*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Margot" by Jillian Cantor

I guess you could say that I have an obsession with Anne Frank. I have read pretty much everything that I can get my hands on and my dream traveling experience is to visit the Secret Annex. When I found out that there was a fictionalized book about Margot that took place after the war, I was very intrigued. Years ago I read  The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman and thought that it was a very interesting account of how things might have been had Peter survived the war. Jillian Cantor's Margot follows the same idea, only it's Margot who has survived.
Set years after the end of World War II, Margot Frank (now going by the name Margie Franklin), lives alone in Philadelphia. She goes to work, comes home, and doesn't have much of a social life outside of the two. She doesn't allow anyone to get close to her. She lives with a secret- her true identity. She is aware that her father is alive and that Anne's diary is in print. At the opening of the novel, the movie The Diary of Anne Frank has just been released as well. Despite all of this, she still keeps her secret and makes no attempt to reconnect with her past. But there would be one exception. Before they were pulled from the Annex, she and Peter made a plan to move to America, change their names and begin new lives. She is still waiting for the day when she can once again be with her beloved Peter.
I was really impressed by this book. It's difficult to take a piece of history and create a fictional story out of it. It is even more difficult to take said history and rewrite it. Sadly, we don't have access to Margot's diary (oh how I am hoping it somehow survived the war and someday it turns up in someone's attic) so there's no telling how much of this novel could potentially be true, but Cantor wrote in such a way, it's easy to imagine that these events could have taken place. Though I started it knowing it was completely fictionalized, I was very immersed in the plot and feel that this is one of the best books I have read this year. Anyone that has read Anne's diary or that has felt that Anne has had an impact on their life should give this book a read.

Happy Reading!

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