black experience in ...
  • Book Jacket: Beautiful World, Where Are You
    Beautiful World, Where Are You
    by Sally Rooney
    Beautiful World, Where Are You centers around four key characters, the most prominent of which are ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
In Every Mirror She's Black
by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
An arresting debut for anyone looking for insight into what it means to be a Black woman in the world.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Never Saw Me Coming
    by Vera Kurian

    "Fun, entertaining and hard to put down."
    The New York Journal of Books

  • Book Jacket

    Blind Man's Bluff
    by James Tate Hill

    A writer's humorous and often-heartbreaking tale of losing his sight—and how he hid it from the world.

Win This Book!
Win A Most Clever Girl

A Most Clever Girl by Stephanie Marie Thornton

A thrilling novel of love and espionage, based on the incredible true story of a Cold War double agent.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Run T G

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.