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

Written by:
Lily Koppel
Narrated by:
Johanna Parker

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
February 2012
6 hours 53 minutes
“A world straight from the pages of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. . . . An extraordinary story about coming of age, following your dreams and discovering (or rediscovering) who you are, were and want to be.” — Parade

Rescued from a Dumpster on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a discarded diary brings to life the glamorous, forgotten world of an extraordinary young woman

Opening the tarnished brass lock of a red leather diary found in the basement of a New York City apartment building, New York Times writer Lily Koppel embarked on a journey into the past. Compelled by the hopes and heartaches captured in the pages, Koppel set out to find the diary’s owner, a 90-year old woman named Florence. Eventually reunited with her diary, Florence ventured back to the girl she once was, rediscovering a lost self that burned with artistic fervor.

Joining intimate interviews with original diary entries, The Red Leather Diary is an evocative and entrancing work that recreates the romance and glitter, sophistication and promise, of 1930s New York, bringing to life the true story of a precocious young woman who dared to follow her dreams.
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B D.

Thoroughly enjoyable and very likeable diarist, Florence, exuberant with intellectual and emotional curiosity and honesty. She probably would not have been out of place three decades later, reminding me of many at college in my time, hopelessly romantic, heady with music and literature, more European in her Bohemianism, hankering for something more than the dullness and restrictions of her parent’s steady grim climb towards social acceptability. The irony, not lost to her, I think, that her Bohemianism is underwritten by her immigrant parent’s hard graft, mother’s upmarket seamstress business, her father's medical practice.

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