Genre: Classic| Pages: 304
In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and surprisingly humorous, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.
A long time ago while browsing through the 101 books to read before you die, I finished reading The Diary Of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. My copy was 300+ pages, and I usually used to be super intimidated by such large books (especially classics), so I went into this thinking it would be a long, slow read( with the ultimate heartbreak I knew was coming). But I went through it in matter of a couple of days and felt the jolt at every instance as I grew more and more fond of Anne.
Set in the early 1930s, The diary of a Young Girl talks about the thoughts and journey of a Jewish girl and her family during Hitlers regime and a series of journal entries unfolding her journey though her primitive and primary years as a young girl. From jotting down her day to day activities before the family went into hiding to her emotions and thoughts during about her youth to ending the book with almost no abruptness although her being taken away may have lead to make the book end that way.
If you're reading this, you're someone who survived the pandemic and know a lot about being locked in one place. Revisiting this book during this time just brought me closer to Anne's experience.
I devoured Anne. A lot. And I think you should read it, too! I’ll list a few reasons why, and if they appeal to you, you may want to pick this one up!
1. It Feels Familiar
The sense of nostalgia one feels when Anne speaks about her crush or when she thinks about hr cultural upbringing she conflict with in her mind, especially if you are a girl or a parent to one. Just being a child and living her life pre-hiding, thoughts of determination, drive and motivation that we all often feel even through our older years. The constant reminder of our younger years is something to cherish and feel while we read the starting parts of the book.
2. First Person Narration
Anne talks to the her diary directly and as we read through the book, it feels like she's talking to us. Being inside her head the whole time is a journey in itself. She has so many inner battles that experienced second hand which is written as something relatable. I think you’ll definitely find yourself understanding, emphasizing and worrying for her.
3. Beautiful Writing
Although the book is translated to English from its original language, the very quality of her thoughts and the translation of them into words is so beautiful. Storytelling is one thing, but to carry that from page one to another without the intention to is something else.
4. Lots to Unpack
If you like books that are layered, complex and can be interpreted in lots of different ways, this is one to read (and reread). There is a lot of debate about if this is a feminist novel and not just a was novel about Nazi expose; whether the author was sending a message without the intention to; I’m definitely not finished exploring this novel and if you want something to take up space in your brain in this pandemic-struck world – go for this.
So I hope these reasons help you decide whether you should read The Diary of A Young Girl. If any of these appeal to you, then this will be one to add to your TBR.