The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank; Otto H. Frank (Editor), Mirjam Pressler (Editor), Susan Massotty (Translation)
Publication Date: July 31st 2017(first published 1947)
Publisher: Amazing Reads
Genre: Autobiography / Classic / Non-Fiction / WWII
This is first autobiography I read and to my surprise I loved it more than I expected. It’s a written account of life of Jews in hiding during the WWII from a 15 year old young girl’s perspective. The story was about the struggle of Jews, impact of WWII on their living, human nature and feelings in war time, lots of family drama, and a speck of innocent romance between two young hearts.
Foreword in book was great. It mentioned key points about the book that I didn’t know before. I didn’t know there were so many versions of this book. The pace was bit slow as it took me a time to get to know characters and what was going on in Anne’s life.
Anne was observant, smart, chatty, outspoken, rebellious, but lonely vulnerable young girl who craved for person who could understand or at least listen to her. Outside diary, with other residents of annex, she had different persona than she had in diary. She was modest, kind and never answered back until it was unbearable, helped in all chores and tried to fit in as much as possible- I liked her these qualities. Her dual persona was wisely described by Anne in second half of the book. (I loved those last few entries.)
Book started with Anne’s normal life, her friends at school, family and how they came to live in Holland. When Anne and her family went into hiding, to live in secret Annex, she started to pour out her real feelings for her family and other residents of Annex, her experience with each member and how her views changed towards them eventually was skillfully narrated in a diary.
I can’t find better words to describe other member of Annex. They were best written by Anne. I didn’t like the way Anne was treated by her mother, Mrs. Van Daan and Mr. Dussel. It felt really unfair and their behavior was literally childish. I couldn’t understand her mother’s partiality at first but as I read more from Anne’s view I felt it was both because of situation and Anne’s nature.
Age, anxiety, fear and the overall situation played biggest part on environment of Annex and mood of its members. It was both amusing and pitiful. At one time I was laughing at the silly squabbles and then next I felt sad to read their misery and sometimes I found myself shaking head at their selfish behavior. They were not of the same mind and might not have understand each other the way a family or people living in close quarters should have which caused lot of conflicts, but they were together in ups and downs and supported each other as much as possible, and that only made me admire them.
Most favorite thing about the book was voice of Anne Frank. She wrote it with full heart, blunt truth and emotions. It was touching, humorous, outrageous and sad all at the same time. One thing I noticed was as she wrote more her writing improved a great deal. Her insight on the adult behavior, war, love, feminism was awe-inspiring. Her critical thoughts in second half of the book clearly showed development in her character.
The end and afterward of the diary broke my heart. After reading their pain, hope, fear and suffering, along with them I also had a hope that they will come out of it at the end. It was devastating to read the end of them, I couldn’t believe the words I was reading.
Anne’s diary makes one thing certain- no one deserves this kind of life. Hatred of one person towards a religion and community destroyed so many life and for what? Each and every living being deserves freedom and life regardless of gender, race, color and religion. A 15 year old young girl could understand this much in the most devastating time period then I think, it should not be that difficult for people who now are living in free world. Humanity is all this world needs, and not to mention more books like this!
It was bit slow and bored me at certain point. It felt like I’m not progressing in the book.
Overall, it was touching, mesmerizing, insightful account of WWII by a young girl that I recommend to all readers.
About Author: Anne Frank
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