I read this book as part of Dead Writers Society Literary Birthday Challenge for 2016. I selected this one, and three other books because I feel like I have been slacking lately on my challenges on Goodreads. I first read version b of The Diary of a Young Girl when I was a teenager. I recall being sad and upset that someone that felt so alive to me was taken away and murdered. Reading about World War II and the Holocaust as a teen, I remember feeling sick. I can't imagine the atrocities that people had to live through. I read "Night" a few months ago and that book devastated me for days.
I feel very weird not giving this book five stars but here is my reasoning. Although I loved the historical aspect of this memoir/diary, I thought the whole thing started to read a bit samey after the first 50 pages or so.
That said, I love that as readers we get to see an in depth look of a 13 year old girl who had her whole life turned upside down because she was Jewish.
Because she was Jewish, she, her family, and others had to go into hiding with fear that they would be discovered which would mean the Nazis would find them, round them up, and send them to concentration camps where they knew they would surely be killed. I can't imagine living with that terror day in an day out.
I am fascinated that I had no idea for years that the version of this memoir I read decades ago had been edited. In my version, I don't recall any angst by Anne. I don't recall her having any fights with her mother or sister or any of the other occupants of the Annex where they all remained hidden for two years. I just remember thinking she sounded like a sweet girl who still saw the best in people and hoped to one day be allowed to go outside again. The definitive edition gives you the real Anne Frank. A 13 year old girl that at times was self centered, mean spirited, and moody. She felt more real to me in this version than she did in the version I had read decades ago.
Heck, I can see why she was moody. To be locked inside for two years, to have no privacy, to have to set up times for people to nap and study. To do all of that for two years would have left me bad tempered and ready to yell at anyone who breathed on me wrong too.
The ending though I knew what was coming was sad.