With an engaging combination of lively humour, teenage high spirits, adolescent angst and heart-wrenching despair at the terror that dominated her nights and days in a rickety Amsterdam warehouse, Anne Frank's diary is a living testimony to the senseless slaughter that took place in the Nazi concentration camps. Although she was an exceptionally gifted writer, in most respects she was just an ordinary teenage girl who was denied the chance of an ordinary teenage life. For me, this knowledge injected even the most humorous diary entries with a sense of sick irony - Anne is innocently hopeful throughout most of the book, but in the end she lost out. Her anguished cry, "Let the end come, even if it is hard!" came true, and sixty years later this harrowing quote speaks volumes, telling readers of the diary exactly how difficult conditions in the Secret Annexe were.
But in spite of this, Anne does not allow you to pity her. She is too lively, too quick-minded, too full of beans to tolerate that. Her personality and those of the seven people she shared a cramped attich with shine forth from the diary's pages.
The diary has special meaning for me as I am close to one of Anne and Margot's old friends, who unlike them returned alive. I am now the age Anne was when she died. Strangely, I too want to become a writer. Anyone who dares to dream about what they would like to do tomorrow should read this book.