A “what-if” novel. This novel attempts to answer the questions: what if Anne Frank had survived the Holocaust? What would her life after internment be like?
A powerful and deeply humane new novel that asks the question: What if Anne Frank survived the Holocaust?
The year is 1945, and Anne Frank is sixteen years old. Having survived the concentration camps, but lost her mother and sister, she reunites with her father, Pim, in newly liberated Amsterdam. But it’s not as easy to fit the pieces of their life back together. Anne is adrift, haunted by the ghosts of the horrors they experienced, while Pim is fixated on returning to normalcy. Her beloved diary has been lost, and her dreams of becoming a writer seem distant and pointless now.
As Anne struggles to overcome the brutality of memory and build a new life for herself, she grapples with heartbreak, grief, and ultimately the freedom of forgiveness. A story of trauma and redemption, Annelies honors Anne Frank’s legacy as not only a symbol of hope and perseverance, but also a complex young woman of great ambition and heart.
Anne Frank is a cultural icon whose diary painted a vivid picture of the Holocaust and made her an image of humanity in one of history’s darkest moments. But she was also a person—a precocious young girl with a rich inner life and tremendous skill as a writer. In this masterful new novel, David R. Gillham explores with breathtaking empathy the woman—and the writer—she might have become.
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction
Expected Publication Date: January.15.2019
*Thank you FirsttoRead for providing an ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the book*
When it comes to writing a novel like this, about a much beloved person, you have to do it with a lot of grace. And I think this book accomplishes that. The thing is, I can’t reconcile the girl whose diary we’ve all read and loved with the one presented in this book.
The book begins around the same time Anne receives her diary. Her day-to-day life is dramatized for the reader. Then the book transitions to the time in the attic. We get snippets of further insight. And then, the camps. A glimpse at Anne struggling to survive. Finally, back home with her father.
The Anne that leaves the camp is not the same optimistic, bright-eyed young girl from her diary. Instead, we get a guilt-ridden and extremely bitter Anne. Because of all the atrocities and pain she has suffered, Anne has a big chip on her shoulder. This interpretation of Anne hurt. Her voice is different. Her ideals are all different. She is changed. Haunted.
In a way, I get it. I can see someone doing a complete reversal like this. But Anne Frank? I feel it does a disservice to her memory. Her relationship with her beloved Pim is strained (to say the least). And events are changed and completely dramatized… If the author had instead written the book about a fictional character, I think this story would have, personally, worked better.
Recommend? Sure. Especially to those who think Cinderella 3 is a good movie…
RATING: 3/5 stars