In the midst of the current coronavirus crisis, I decided to read this book about someone who really was trapped inside, and it a much more serious way than me.
This book is not an easy one to review. The largest reason is that this was not written to be published. This is a young teenager’s diary, and it brings to light some of the most horrible things about World War II that might have been so much harder to understand otherwise. Although there are countless accounts of WWII from both fiction to memoirs to novels in verse etc, I think the reason that this book resonates with people more is because it isn’t any of those things. It was a diary meant to be read by Anne and only Anne, as she mentions many times throughout. While she does begin rewriting some of the diary after hearing a radio announcement about preserving documents, most of what is published combines both the original and her rewrites, so it is still an authentic account. The story itself shows that even through all of the difficulties that she went through, Anne still had dreams and ambitions just like everyone else, which made it all the more sad that she never survived the war. It is clear that, had she survived, Anne would have been an amazing writer with her powerful command of words. This also makes the reader think about all the other children whose voices were never heard and never will be again. I am only a year older than Anne was at the time of her death, which I believe makes it more tangible to me just how much we don’t understand what it was like. While no one book can show a complete account of life during WWII, this real document from someone who did not survive shows just how much was lost.