One of those fondly-remembered books of my early years of reading, I found a return to it in later life especially rewarding. Even now I still struggle to correlate the maturity and expressiveness of Anne Frank’s writing with the reality of her tender age. Her two years of incarceration in a ‘Secret Annexe’ in German-occupied Holland happened during her formative early teenage years, when most youngsters have their minds on things other than serious reading and writing. But her declared intention of becoming a journalist and writer in later life provides the background to the deep urge she has to express her life in words and, in the process, to keep depression and despair at bay during the difficult years of isolation.
Her deep desire to be much more than ‘just a housewife’, to become a famous writer and live on in the minds of people long after her death, made the following words her epitaph:
‘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! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and express all that’s inside me!’
If you haven’t re-visited this book for many years, or even read it at all, I would recommend it highly.