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

By sheer luck, I happened across the book The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel, on a table at Barnes & Noble. I’ve been focusing on reading fitness, running and nonfiction books lately, so when I read the back of this book and saw the premise, I was excited.

The book begins with author Lily Koppel digging through a dumpster full of vintage steamer trunks located outside her apartment building. Along with vintage designer clothing, she is also led to a small red leather diary.

Upon reading the book, Lily discovers that Florence Wolfson, owner of the diary, had an extraordinary life full of the arts and self-discovery. Florence is interesting and mature beyond her years.

In the years immediately following the reemergence of the diary, Lily Koppel finds and meets Florence Wolfson. They form a friendship and learn that they are kindred spirits.

The Red Leather Diary was a fantastic book. The author does a beautiful job in recreating scenes of old New York. It is easy to picture the city the way it was for young Florence. I felt as though I were experiencing Florence’s life right along side of her. Well-written and beautiful, I recommend The Red Leather Diary to readers hoping simply to experience a bygone era or feel the hope of a young woman in an exciting city. Readers with a respect for history will also appreciate this book.

Note that this book does discuss homosexuality, so some may find this book offensive or controversial.

For more information about The Red Leather Diary, please go to

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