book cover

The Personal Librarian

The Personal Librarian

The Personal Librarian

Published: 6/7/2022

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 0593101545

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙋𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙇𝙞𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙣

Sʜᴏᴿᴛ Sʏɴᴏᴘsɪs

The Personal Librarian is the story of a light-skinned African American woman, Bella da Costa Greene,  who passed as a white woman in the 1930s due to her mother wanting the best for her children. She was able to have a successful career as J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian but lost in life as well, playing the part of a white woman and losing her roots. 

Mʸ Tᴴᴼᵁᴳᴴᵀs

The Personal Librarian is one of my favorite reads so far this year. It is so sad knowing this family couldn’t be themselves and have an education and a successful career. This portrayal of Bella’s life was almost mesmerizing as I read relentlessly. 

As a book lover, I always enjoy stories that include a library. Bella’s contributions as a quick-witted and wily negotiator led to the massive collection of rare books at the Piermont Morgan Library. 

Bella’s mother was determined to ensure her children had the opportunities they deserved in life. As a mother, I understand. There were family members who thought what she was doing was wrong. I see their point too. The chance of being caught was always at the forefront of Bella’s life, and there would also be severe consequences. 

There is so much more included in the plot of The Personal Librarian. You need to read it to appreciate the complexity of Bella’s situation. This one will stick with me for a long time. 

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