This book is a different than the ones I’ve read lately. Instead of being just a work of fiction, this novel combines historical facts with a fictionalized story. Margot is the name of Anne Frank’s older sister, who died after the family was captured and sent to the camps. American author Jillian Cantor writes an account of what could have happened if Margot had lived and escaped to the United States.

The story picks up in 1959. Margot is living as Margie Franklin in Philadelphia and has a job as a secretary at a law firm. No one knows the truth about her identity or her past, and she intends to keep it that way. While helping to work on a complicated case with one of the lawyers, she also attempts to find Peter, one of the people the Franks lived with while in hiding.

Cantor did a good job at imagining the interactions between Anne and Margot, described throughout the story in a series of flashbacks.

However, although Margot’s stress and paranoia is realistic,  I thought Cantor over-romanticized Margot’s character too much. Margot imagines her life as a happily married women without any worries or responsibilities. While I understand Margot’s desire to fit in after all she went through, I found that her fantasies happened too often and disrupted the flow of the story. It made it harder for me to continue reading, as I found myself being able to predict what happens.

While the historical elements of this novel are interesting, a more realistic character would have made the novel more worth reading. Cantor made a solid effort with historical facts, but I think focusing on pure fiction is more her strength.

Advertisements