The Book Worm: Review: The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank

Friday, May 6, 2016

Review: The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank

Book Review: The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank

The "unwritten" final chapter of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl tells the story of the time between Anne Frank's arrest and her death through the testimony of six Jewish women who survived the hell from which Anne Frank never returned.

Genre: non-fiction

Publishing date: March 2011 (for the Kindle Edition)

Mature content: yes.

Review: This book is a collection of the testimonies of six dutch women that were arrested and taken to concentration camps during World War Two. Other than the introductory notes and the descriptions that accompany the photos, everything is told in the first person. Through these women's stories lives the memory of those that did not survive. Anne Frank was one of them. 

This is not a light book, and neither it is meant to be. It would be insulting otherwise. It is a book where the capacity of the human species for cruelty is put side by side with the ability of the same human species to survive the unthinkable. It is supposed to make you think, and it is supposed to make you want to hug your children a little tighter at night and consider yourself lucky you did not (and hopefully never will) live through that kind of hell. 

Still, notwithstanding it's historical value, I have two main issues with this book. This first one is that the title is totally misleading. These are not the tales of the last seven months of Anne Frank. These are the tales of six other women, most of them significantly older than Anne when they were sent to Auschwitz. They all had a passing acquaintance with Anne and her family, they all went though the same ordeals, but they were not Anne. What Anne thought, felt, lived, in the last seven months of her life, died with her. We don't know anything about it, and never will. My second issue with the book is that it is very repetitive and the way some of the testimonies are organized is also confusing. These are the raw, unedited memories of six women, and while I understand the benefit of keeping the stories exactly as they were told, I found myself reading the same thing six times over. 

So, this is a book to read if you have time and if the subject interests you. But it is not a book for everyone and you should also not expect it to provide you with any major revelations about Anne Frank.

Have a wonderful weekend!

the book worm, book blog


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