Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

I'm not sure why I felt the need to read this book again, other than I'd suddenly immersed myself in World War II books and movies.  I'd probably been required to read it as a teenager for school and something in my memory about Anne Frank rose to the surface.

Now in my sixties, I can relate to Anne's story with an entirely different perspective.  The first entry is dated near the beginning of June, 1942.  My husband was born June 4, 1942.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  On one hand a baby is born in America, into a safe and loving home, doing all those things a new baby is supposed to do.  On the other hand, across the ocean, war is raging and a young girl is preparing to go into hiding in an attempt to save her life and those of her family.  Reading the dates at the beginning of each entry served to make Anne's story personal for me.  When I read the book the first time, I can guarantee, I made no connection to the calendar.

Anne is a teenage girl, growing up in abnormal circumstances.  She wants to fall in love, she wonders if she's pretty and she wants to see the sun again, all the things young girls wonder about. Her thoughts and emotions are written on the pages of her diary.  They are the same emotions that a teenage girl experiences no matter what the time and place of her life.

Many years ago I visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam.  It's a sobering event.  But I have to say that reading Anne's diary again at this time in my life made her even more real to me.  Anne's story uses war and hatred as the backdrop to growing up. Her story has impacted me now more than ever.  It is timeless.

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