For many, The Diary of a Young Girl gave voice to the victims of the Holocaust. While much is known about Anne Frank, her studious older sister, Margot, remains unknown--she also kept a diary, but it was lost. This forgotten sister captured Jillian Cantor's imagination, resulting in the evocative and richly woven, yet deeply personal novel Margot. Drawing upon Anne's writings and those of Miep Gies, one of the family's Dutch protectors, as well as other documents, Cantor (The Life of Glass) rewrites history, saving Margot's life and placing her in mid-20th-century America.

Margot delves into a deep well of survivor's guilt and post-traumatic stress; Cantor's portrayal of Margot yearning for acceptance and forgiveness is sympathetic. As Margie Franklin, she works as a secretary for a Philadelphia law firm and spends nights alone in her apartment with her cat, suppressing the past as she lights the Shabbat candles to honor her loved ones. The 1959 Hollywood movie glamorizing her family's time in the Annex unleashes long buried feelings of fear, pain and the burdens of bearing witness to genocide.

Cantor's re-imagining of Margot's life is believable and wistful. Just as Anne's diary allowed others to experience her history so intimately, Cantor's fictional tribute to her sister is a heartbreakingly masterful corollary, ultimately commemorating the abbreviated life of this remarkable young woman. --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

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