“This is one of the wisest and most moving commentaries on war and its impact on human beings that I have ever read.”

 

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Like many people of my age, I read Anne Frank when I was at school, and I’m quite ashamed to say I didn’t enjoy it very much. Two decades later, with children old enough to have read it themselves, I picked it up at a book sale a couple of weeks ago for 25p, and thought I’d read it again to see what I thought.

I’m very pleased to say it was like reading a different book, although some of this is to do with the fact that if you read Anne Frank – Diary of a Young Girl today, you are reading a somewhat different book to the one from thirty years ago. Originally Otto Frank forced the exclusion of passages criticising his wife, and much of the diary was Anne’s own edits, now the diary has been looked over again, and the definitive version, including the excluded edits have been put back in.

However, this wasn’t why I enjoyed it more this time, more that age has given me the experience to have a greater empathy with Anne’s situation, a greater knowledge of history has given me greater appreciation of her sacrifice, and now as an adult I can better appreciate what an extraordinary girl Anne was.

This time I found Anne Frank a very uplifting read, and remarked at how someone, cooped up for so long, could find so much to be happy about. Of course, the whole experience was touched with poignancy, as my adult mind can fully appreciate how short Anne’s time was. Even her spats with her mum that irritated me as a child, amused me as an adult as I was again left marvelling at Anne Frank’s ability to be as normal as my own teenage daughter, despite the abnormality of her living conditions.

If you didn’t appreciate Anne Frank when you were force-fed it at school, give it another go, you might surprise yourself. Despite Anne’s tragic end, I came away from Diary of a Young Girl smiling, yet sad for the terrible waste of a life that no doubt would have amounted to much.

 

Reviewed by:

Kath Cross

Added 8th August 2015

More Reviews By
Kath Cross

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