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.