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Narrator Rating (6)

The Personal Librarian

Unabridged Audio Book

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,

Robin Miles

12 Hours 23 Minutes

Penguin Audio

June 2021

Audio Book Summary

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

“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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Reviews

  • Bobbi A.

    This book was fascinating and so very well written. Thank you!

    Book Rating

  • Jaccquie R.

    Really enjoyed this. Learned about someone I knew nothing about but should have. Of course much is fiction but it's based on truth. Loved the author's notes too. Prompted some research on my part the help my understanding of who the people were,knowing names but matching faces and facts.

    Book Rating

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed the historical aspect of the book, but disliked the fiction which they created around this character.

    Book Rating