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The Personal Librarian af Marie Benedict
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The Personal Librarian (udgave 2021)

af Marie Benedict (Forfatter), Victoria Christopher Murray (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
372527,651 (3.75)Ingen
Medlem:acargile
Titel:The Personal Librarian
Forfattere:Marie Benedict (Forfatter)
Andre forfattere:Victoria Christopher Murray (Forfatter)
Info:Berkley (2021), 352 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:***1/2
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Personal Librarian af Marie Benedict

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This is a fascinating look at the personal cost of living a lie in a society that left her no choice.

Belle Greene has a secret - she's really Marion Greener, a colored girl. But her family is light-skinned enough to pass, so her mother chooses to move them to New York, where they live as white. The father chooses to leave and continue his work for racial justice as a colored man. Her mother's lie opens doors for Belle that would have remained closed if the truth were ever discovered. She rises to become JP Morgan's personal librarian, shaping his rare manuscript collection and pushing for it to be opened to the public.

Belle's legacy lives on in the library that exists today.

This was a fascinating peek into the lavish world of JP Morgan and the society in which his family lived.

Belle was a fascinating character. She chose to live her life boldly, thinking that no one would suspect someone so bold. She took on responsibility for her whole family, while denying herself true connections with others by not sharing her identity. The sacrifices she made to be white were heart-wrenching.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance review copy of this book. ( )
  Asingrey | Jun 13, 2021 |
The Personal Librarian tells the story of JP Morgan's personal librarian.

Belle Marion Greener, born from black parents, received an education and was smart. Because one of her patrons enjoyed talking to her, Belle was able to get an interview with his uncle, Mr. Morgan, to oversee his library. She was well-versed in "old" books and the nephew believed they would hit it off, so to speak. Had he known she was "colored," he might not have gotten to know her much less arranged for the interview. Belle's mother believed they should take advantage of their light skin color and "pass" as white to have more opportunities. This choice had many dangers. If the truth comes out, they could, literally, be forced to move and possibly have violence against them. Belle changes her name to Belle de Costa Green. By using a name connected to Italy, the slightly darker color would allow them to be "white."

J. P. Morgan finds Belle to be an outstanding employee and even finds himself attracted to her. Belle swears to purchase the one book that he most wants even if it takes years. She and he have the goal and having one of the finest collections in the world. She is able to live in the world of society as well as the business world and be respected as a woman in a time in the early 1900s, a most unusual circumstance for this time period. The novel reveals her one love as well as her devotion to Mr. Morgan. She must constantly protect her secret. It if were to be revealed, it would affect her family who depend on her for her very nice salary, giving them a nice home. She basically supports most of her siblings and their spouses even though they also have jobs.

The novel intrigued me. I'm not sure I liked Belle, but I know I admire her for her courage and knowledge. Maybe because I never felt pulled into the novel, I felt distanced from her as well. I learned about an interesting woman even though I didn't necessarily love the book. I'm glad I read it. ( )
  acargile | May 3, 2021 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Marie Benedictprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Murray, Victoria Christopherhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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