Customer Reviews for

The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Best book I've read in a long time

This is an amazing piece of history which reads like a novel and is highly recommended for all readers of all ages. As I read I thought, 'In our age of television and video games, it is a shame we no longer have the personalities revealed here, the philosophers, the ar...
This is an amazing piece of history which reads like a novel and is highly recommended for all readers of all ages. As I read I thought, 'In our age of television and video games, it is a shame we no longer have the personalities revealed here, the philosophers, the artists.' But then I remembered young Lily Koppel not only rescued this diary from the dumpster, she followed through until she discovered Florence and produced this book. Thank you, Lily, and thank you Florence. I'm going to buy a copy for my grandma, just two years younger than the book's heroine, also named Florence and also still very much alive, alert, and full of fun.

posted by Anonymous on April 25, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

I'd rather have read the diary alone.

I might have enjoyed reading the diary alone; but there was so much research into the times that I wondered often how much of it was from the diary or the elderly woman's remembrances and how much was fiction based on research. Although some of the teenager's life was ...
I might have enjoyed reading the diary alone; but there was so much research into the times that I wondered often how much of it was from the diary or the elderly woman's remembrances and how much was fiction based on research. Although some of the teenager's life was interesting (in that she was worldly compared to girls living today in New York), she was also self-absorbed (just like a teen) and unfeeling to the point of meanness to others. In the end, I just couldn't finish it -- and I have rarely put a book down once I've started reading.

-- Kar Gustaf

posted by KarGustaf on May 9, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    Best book I've read in a long time

    This is an amazing piece of history which reads like a novel and is highly recommended for all readers of all ages. As I read I thought, 'In our age of television and video games, it is a shame we no longer have the personalities revealed here, the philosophers, the artists.' But then I remembered young Lily Koppel not only rescued this diary from the dumpster, she followed through until she discovered Florence and produced this book. Thank you, Lily, and thank you Florence. I'm going to buy a copy for my grandma, just two years younger than the book's heroine, also named Florence and also still very much alive, alert, and full of fun.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic and Inspiring

    A brilliant story told from brief entries in a diary of a young woman growing up in New York City in the late 1920's and early 1930's. The most amazing part of this story is that the book's author, a young journalist in New York, researches the story and finds the diarist, now a 90+ year old woman. I identified with this character in ways that I couldn't have imagined and found myself drawn into the time period as if it were my own neighborhood. Superbly provocative and inspirational! This would be a great book for a book club.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What a Find!

    This book was found in a trunk in early 2000. It had been written by a young girl in the late 20's. If you're interested in our country in general New York City in particular this book is for you. The impressive part, to me, was that the writer of the Diary was tracked down at all. She is now in her late 80's.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Red Leather Diary

    When I purchased this little gem, I was looking for a benign read. As soon as I began reading, I was enchanted by the story of a woman who lived during my own grandmothers era; a woman whose story transcends time and place. I found myself wanting to know the protagonist; I wanted to ask her so many things about the 20's and 30's in New York. I was transported back to my own ancestral past as well. Kudos to the author, Lily Koppel, who brings a refreshing view to being a woman, whatever the era; and, who makes this story come alive.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 26, 2009

    An interesting look at life in New York City in the 1920's

    Lily Koppel writes an engaging story of a young woman's life in New York City in the 1920's. Having found a diary on an old trunk salvaged from her apartment building's storage area and destined for the landfill, Ms. Koppel becomes intrigued by what she reads. What unfolds is the story of a young and vibrant woman, pursuing her dreams, love and a career. Florence Wolfson, the woman who recorded her life in the pages of that long-lost diary, was a very modern woman, full of talent, ambition, and a great sense of adventure.

    Ms. Koppel, intrigued by the woman revealed in the pages of the diary, finally locates Florence. What follows is the unfolding of a wonderful story and a friendship between author and subject.

    "The Red Leather Diary" paints a vivid picture of Florence's life, and Florence is a intriguing subject with an extraordinary life. Striving to have an interesting and meaningful life and career, Florence immerses herself in the arts, her education, travel, and a very full social life. Her sense of adventure ans her determination lead her through some very wonderful experiences - love affairs, travelling in Europe in 1936, starting a literary salon in her parent's apartment.

    Ms. Koppel does a wonderful job of telling this story. Her writing is fluid and very descriptive, and brings both Florence and NYC to life so vividly. I often looked up from my reading and felt a bit disoriented to find myself in 2009, having been so immersed in the book. And as an added bonus, it was wonderful to have 1920's NYC depicted so well. Several times I had to remind myself (a former NYC resident) that I was reading about an earlier time. Ms. Koppel, a NYC resident and reporter for the "New York Times" has captured the city's rhythyms - past and present - perfectly.

