“Inventive . . . Cantor’s ‘what-if’ story combines historical fiction with mounting suspense and romance, but above all, it is an ode to the adoration and competition between sisters.” —O, the Oprah Magazine
A story of sisters that imagines Anne Frank’s sister Margot survived World War II and was living in America, from the author of The Lost Letter and The Hours Count
Anne Frank has long been a symbol of bravery and hope, but there were two sisters hidden in the annex, two young Jewish girls, one a cultural icon made famous by her published diary and the other, nearly forgotten.
In the spring of 1959, The Diary of Anne Frank has just come to the silver screen to great acclaim, and a young woman named Margie Franklin is working in Philadelphia as a secretary at a Jewish law firm. On the surface she lives a quiet life, but Margie has a secret: a life she once lived, a past and a religion she has denied, and a family and a country she left behind.
Margie Franklin is really Margot Frank, older sister of Anne, who did not die in Bergen-Belsen as reported, but who instead escaped the Nazis for America. But now, as her sister becomes a global icon, Margie’s carefully constructed American life begins to fall apart. A new relationship threatens to overtake the young love that sustained her during the war, and her past and present begin to collide. Margie is forced to come to terms with Margot, with the people she loved, and with a life swept up into the course of history.
What if Anne Frank s sister Margot, instead of dying in Auschwitz, had survived and gone into hiding in America? Cantor s latest (after The Transformation of Things) posits this alternative scenario with a modern eye for symptoms of trauma and survivor s guilt. Wearing long sleeves even on hot days to cover her camp tattoo, Margot is passing as a gentile in 1950s America under the name Margie Franklin, avoiding both her father in Switzerland and her own tragic history. But after The Diary of Anne Frank is published by her dad and the movie version arrives in theaters, Margot s careful reconstruction of herself begins to fray. Joshua Rosenstein, the lawyer for whom she works as a secretary, asks for her help in finding Jews experiencing discrimination, further inflaming long-repressed memories. A troubled pair of love triangles figures in the book one from Margot s teenage years in hiding and another in the law office; the first seems unfair to history and the second is a Holocaust survivor s version of Cinderella. But with Margot having been denied a happy ending in real life, Cantor is determined for her to find one here.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Change if heart
At first I felt it was wrong to write a follow up story about Margot Frank but the story drew me in with the heart wrenching story of the Americanized, Margot. It was an adventure to read the story and have Margot discover her true self. I understand now why the author wrote the story for Margot.