The Red Leather Diary by Lilly Koppel is a gem and if you have not read it, you need to drop everything and go pick it up. Koppel, a journalist for the New York Times moves into a new apartment on the west side and in a garbage dumpster she finds a red leather diary belonging to Florence. Koppel eventually finds Florence, who is now in her 90s,alive and well and living in Florida. Through the rendez-vous, Florence finds a new lease on life as she reminisces about the diary given to her at the age of 14 in the 1930s.
I did my own share of reminiscing while reading the diary, thinking about writing my own book, Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and what a treasure it was finding my grandmother’s journal and studying her life growing up as an orphan during World War I in Poland.
These two books are inspiring enough to make it worthwhile to rummage around old closets and dumpsters—you just never know what you might come up with!
Let me hear your stories!