I love the idea of this book. A story told from the perspective of Margot Frank, older sister of Anne – yes, of the famed diary. In Margot, the author imagines that Anne Frank’s older sister managed to survive the holocaust, and ends up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – a plan originally orchestrated by Margot and her young love, Peter. Guilt-ridden over the death of her sister and terrified that the anti-semitism existing in the United States will give way to another holocaust, Margot changes her name to Margie Franklin, denies her Jewish heritage and hides from her past.
Where The Diary of Anne Frank shows the world what it was like for a young girl to be faced with the terrors of a Nazi dominated environment, Margot allows us a glimpse of the Jewish immigrant experience – post-holocaust. It is a part of history we rarely hear about, and yet it, too, is important.
I found this novel to be written more for the young adult. While Ms. Cantor touches on the anti-semitism that existed in post World War II America, I felt she could have fleshed out that story a bit more. For instance, her boss, Joshua, is a young American Jewish lawyer. Other than guilt about the European Jewish survivors, we hear nothing about his experience as a Jew during these times. The love story between Margot and Joshua was also a bit weak. For a young adult novel, I suppose it’s enough, but I would have liked the author to go deeper here.
Still, I give kudos to Jillian Cantor for her creativity and sensitivity in bringing Margot Frank’s perspective to light. Thanks to Riverhead books for sending me an advance review copy of this book. Look for Margot at your favorite bookseller on September 3, 2013.
3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2013