The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
That this book is historical fiction is the only downside to the entire piece. If Belle lived half of these things, thought half of these things, she lived such an extraordinary life. It is a shame that she burned so much of her private correspondence and diaries, as her life was so amazing. While being intrusive to her personal struggles and triumphs it would also be amazing to read first hand what she experienced, how she negotiated, how she managed in a world that was clearly not accepting of her true nature (but maybe she was her truest self in having to hide in plain sight). The responsibility of Belle’s family resting on her success and secrets being kept must have weighed her down, but it also helped her soar to amazing heights. I got this book as part of Book of the Month Club, and I would encourage anyone thinking of reading it to go ahead and buy the book. This is one I am happy to have in my collection.