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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/product_reviews/pr_id/114814
ASIN: 0385473788
ID #114814
  (Rated: 13+)
Product Type: Book
Reviewer: Choco’s gone nuts -Mwaahaha!
Review Rated: ASR
Amazon's Price: $ 24.99
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Summary of this Book...
Wow. I’m not sure how to review something like this, where to begin.

I first read this book when I was at school. We had to read it in German for our German A Level, so that’s getting on for thirty years ago. I read it with a teenager’s eyes, and it was a different experience to this time around.

The thing that shone through in both my readings is how strong Anne’s voice is. Yes, she is constantly questioning herself as she grows, but the key elements of who she is and what she wants never really change. She knows that writing is her lifeline (something I could relate to). And, through her writing, the horrific life that a whole race of people were forced to live is revealed.

What I remember from when I read this before is how sad it made me. In my mind, I had made Peter into a much bigger character than he, in fact, is. I’d imagined Anne and he had a relationship for the whole of their time in hiding. But, I think maybe it is because Anne builds him up so much for a lot of the book. Their relationship, however, remains sweet and innocent.

Without always meaning to, Anne makes the reader feel her claustrophobia at being locked up, day after day, year after year, with no clear end in sight. The close proximity of the other seven members of the Annexe is something I couldn’t even begin to imagine how she would have coped. As an adult, I would find it hard, but as a teenager going through puberty? It’s terrible. Truly.

The thing that struck me the most on reading this now is how Anne was just an ordinary teenager living in extraordinary circumstances. She is discovering her sexuality, examining her relationship with her parents and sister, feeling like she is always picked on by everyone else. These things, all teenagers go through. Hormones play a big part in this. Anne feels that she doesn’t love her mother because she has never been a proper mother to her. She feels her sister is the favourite child. Even her father has grown more distant. I couldn’t help but think this is the way a typical teenager’s brain works. They all feel a little sorry for themselves at times. Granted, Anne had more reason that most to feel this way, but, still. She did often feel as though the world should revolve around her. She wasn’t good at seeing the situation through the eyes of the adults in the Annexe. Then, at other times, she was deeply reflective. More so as she got older.

The most heartbreaking aspect for me is how Anne writes about what she wants to do when she is an adult. She writes about her life after the war. Although she is frightened when fighting happens nearby, once it is over, she goes back to her thoughts of the future. I think it’s probably the only way anyone could survive such an ordeal. Most strikingly, Anne said she wanted to turn her diaries into a book and become a famous writer. I’m glad she achieved this, even though she never got to see it. Those last few months must have been hell. It’s so sad that the family were captured so close to the end of the war.

What a fascinating, but horrific, story told with clarity and insight.
This type of Book is good for...
I think everyone should read this book. In particular, school children. It is a great teaching aid for history lessons about WWII and the Holocaust. It is so thought-provoking.
I especially liked...
Anne's optimism. It shines through. The story of these eight people, aided by a handful of others, is incredible.
I didn't like...
There are times I didn't like Anne. The times when she acts like a spoilt, bratty teenager annoy me. But, it is honest. This is how she felt, and, really, it is how most teenagers think. I didn't like the way she constantly said she didn't love her mother, without giving any evidence of her mother being hateful or a bad mother.
When I finished reading this Book I wanted to...
Read something a little more cheerful.
This Book made me feel...
Sad. Angry. Also, happy at times.
I recommend this Book because...
It is so valuable to telling the story of the Nazi regime and what it did to real people.
Created Sep 17, 2021 at 6:33am • Submit your own review...

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/product_reviews/pr_id/114814