Title: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Author: Anne Frank
“It’s an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I-nor for that matter anyone else-will be interested in the unbosoming of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Well, what does that matter? I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.”
I decided not to rate this book, because it isn’t a book. It’s a diary. Who am I to review the thoughts of a girl who chronicled the harrowing experience that was her life? In all honesty, I didn’t enjoy reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. But my lack of enjoyment isn’t at all the same as disliking a novel; I’m not going to rate the characters, or the plot, or the writing. It wasn’t written for people to enjoy. It was written for Anne to organize her feelings in a place with no escape. Similarly, the purpose of this diary being published is not to entertain, but to honor Anne, and all those who were persecuted under the Nazi regime during World War II.
My largest reaction to reading the book was sadness. Sad that Anne never moved past the confusing teenage years. Sad that she believed so strongly that she knew herself, but the woman she would become would not arrive for years; although you can see glimpses of her shining through the angst. Anne probably had the hardest time of any of the captives in the “Secret Annexe”. She was a remarkably strong girl, but coming into womanhood is an incredibly confusing time for any woman, and I would wager that anyone whose gone through those times would agree with me that the absolute worst way to pass those years is locked up in an attic.
I also felt largely throughout that I was intruding. I know that it was her father’s decision to publish the diary, and Anne wanted to become a writer and have her memory live on. But her problems with her mother and the passages about her learning about her body were meant for her eyes only. And, of course, Kitty’s.
It’s hard to even admit to enjoying portions of the book knowing how the story ended, but I did think her young-love obsession was sweet. I remember those days, analyzing every word, every moment. Even this, though, is bitter-sweet, as it’s more likely that she fell to Peter because she desperately needed companionship than that he was a true match for her. She never really got to experience romantic love.
I also enjoyed the fact that Anne was a fantastic writer for her age. Some of her passages are beautiful; to the standard of an adult. This was exemplified through her writing about her dreams of her grandmother, Lies, and the other Peter. The dreams were so dark and passionate they almost felt fictionalized.
I’m glad I read this book. I think everyone should read it. I’m not going to add it in to The Quest’s rating list, because as I said, this is not a book to be rated. It’s a book to be learned from.
I’ll write again soon. Until then, keep reading.