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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Annexed by Sharon Dogar

Publication Date: 2005
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Source: Library Copy

Hey everyone! I felt the need to upload a book review again- after quite a while- because this week I read a book that really inspired me. Annexed, by Sharon Dogar. This is the fictional story of Peter Van Pels ( a real person) who was hiding in the Annex, with Anne Frank and her family. In Anne's Diary, he is represented as Peter Van Daan.

  There have been countless books, movies and documentaries that take us through the terrible time that was the Holocaust. However, I feel that Dogar showed exceptional creativity in writing this novel. She based if off of an inspirational source of history known to everyone- and retold the nightmare of Europe through a different angle.

   Written through the point of view of a shy 16 year old, this story speaks of the loss of lives,exploitation, courage, cowardice, war, love, the living who have died, and the dead who are once again, alive.

 Peter struggles through his teenage years living in a tiny Annex with seven other people. Stuffed in rooms with air that is stale, barely any space to move, and no leniency in the rules of silence, Peter expresses himself through his thoughts. As his love for Leise ( Fictional Character- she was not a part of Peter Van Daan's life in reality) weakens, and his passion for Anne grows, he starts to wonder whether or not Anne portrays him to Kitty as he really is.

  Dogar writes about Peter's life after the Annex was discovered. She writes of the horrendous daily occurrences at the camp of Auschwitz, where Peter, Mr. Frank, and Mr. Van Pel were held. The story is told as a flashback as Peter lies awaiting death. Between chapters Peter expresses his regret at having remembered his past. When he woke up, his dream would become a nightmare, at the words of Wystawatch, as put by Sharon Dogar.

  This book is a must read- for although it is fiction it is an exceptional work of writing that shows us the harsh brutality and inhumanity of life that was faced by countless Jews. Dogar does not use very complicated vocabulary, or flowery words, instead she communicates deep thoughts and messages that seem to come from an adult- but come from an 18 year old trying to escape the clutches of cruel society. 

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