The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (1947)

This book makes me giddy. On weak days, I couldn’t even pick it up.

It’s the pain. The anxiety. Of watching Anne coping and hoping. And the dread of knowing what happens.

We know. She didn’t.

I also have a brand-new prescription for gunfire jitters: when the shooting gets loud, proceed to the nearest wooden staircase. Run up and down a few times, making sure to stumble at least once. What with the scratches and the noise of running and falling, you won’t even be able to hear the shooting, much less worry about it. Yours truly has put this magic formula to use, with great success!

Anne asked for so little that she could see clearly what was important. And she puts it so simply.

The best remedy for those that are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside [she couldn’t], somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God. For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature’s beauty and simplicity.

As long at this exists, and that should be for ever, I know that there will be solace for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances. I firmly believe that nature can bring comfort to all who suffer.

It’s the hardly accessible sky and the yearning to see it freely in all its glory that Anne keeps returning to.

Whenever you’re feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside. Not at the houses and the rooftops, but at the sky. As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky you’ll know that you are pure within and will find happiness once more.

So humble. So wise. So young. Anne wrote a masterpiece on being human.

And then comes the unbearable, quiet horror of the last page and the bottom of your box of Kleenex. (The thought of saying spoiler alert here isn’t even funny.)

… keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if… if only there were no other people in the world.

Yours, Anne M. Frank

ANNE’S DIARY ENDS HERE

Buy The Diary of a Young Girl (free delivery, cardboard wrapping)

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Guy Nicholls, writer and book bore.

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