Book Review: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

After mulling over the direction I want this blog to take, I have decided to make certain additions that will hopefully gain more traffic. After all, I am hoping to eventually make some kind of career out of this. My friend, whose sister is a keen blogger, has suggested including reviews, and what better product to review than my great love – books. Granted, it may not work as intended, but at least it is giving me the opportunity to write more frequently.

So I will kick off my book reviews with my latest read, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

It has always surprised me that, during 40 years of voracious reading, I have never attempted Anne Frank's remarkable wartime journal. The Diary of a Young Girl is a classic, and one of the most-read books in the world. So I decided to purchase a copy from Amazon.

Back in my early years of school, I do remember briefly studying the book, which included watching a film adaptation. I didn't pay much attention back then to the written version, concentrating more on the screen. I feel that, in the past, I found it a little too tragic, knowing that the girl had met an untimely end.

What initially struck me about Anne Frank was how surprisingly modern her whole outlook on life was. She could have been a young teenager in 2017 if it wasn't for her situation. She was amazingly strong, insightful, and her writing style belied her young years. She dreamt of becoming a journalist and a published writer, and would certainly have achieved her dreams if she hadn't been forced into hiding by WWII and Hitler's regime.

Born into a Jewish family, Anne was 13 years-old when the Frank's fled their Amsterdam home and took up residence in the Secret Annexe of an office building, hiding away from the Nazi's and the threat of the concentration camps. It was 1942, and the world was in the throes of war, with Jews all over Europe being persecuted for their beliefs.

For just over two years, the family remained there, hidden away, with Anne struggling through adolescence and relying on her diary as her biggest confidant.

Anne's thoughts and feelings, her teenage rebellion against her mother, her talk of sex, and her budding romance with fellow housemate Peter, all indicate a surprisingly forward thinking and candid young lady. She talks with maturity about her own shortcomings and seems intent on self-improvement. A harshly critical mind that is often directed at her housemates is also frequently directed within. You could be easily fooled into believing you are reading the diary of a modern-day teenager, until the talk of bombings, gunfire, and D-Day bring it all home.

Anne dealt with her situation courageously, and with humour and optimism, despite the moments of fear and uncertainty, when the gunfire rattled on outside their annexe. Life was not easy, but she kept hope alive in the compelling pages of her diary. The final page cannot fail to leave a lump in your throat – such a young and promising life, cruelly cut short.

As children's author Jacqueline Wilson wrote, "An uplifting and enriching book that deserves a special place on every bookshelf."

*** As this is my first attempt at reviewing on WordPress, any feedback will be greatly appreciated ***

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