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A Friend Called Anne [Paperback]

Carol Ann Lee , Jacqueline Van Maarsen

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Book Description

5 Aug 2004
This is the true story of two best friends, one of whom was Anne Frank. Since their first meeting at school in Amsterdam in September 1941, Jacqueline van Maarsen and Anne Frank were inseparable. Although the anti-Jewish laws meant that there were few activities open to them, the girls still had a lot of fun together. They made a pact: that if one of them had to go away, then they would write the other a letter of farewell. Then, suddenly, Anne disappeared. Shortly after, Jacqueline's own life changed dramatically. Her father was Jewish, but her mother was not, and Mrs van Maarsen was able to persuade the authorities that they were not really Jewish - and so Jacqueline was able to take off the yellow star which all Jews had to wear. Jacqueline van Maarsen gives a fascinating and moving account of her friendship with Anne and the effect of her sudden disappearance. She vividly describes how she and her own family lived through the Nazi occupation and how, at the end of the war, she was finally able to read the promised farewell letter from her very best friend, Anne Frank. Written by Jacqueline van Maarsen and adapted for children by Carol Ann Lee, this will appeal to all the millions of fans of The Diary of Anne Frank.

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About the Author

JACQUELINE VAN MAARSEN was born in 1929 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her father was Dutch, her mother French. He was Jewish, she was a Catholic by birth. During the war Jacqueline suffered from the persecution of the Jews. In 1941, at the Jewish High School she met Anne Frank and they became best friends until Anne went into hiding. Since 1989 Jacqueline has been lecturing on Anne Frank and on discrimination in schools, mainly in America and in Germany. She still lives in Amsterdam, is married and has three children and seven grandchildren. CAROL ANN LEE was born in Yorkshire in 1969 and is the author of Anne Frank's Story, a biography for children which has been published in America, UK and Commonwealth and in Europe; the critically acclaimed Roses from the Earth: The Biography of Anne Frank, and The Hidden Life of Otto Frank which have both been published in many different parts of the world. Carol Ann lives in Amsterdam.

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High above the Canals of Amsterdam, in a cramped, dusty attic filled with boxes and washing hung up to dry on the old wooden beams, a young girl was writing a letter to her best friend. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Friend Called Anne. By Josephine U. 14 Dec 2006
By Laura H. Ubben - Published on
Her name shall never be forgotten, for she told a story through her diary with such delicate words. She perished before she could live the fame she always dreamed of, changing the world without knowing she did so. Anne Frank has been known internationally because of her desire to keep a record of everything that happened to her during the time she lived. In A Friend Called Anne, Jacqueline Van Maarsen tells of her friendship with Anne ever since they met in Nazi-invaded Amsterdam. They watched together as their lives were slowly changing in ways that they didn't like but were powerless to prevent. When they met for the first time, they quickly became inseparable. This was until the day Anne and her family went into hiding to escape deportation to the Nazi concentration camps. Jacqueline describes the feeling of narrowly escaping deportation during the Holocaust and the tragedy of Anne's so sudden death. Although the book was presented well, the characters were lifeless which made this memoir tedious and unexciting.

A Friend Called Anne has a plot that is neither appealing nor exciting. I found the book itself slow and difficult to understand. I was amazed at the fact that the novel was a true story but disappointed in the writing itself. The author didn't give a great amount of details, therefore making the background information unclear and confusing. I am aware that the Holocaust was an extremely devastating time period and Jacqueline Van Maarson does not express such a feeling of tragedy in great detail. Without the specific details and descriptions of personalities, feelings and settings, the biography was lacking in many ways. Although it was quite a good example of the true meaning of friendship and a special one at that, I would have liked to hear more about the Anne and Jacqueline's childhood friendship before the Nazi's took over. If the author had really gone into to depth about the troubles and whereabouts of Anne's family, the storyline could possibly be strengthened. Towards the end, Jacqueline learned that Anne had been in hiding with the rest of her family for quite some time. I would have liked it much better if the author switched back and forth between Jacqueline's tale and Anne's tale at that point. Instead, she focused mainly on Jacqueline whose tale was quite flat and uneventful. In the final portion of the book, I wanted to hear about Anne and her sister Margot captured in the Bergen-Belsen camp, where they were sent from Auschwitz. However, I enjoyed hearing Jacqueline's feelings after hearing of Anne's death. As she revisited Anne's hiding spot when times were worst, she spotted picture of her and Anne as young children and told Mr. Frank, "Looking at the pictures on the fading wallpaper of Anne's room in the secret annex was like looking at ghosts." But overall, I was disappointed in the book because I know how exciting Anne Frank's experience was and it did not portray appealing and exciting stories I was hoping for.

I found the biography dull and depressing purely because the emotionless characters and lack of details. The author poorly presents the relationships between people and places. Nothing about the book amused me in any way, and in my opinion, that is my definition of a boring story.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good 28 Oct 2013
By Jennifer O'Connell - Published on
I really like that Jacqueljne van Maarsen wrote a book about the two girls' friendship, and how special it was. I also wish that it went into more detail about before Anne went into hiding, before she couldn't contact her. Even so, you could tell that these two girls' friendship was legendary.
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