The diary is found when the author, Lily Koppel comes downstairs in her apartment building to find a pile of old steamer trunks headed for the dumpster. The journalist in her just won’t let her walk away and she proceeds to start digging through them. She finds many things but the most important is the little red leather diary of Florence’s. Lily reads the diary and feels such a connection with Florence. Ultimately she decides that she has to find out if Florence is still alive and finds that she is. What ensued from that investigation is what I imagine will be a lifelong friendship for these two women and of course, this novel.
The book itself is a series of diary entries from Florence and then an elaboration on what surrounded those events by Lily as related to her by Florence. There are also photos spread among the pages and I felt they really added to the overall novel. It’s always great to see the person you’re reading about; it made it easier to relate to Florence in the story. Florence was such a character; very outgoing, popular and very intelligent. She was way ahead of her time, I think she would have fit in so well as a young woman of today. We are transported back in time to the 30’s and the world through young Florence’s eyes;at times I could picture myself there. Florence was able to experience art and books and the life of New York. She travelled and had high dreams for herself. She was an independent woman especially for her time. She was also a woman conflicted in her feelings on men and women although ultimately she marries and has children.