Book Review: ANNEXED by Sharon Dogar

Catherine Richie, in her review published on the blog, adds an insightful and interesting perspective on the book titled, “Annexed,” by Sharon Dogar.

She writes thus:

From the world of Anne Frank’s diary, another “voice” is heard.

ANNEXEDAnne’s legendary “cast” of real-life characters has been familiar to world-wide generations since the original 1947 publication of her amazing work. Thus, one might ask, what more can be said about any of them?

Novelist Sharon Dogar brings us the sad tale yet again, but with a twist: now our narrator is teenage “Peter” of the Van Pels family (rechristened “Van Daan” in the diary), who joined the Franks and a local dentist in hiding from the Nazis. Dogar uses the original diary as a factual framework for her fictional reconstruction of Annex events, but goes on to personalize Peter in a remarkable way.

We first hear Peter’s “voice” as a concentration camp prisoner, and his thoughts subsequently shift between his current reality and his daily existence prior to the Annex raid in August, 1944. Revisiting the families’ all-too-familiar struggles through his eyes brings new perspective and poignancy to the shared tragedy. The evolution of Peter’s relationship with Anne is especially interesting to observe.

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