    This book is a wonderful read, a page turner from beginning to end.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    I really loved this book!

    I bought it at B&N after reading the back cover. I love the time period--the 30's----and the place--New York. The author writes with a very entertaining style and yet it is very informative about the time and place. The fact that she found the old diary in a trash bin and retrieved it made it all the more interesting. I think book clubs would really enjoy this book as well as anyone interested in NYC in the 30's.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2009

    I'd rather have read the diary alone.

    I might have enjoyed reading the diary alone; but there was so much research into the times that I wondered often how much of it was from the diary or the elderly woman's remembrances and how much was fiction based on research. Although some of the teenager's life was interesting (in that she was worldly compared to girls living today in New York), she was also self-absorbed (just like a teen) and unfeeling to the point of meanness to others. In the end, I just couldn't finish it -- and I have rarely put a book down once I've started reading.

    -- Kar Gustaf

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A great find.

    I randomly picked up this book at the store. I started reading it while waiting for my friend. I thought it was very interesting. It took me back to Florence's youth. I liked how she was very modern for her time. I would recommend this book to anyone. It makes me wish I had kept a diary when I was younger. I would have loved to read it now and remember how it felt to be that young.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A different look at life during the depression.

    I was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis of the book and was not disappointed in the content. This coming of age story of a moderately privileged teenager provides a glimpse of life in the 30's, an era which we usually equate with the depression. While Florence seems to have had a great deal of freedom for someone so young, her diary entries give us the feeling that she was truly trying to find where she fit in, while being true to her varied interests and talents.
    The "rest of the story" segment detailing Lily Koppel's attempt to find the author of the diary was a fitting conclusion to a most enjoyable book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Thought provocating!

    Brought the 20's&30's to alive. Similiaty of feelings of teenagers of yesteryear compared to todays teenagers as well as thru the years.Continuation of the Women's movement!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2009

    The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel

    The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel was a great book. The diary was written by a daring young lady for her era and found many years later. I learned a few things about NY in that time frame.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2009

    A Fascinating Journey back to 1930s with an Amazingly Spirited Young Woman

    I had read a small blurb about this book in the NYT Book Review section and was interested. The story is amazing and Florence Wolfson, who had kept the red leather diary when she was a teenager in the '30s, was clearly an exceptional young woman - smart, talented, gifted, confident, adventurous, independent... yet longing for true love and life meaning as so many of us do.
    My one disappointment is that from the NYT blurb I was under the impression that the book really was the diary. While the diary is quoted throughout, the book is really written by Lily Koeppel, pieced together from her interviews with Florence more than 75 year after the fact. She does an excellent job and seems to find the voice of Florence, but I would like to have been able to read more of the original diary. Still - highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful

    I really enjoyed reading this book. This is the true story of the discovery of a long-forgotten diary. The diary of Florence Wolfson lay undiscovered for over half a century until the author, Lily Koppel, finds it in a dumpster. Koppel is a writer for the New York Times and was naturally curious about the content of the diary. She searched for the diary's author, and 90 year-old Florence told her all about her life in 1920s and 1930s New York. Florence as a teenager had been full of energy and had a zest for life and the arts. Her story is an amazing one. Lily Koppel brings the pages of the diary to life brilliantly...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008

    loved it!

    Loved this book. Great peek into life of a teenage girl. Quick read, almost too quick.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    Nostalgic, charming, magnificent

    Nostalgic, charming, and magnificently written. This recreation of a young person's awakenings and yearnings in New York City in the 1930s speaks to every generation of dreamers. Highly recommended. 5 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Interesting life and times!

    Given the life she led, she turned out to be a remarkedly unremarkable matron. Interesting to be to read about old New York. The well to do and wealthy of that time have always fascinated me. Worth the read, not 5 stars

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2013

    Ms. Koppel has great insight into other times, feelings, and hap

    Ms. Koppel has great insight into other times, feelings, and happenings, despite being so young. It was a fascinating read. I also enjoyed the photos and actual diary lines I, too, look forward to seeing this story on film.What a sweet diversion to read! 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    Willowsong

    Awesome and chapter ten of my book is out

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    Join cloudclan

    Cloud first result join

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    So far not good

    I don't know what i was expecting exactly but it was not 'a day in the life of a vapid, spoiled daughter of the elite class during The Great Depression'. A lot of descriptive narration i could have done without as well.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3