A 13-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy enter a concealed space and remain there for two years. They do not like each other. She is precocious and attention-seeking. He is sullen and grieves for his lost girlfriend, to whose memory he miserably masturbates. But as time – marked only by the changes in the patch of sky and single treetop visible from an attic window – passes them by, they fall in love. Sexual desire uncoils in this dim hiding place. Unfortunately, the couple have no privacy to explore, let alone consummate, their relationship because they are living in very close quarters with her parents and her sister, his parents, and a querulous dentist. In these circumstances, every murmur, fart, endearment, is overheard; every glance, move, touch is witnessed. They cannot escape this purgatory because actual hell awaits them in the outside world.
Sounds interesting? Yes, I thought so until I read further and discovered that this was a new book ANNEXED, by Sharon Dogar - a brave retelling of Anne Frank's story according to Mal Peet in her article for the Guardian (click HERE to view.)
Now I'm usually a fairly opened minded person, not usually the type to totally condemn a book/a film etc without having watched/read it for myself and I'm not going to start now BUT at the same time I believe that certain books should be left well alone.
The harrowing, true life story of a young Jewish girl who, along with family and friends, is forced to go into hiding in an attic in Nazi occupied Amsterdam, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, I believe should be read by every school child. Therefore to say that I am disappointed that some author has seen fit to retell (exploit?) the story is to put it mildly but as I said I'm not one for condemning things out of hand which leaves me with a bit of a dilemma - to read Annexed or not?
What do you think? Do you intend to read the book? Should certain stories be left well alone? It's over to you.