The Personal Librarian Book Reviews

Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray Book Summary

The Instant New York Times Bestseller! A Good Morning America* Book Club Pick!

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR! Named a Notable Book of the Year by the Washington Post!

“Historical fiction at its best!”*
A remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.

In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.

But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.

The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.

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Book Name The Personal Librarian
Genre Fiction & Literature
Language English
E-Book Size 3 MB

The Personal Librarian (Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray) Book Reviews 2023

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. The librarian has a real talent in the art industry. I needed more to get the end of the story. It stopped too soon.

Interesting subject, poor writing. This book reads like 99% exposition and 1% plot. Do not recommend

Too didactic in tone; not my cup of tea!. Stopped reading after the abortion. Fascinated by the historical character, but the authors went a bit too far in the assumption that there was an unwanted child. The Belle of this book is far too haughty and self-absorbed. I’m reading the biography instead.

Excellent read. well written, great level of detail, fascinating perspective into life of a successful black woman in the early part of 20th century

Engrossing. The Personal Librarian was one of the best books I have read. It captured my interest immediately and sustained it throughout. I was fortunate to visit The Morgan Library & Museum in NY which enhanced my appreciation of both the book and this gem of an institution. I strongly recommend the book and, at a minimum, a virtual visit of the Library.

The Personal Librarian. Well done! Informative and engaging. A little long-winded in parts

Excellent. Very interesting story

Brilliant. Entertaining. Insightful.. Great read.

The Personal Librarian. A beautiful narrative giving a glimpse of history, the strength and struggles that not only formed foundations of our world and society but with issues that are relevant today.

Excellent Book! The more I learn about how horribly Black peoples. Are treated here in America, the more I’m embarrassed to say I’m American.

Good title appropriate. It was very interesting n well written. I enjoyed it thoroughly

Personal Librarian. Loved what I learned about this under celebrated woman and her life’s journey.

Outstanding, Captivating, Phenomenal!. I have come to fall in love with Belle de Costa Greene as a audacious, courageous, African American woman who I did not know of. This historical fiction brings to life an era in American history that should remind us of the imperfect imbalance in our society today. The Personal Librarian tells the story of a courageous woman, who had to do what she had to do to not only survive, but thrive.

Love, love, love!. Instant classic! Should be required educational reading. My understanding of racism has deepened after reading this book. And, I just enjoyed learning this bit of history through a story that held my interest the entire time.

The personal librarian. Great

Beautifully written. I read this book after seeing it in the gift shop at the JPMorgan library in NYC. It was amazing to read the book and reflect on photos I took while visiting. Belle’s story is amazing and written so well, I thank Marie and Victoria for their work and passion poured into this masterpiece.

Captures the imagination from a historical standpoint. This story sheds a light into the world of high society, art, travel and segregation in the 1900s. The secret of living as a white person afforded Belle a great life but cost her soul. A True but sad historical fiction that is intriguing. My view of the past is forever changed in a way that was needed! Great book you will not want to put down!

The Personal Librarian. I enjoyed the story. Belle lived an interesting challenging life. What she accomplished should be commended, and thank you for bringing her story full fold.

Personal librarian. Fascinating story/history.

Personal Libraian. Wonderful history of JP Morgan through the eyes of his personal librarian. The struggle with racial bias in the book and how it drove a family apart. Very fast paced and a really good read!

Loved a lot about this book. Great story that makes me want to know about Belle, JPMorgan, their amazing library and collections. And architecture. Loved learning about this wonderfully successful woman of color! Am Definitely going to read some non- fiction about this topic and these people. Some parts of the story felt simplified and repetitive…made me curious about why the story was told that way. I’m sure there was a reason.

Intriguing. Loved learning about a true story and the intricacies of racial prejudice while passing for white to keep a job with the most powerful man in America-JP Morgan.

The Personal Librarian. I loved this book. A true story of a remarkable woman who curated the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York at the turn of the 20th century, an African American who because of the racism in this country at the time, passed as white her whole life.

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Summary of The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray

The The Personal Librarian book written by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray was published on 29 June 2021, Tuesday in the Fiction & Literature category. A total of 2,089 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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