11 March 2015

REVIEW: Margot (Jillian Cantor)

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
~ Anne Frank

Margot by Jillian Cantor

My goal of reading this book in 2015 has been accomplished! I deserve three cheers and a pat on the back.

One of my favourite school subjects is history. This year, I am taking a European Studies history course, and the two world wars are topics that we will study in-depth in the upcoming months.

Honestly, I find World War II very interesting to study. It obviously was not a positive thing to happen, but I enjoy learning about it all the same. One of my favourite aspects of history is how it affects the people who live through it; and as such, the story of the Frank family is one that truly fascinates me.

There are many reasons why Anne Frank's life intrigues me. I am not Jewish and I endure the atrocities she experienced, but I am endlessly interested in learning about her as a person, her family, her beliefs, her thoughts and feelings, and her relationships.

Image via Goodreads.
That's why I wanted to read this novel. Margot by Jillian Cantor is written from the first-person point of view of Anne's real-life older sister, Margot. In history, Margot and Anne both died from typhus; however, this book imagines what Margot's life might have been like if she had survived World War II, reached adulthood, and moved to the United States under a false identity, in an attempt to restart her life.

I love the concept of this novel. I think it is clever and creative that Cantor decided to write Anne Frank's story from a perspective that wasn't Anne Frank's. While the book uses some historical accuracies, a fair amount is also fictional, seeing as Margot didn't actually survive World War II in real life.

The book was quite slow to get into the plot, and even after it happened, some of the plot was predictable. (Even the ending was rather cliché, unfortunately.) Regardless, it is a quick read at roughly 330 pages -- I completed the book within a week.

I have never read Anne's published diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, but I have wanted to for years, and even more now after reading Margot. I have heard that Anne's diary is one of those breathtaking books that everybody must read before they die, and I intend to take advantage of the fact.

Despite the things that I disliked about Margot, I do like the connections that it has to real-life World War II. (It is obvious that Cantor did her research, and formed her fictional story in careful accordance with factual events.) As I have mentioned, I like reading about World War II -- that's part of the reason why I enjoyed The Book Thief so much, and why I'm excited to read Night by Elie Wiesel and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne.

So . . . To be continued.

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