Annelies: A Novel of Anne by Frank David Gillham || Book Review

Alternate history books are a whole genre I’d like to get into. Those ‘what if’s‘ are intriguing, aren’t they?

Some takes an event from the past and completely reimagines it to show what it could have been like had events turned out differently. How one small action, word or gesture can change a whole life for someone.

This novel is an alternate history take on Anne Frank, and what her life could’ve been like had she survived the camp and went on with life after the war.

You might want a box of tissues handy when reading this book.

While I haven’t read Anne’s diary yet, I knew enough to follow on the story in the book to make sense of what is going on.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: Annelies: A Novel of Anne Frank by David Gillham #bookreview #davidgillham #historicalfictionbooks #alternatehistorybooks #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Originally published: 2019

Format: Paperback
Pages: 448

Plot from GoodReads:

In 1945, aged sixteen, Anne Frank walks out of the liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and into a new life as a survivor of the Holocaust. Returning to Amsterdam, she is reunited with her beloved father. Yet Anne feels like a ghost. In the city where she and her family were betrayed, Anne struggles to let go of the horrors she witnessed, to forget the cruel death of her mother and her sister Margot. She dreams of being a writer, but how do you carry on when you’ve lost everything you once were?

To create a new life for herself, a life of freedom as a woman and a writer, she knows she must transform her story of trauma into a story of redemption and hope.


While of course, Anne’s fate in real life was tragic, this book looked into her survival of the events she faced and continues to tell her story through the trauma she had to endure and deal with, as well as the difficulties of readjusting to trying to lead a normal life again. While the war was over, the lingering terror and emotions didn’t just fade for others to pick up their lives where they left off.

I loved the snippets from Anne Frank’s actual diary used in different sections of the book, and while they have nothing to do with the novel and the events that took place, the author cleverly applied them to situations that the character found herself in and weaved in the magic to make it all make sense to the reader and the timeline.

The book follows Anne’s life before, during and after the war, and there is a lot of anger and pain in these pages that at times I had to put the book aside to readjust my emotions to continue reading. The book was heavy with emotional rawness and realness.

The detailed writing was beautiful and emotional and I have to praise the author for delivering such a heart warming, yet at the same time wrenching book, with great research done to make it believable. Not only for the facts added to the book, but the level of creativity that was added to the alternate history is breathtaking.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.78 on GoodReads. I gave it a 5.

Annelies: A Novel of Anne Frank by David Gillham #bookreview #davidgillham #historicalfictionbooks #alternatehistorybooks#bookaddict #booktwitter

Have you read Annelies?


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