I’ve always been meaning to read “The diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank right from my school days.I remember hearing about it for the first time in the European history class.Finally after many years, I got to read the book, thanks to a dear friend who presented it on my birthday.
Before I start writing about this book, I must confess that I did have some preconceived notions of what this would be like. Given the fact that it was set during the world war and mindful of the tortures that the jews have had to go through, I did expect a lot of gloomy moments through out the book.
Though the starting words were,
I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.
the book started on a happy note where Anne describes her birthday presents including Kitty, a doll to whom she addresses all the diary entries. The next few days, we get to read about her jewish school, some of her friends and also about her parents Otto Frank,Edith Frank and her elder sister Margot Frank.As we move on, we learn why her family is forced to hide in the secret annexe with another jewish family (Mr Van Daan’s). We are exposed to the nazi’s atrocites too but what fascinated me the most was Anne’s level of maturity and her optimism.Can you believe that a 13 year old girl amidst chaos and dangers writing something like this?
“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”
“I have often been downcast, but never in despair; I regard our hiding as a dangerous adventure, romantic and interesting at the same time. In my diary I treat all the privations as amusing. I have made up my mind now to lead a different life from other girls and, later on, different from ordinary housewives. My start has been so very full of interest, and that is the sole reason why I have to laugh at the humorous side of the most dangerous moments”
This certainly can’t be childish innocence.At an young age, Anne’s seems to have understood and experienced so many things that even elderly people sometimes fail to understand.
Anne loved her father and always went up to him for comfort and care. On the other hand, she wrote of how much ‘unattached’ she is to her mother. Anne cheerfully explains Mrs Van Daan’s activities, which keeps the readers lively too. This book saw me in tears many times especially when she describes the dark sides of her living. I constantly felt the yearning to comfort her so much, to make things better for her and to hope that she will have the future to live happily.
Throughout the diary Anne remains so incredibly optimistic and hopeful and it hurts so much to know that things didn’t go as she wanted to. Some of her lines are amazing and exceptional .No wonder this book is in the list of Le Monde’s 100 books of the century .
I strongly recommend this book for everyone, for it makes us realise the gift of life.