Margot — Jillian Cantor Asks “What If…?”

“Historical fiction” is not the book of choice for many readers; however, a few authors have mastered the craft sufficiently in this category to the extent that they can easily force one to change his or her mindset to pick up a book in this particular genre and read with delight.

Dallas Library Adult Materials Selector, Catherine Ritchie declares that “historical fiction” has never been her forte in reading; however, she recently encountered an enlightening author Jillian Cantor in this category and she writes thus:

Jillian Cantor asks “What if…?” and proceeds from there. For example: what if Anne Frank‘s older sister actually survived the Holocaust and came to America after World War II? That’s the fascinating premise of her 2013 book Margot.

The newly re-christened “Margie” finds a job in a Philadelphia law firm, all the while wearing long sleeves to hide the numbers on her arm, turning away from almost all Jewish religious practices, and internalizing guilt over her final days in captivity with Anne.

Cantor interweaves universal themes in her first-person narrative: the need for the community even in the midst of “hiding”; the quest for personal identity; and the longing for family.

Ritchie noted that she has found this novel both thoroughly engrossing and poignant and describes it as an outstanding introduction to a fiction sub-genre.

What do you think?

Nigel Belle, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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