The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank: A Novel

The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank: A Novel

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by Ellen Feldman
     
 

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"An appealing and inventive novel…original and cathartic."—Dana Kennedy, New York Times

On February 16, 1944, Anne Frank recorded in her diary that Peter, whom she at first disliked but eventually came to love, had confided in her that if he got out alive, he would reinvent himself entirely. This is the story of what might have happened if

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Overview

"An appealing and inventive novel…original and cathartic."—Dana Kennedy, New York Times

On February 16, 1944, Anne Frank recorded in her diary that Peter, whom she at first disliked but eventually came to love, had confided in her that if he got out alive, he would reinvent himself entirely. This is the story of what might have happened if the boy in hiding survived to become a man.

Peter arrives in America, the land of self-creation; he flourishes in business, marries, and raises a family. He thrives in the present, plans for the future, and has no past. But when The Diary of a Young Girl is published to worldwide acclaim and gives rise to bitter infighting, he realizes the cost of forgetting.

Based on extensive research of Peter van Pels and the strange and disturbing life Anne Frank's diary took on after her death, this is a novel about the memory of death, the death of memory, and the inescapability of the past. Reading group guide included.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Feldman (Lucy) pens a deeply affecting, unsettling look into the soul of a man whose attempts to bury his past cannot prevent it from seeping into his present life. Anne Frank and Peter van Pels shared an awkward first love in the Amsterdam annex where they lived in hiding. In Feldman's novel, Peter has emigrated to America and, as he promised Anne he would do, completely denied his persecution in the Holocaust and his identity as a Jew. The happiness and safety of his new life confounds him: he has a beautiful wife (who is herself Jewish), lovely children and a good job. But when his wife begins reading Anne's newly published diary and later attends the play and the movie, Peter begins to spiral into flashbacks, paranoia and guilt as he questions who he is and where his responsibilities lie. The true story of the controversy over the authenticity of the diary and its stage and screen adaptations is woven into Peter's own struggle with the truth and its consequences, and Feldman convincingly takes readers into the horrors of the Holocaust and the effects on its survivors. The only thing missing is a portrayal of Peter's relationship with Anne herself. A psychologically gripping tale, this will cause readers to think about the price of safety and the complex obligations of memory. Agent, Emma Sweeney. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Peter van Pels, a minor figure in The Diary of Anne Frank, here emerges center stage as Feldman (Lucy) enlarges Anne's relationship with the boy she called Peter van Daan in her diary. Peter lived with his family in the secret annex of a house in Amsterdam along with the Frank family. Although Peter died in Mauthausen concentration camp on May 5, 1945, three days before the camp was liberated, here he is imagined as a survivor who journeys to America and reinvents himself by changing his name and hiding his Jewishness. This Peter marries, has a family, and becomes a successful real estate developer. When The Diary of Anne Frank is published in 1952, his life is turned upside down. Peter is anguished about the past that he has betrayed and by the knowledge that Anne did not survive. This heartfelt and moving book is highly recommended for young adults and adults of all ages. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/04.]-Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393246063
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/21/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
276,194
File size:
1 MB

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