February challenge

The first month of the year has already passed. Can you believe it´s already February right now? Time is going really fast. It also means that it’s time for a new challenge: Read a book recommended by a friend. I posted a message on Facebook because I wanted to see more suggestions. What kind of books do my friends read? Which one is their favorite? In the end it came down to three options (sorry the French one was a bit too tough for now ^^ but will try next year!): Three comrades by E.M Remarque (originally in German), The catcher in the rye by Salinger or Lord of the flies by William Golding. I still have to find two of the three books and February already started! I ordered at the bookstore of course Three comrades but it won´t be here soon. So I hope I will be luckier with the other two.

Last month I read a book I wish I´d read in school: Het Achterhuis by Anne Frank. I guess everyone’s familiar with her diary. I’ve always said I wanted to read it but, well, actually I don’t know why I didn’t take time to read it. Maybe too scared what would be inside?

The diary describes Anne’s life in Het Achterhuis but also gives a bit of background information about her life before. I shouldn’t have been surprised about the boys and girls she didn’t like, the boys who liked her, etc. But I was. For a moment I forgot I was reading a diary of a child who was just thirteen years old. Of course she didn’t like everyone and of course she was writing this in her diary. Sometimes it made me chuckle a bit. We all write everything we think in our diary, I mean, that’s why we have them. In the beginning I had to get used to her way of describing events. She was still a kid when they had to hide. However, slowly her sentences started to change. She was transforming  from a child to a young adult and some of the passages show you how wise she was for her age. “A person who is happy, will make others happy. Who has courage and trust, will never endure the misery.” She talks about her dreams, about the beauty of life, and all the things she wants to become when they no longer need to hide. Every time I read these sentences I felt my heart break just a little bit more. Such a young girl who knew herself so well and who knew she wanted to survive. She wanted to have a life, she wanted to be free. Unfortunately, we all know how her story ends.

I am grateful that her father was able to publish her diary. It’s good to read stories about wars but it’s better to read these personal stories. Why? Because it gives everyone a face. It gives the real story of what was happening and what took place. And the hope that this will never ever happen again.

There are different versions of Anne Frank’s diary. She wrote her first diary, unknowingly that she wanted to publish or use it later for her books. Then when she heard on the radio that they wanted to collect all the diaries to make them public, she wrote a second version. With these two versions her father decided to make a shorter version. After her father passed away, some new passages were found, and the Anne Frank Fonds (after checking all the facts) published a newer version with these passages and some things that were first left out (it wasn’t common to talk about sexuality in the fifties for example).

Now there was a little problem: I finished the book just before I arrived in Málaga and that meant I wouldn’t have something to read on the way back (flight of more than three hours). That is why I had to buy a new book at the airport: The good daughter by Karin Slaughter.

To be honest I don’t think my short review will be objective. I’ve always had an adoration for her work. The way she writes, how she describes her characters, it’s always good. No matter what you read from her, she knows how to write. The good daughter is about so many things a horrible crime that took place 28 years ago when two sisters had a gun pointed at them in the woods. One ran away, the other was left behind. What happens before I’m not going to tell you, spoiler alert! Then 28 years later another crime happens: a school shooting with what appears to be a young goth girl. But nothing is what it seems. Just like what happened 28 years before, you never know the full story until you finally hear the whole truth that was kept hidden inside. Rusty and Gamma, Samantha and Charlie, they all have their struggles and we feel sympathy for everything that has happened to them. There are some things written that are not for the lighthearted (so be aware) but overall it’s an amazing book as always. I want to tell you so much more but I also know that I would literally tell everything that happens in the book. And that’s something you have to figure out yourself.

 

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