Friday, January 7, 2011

ANNEXED by Sharon Dogar

Book # 1 in my YA Historical Fiction Challenge is


I got it for Christmas (thank you, Chuck) along with a nonfiction called Anne Frank, The Book, The Life, The Afterlife.  Anne is my hero. So when I learned via The Fourth Musketeer that Sharon Dogar had written a book from the viewpoint of Peter, the teen that Anne fell in love with there in the secret annex, I knew it was just a matter of time until I owned that volume.

Dogar did not disappoint me. The book starts fast and scary, then lulls just a bit during those first boring days in the attic when Peter wants nothing to do with Anne. But the relationship changes in a believable fashion - until Anne and Peter are good friends.

I suppose I read the book because I wanted more of Anne, herself.  I didn't exactly love Peter's sometimes unfavorable description of her because she's always been larger than life for me.  And yet, by her own admission, Anne had many faults and it was good for me to see her through someone else's eyes.

So Peter did give me more of Anne. Conversations that may or may not have happened. Questions that could have been asked.  Their sure knowledge that under entirely different circumstances these two teens would not have shown the least bit of interest in each other.

But there was nothing normal about their being locked up together for two years, hiding for fear of their life, hoping for rescue, and above all not being able to make sense of any of it.

Peter asks the questions that all of us do about the Holocaust.  Are you there? Are you listening?  Can you hear me?

 How could anyone do this? 

I read Peter's story because I wanted more of Anne but in the end it was Peter I wept for. And not only for him, of course but for all whose story he helped to tell.

Not everyone thinks Sharon Dogar should have told this story but I have to agree with her statement in this article  "The problem is that a writer doesn't always choose what they write."  So very true.

I, for one, am glad that this story haunted Dogar for 15 years. And I'm grateful that she finally wrote it. Judging from the reviews, lots of others are too. Here's the trailer. Have a look.


  1. I also received this for Christmas, but haven't read it yet. I think I also see Anne as larger than life, but I knew from other reports about her she could act like girl her age. I am really looking forward to reading this book now. Thanks for the review. The other book is also very good.

  2. Powerful trailer. I've got to read this book! Looking at the trailer I thought of my dad. this would have been his experience...

  3. Alex, I think you'll like it. There are lots of untrue reports about having sex all through the book which is just not true. Anne talks more about that sort of thing in her diary than Peter does. Unfortunately those stupid rumors are casting a shadow over the book but those who actually read it seem to know better and express appreciation.

  4. Carol, I do want to hear more of your father's story!

    And about those letters. I assume they are written in German?

  5. I've been almost afraid to read this book--I also love Anne, but there's just so much pain there. And I'm just not sure how much I want of that annex, the ending of the annex, from yet another point of view. Your review's making me have second thoughts. If it's that good...


  6. Yes Becky - way too much pain there and he gets into details about life in the camp also.

    It is heartbreaking. Some of us need to read this but maybe you don't.

  7. I walked through the bookcase and up the stairs was indescribable! They still have all the magazine photos that Anne herself cut out and glued to the walls of her "room"! I never like to go on outings by myself but I was so thankful that I did this alone... it allowed me to really think about and absorb everything around me! Top 10 in my most memorable!

  8. Nichole, that's great that you were there. I was too but that was decades ago! I want to go back.