Friday, March 16, 2018

A Journey Into Anne Frank and the People Who Saved Her

Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies & Alison Leslie Gold
Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat

5 stars

The story of Anne Frank has been told for many decades and is one that resonates with a lot of young people. Anne’s story of survival in the Annex of her father’s business along with her family, another family, and a doctor is famous for being a story of growth and hope. The world outside of the small prison keeping the Franks safe was horrifying and wrought with murder, starvation, and abuse. Miep Gies was one of the people who helped hide the Franks in the Annex and this is her story. We follow Miep as a young girl in Vienna, her love for the Dutch, her journey to become an official Dutch citizen during the Natzi regime, her relationship with the Franks (before, during, and after the war), her plight to feed the Franks and retain enough food for them as well as her and her husband, and the fear that lurked in her heart for the Franks and countless others she helped hide or knew were in hiding. I'm going to keep this review short because it's a nonfiction narrative I fidn those incredibly hard to review. This audiobook is fantastic. Rosenblat does a stellar job of capturing the emotions of Miep and those around her. It is important to note that this story will probably break your heart. Towards the end, I found myself crying a lot. My heart completely breaks for these people and the plights that were dealing with in the Annex and after in the camps. This story is just as important as Anne’s because we are seeing the work that went into hiding these people from the Nazi Regime and the horrors of concentration and death camps. This novel is filled with sorrow and I will admit it made me quite depressed, but it also filled me with hope for humanity. Miep Gies never once saw herself as a hero, she saw herself as someone trying to save her dear friends’ lives and that to me makes her one of the most heroic people in history. Her deep love for the Franks shined through this story and I was moved to laughter and to tears. This is a novel that I think everyone should read alongside The Diary of a Young Girl. It is important not only to history, but in inspiring people to put others before themselves.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 5

Character Scale: 5

Plotastic Scale: 5

Narration Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: The cover is nice, but it’s weird to critique the portrait of a young girl who changed the world.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Narrated by Selma Blair

4.25 stars

“Where there is hope, there is life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”

When I think of Anne Frank I think of a young girl whose life was taken too soon. After reading/listening to her diary for the first I also think that she was a young girl who started out with a lot arrogance, cruelty, and entitlement, but grew into a young woman wise beyond her years who wanted to change the world.

“I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death!”

This quote impacted me so much upon hearing it. Anne Frank went on living after her death in a way that many don’t. Her diary is read in schools, has been turned into films and plays, she has a museum dedicated to her, and she has become an inspirational hero when people think of World War II, the Jews, and the Nazis. Anne Frank’s narrative is one that is a little hard to get through when you are an adult because she embodies all the worst aspects of early adolescence. It’s weird because if I had read this a young girl I would have been completely alongside in every rude observation and complaint, but as an adult I see this as someone who has been forced into this horrible situation at a very young. Anne hasn’t grown up yet, she is so young when she is forced to go into hiding and it blatantly obvious through her writing that she is still very childish, but longs to be mature. By the end of this novel, Frank’s musings and thoughts became incredibly insightful and were much more philosophical than I expected. Towards the end of the diary, one really sees how much of a woman she has become and how the experience within the Annex has forced her to grow up at an incredibly rapid rate. However, as much as I love reading and listening to Anne’s story, I must confess that this isn’t an amazing, mind-blowing novel for me. It is beautiful, but a lot of Anne’s narrative is cruel and it made the listening experience uncomfortable. I wasn’t always enamored or inspired by Anne. It wasn’t until the very end that I became a fan of her writing style and an admired her character and strength. Due to the way that I felt during certain entries, I cannot give this novel 5 stars. It is historically a 5 star piece of importance, but as a novel I feel that 4.25 stars is superb especially since this is a diary.

“Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn't women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?...Women, who struggle and suffer pain to ensure the continuation of the human race, make much tougher and more courageous soldiers than all those big-mouthed freedom-fighting heroes put together!”

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4

Character Scale: 4

Narration Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: It’s always weird to give an opinion on a picture and so I won’t give one. :)
Have you been inspired or touched by Anne Frank's story? What are some of your favorite historical heroes or figures? Let me know down below in the comments! 

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