Book Review.. Belle Greene by Alexandrine Lapierre

Living Life With…Books

Sunday 12th March 2023

SPOILER ALERT: I will be mentioning the contents of the novel


It is that time of the month again (possibly my favourite time) where I do my review of the book I’ve read this month. Sometimes I get lucky and manage to get through multiple books but I always find one book a month is a safe bet.

If you’ve been here before then you’ll know I’ve recently been on a self-development journey which includes reading more – and if you’re new here now you know. Continuing on I’ve been trying to read more – or more specifically listening, as I have subscribed to audible. I now tend to listen to books – fiction and non-fiction which is very new to me – on my 2-hour commute to work which has certainly helped to keep me entertained. I further joined a book club at work in order to broaden my reading range where our monthly meeting consist of drinking wine, having some snacks and discussing the book of that month. This has largely helped me find my love of reading again and opened myself up to a larger spectrum of books. This months book was Belle Green by Alexandrine Lapierre.

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The Book

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this novel. A librarian to J.P Morgan, one with a big secret that she hid majority of her life with the potential of its exposure looming over her head that could lead to her and her loved ones end. The book begins with a letter found from a soldier to a loved one – a somewhat confusing letter but by the ending of the novel circles back and gives a cyclical finalisation of the book so make sure to read to end to understand that particular love-story in full. Although an initial background to the Greene family is given, the main bulk of the novel focuses on one particular member – Belle Greene – and her story as she rises through the arts world and becomes a famous librarian and (from my personal opinion) a pretty kick-ass woman. Personally, I am a lover of history and novels so when the two combine I am particularly intrigued. I especially love an unexpected story – and a story about a librarian is not one I would’ve chosen so I guess I will have to thank my book club for that. Additionally, I admit I had my reservations as to whether I would enjoy the book but I am happy so say I was proven wrong.

As mentioned above, the novel follows a very smart librarian – Belle Greene – who is hiding her African-American heritage in New York in the 1900s in order to carve out her own opportunities. This transpires to an array of choices in her career, love and travel all which we are able to be part of in this novel. Something particularly interesting about this story is that it was put together years after through archives – so it is somewhat possible the order is not completely chronologically accurate. Either way it is a very compelling story about a woman neglected by history who managed to rise through the New York aristocrats and create a wonderful life for herself and her family in a society that wanted the opposite for her.


If it wasn’t obvious by the above I certainly enjoyed this book and after finding out the author – Alexandrine Lapierre – tends to write about women who have been ignored by history, I do intend to read more of her works. I do recommend this book as there is much that happened that i have not mentioned and it would be a shame to not read the novel in its entirety. It truly is a wonderful novel and a reminder of the power women have.

Have you read this novel? Or any by this author? Do you think you will give this book a go?

Let me know in the comments below.

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