A powerful and deeply humane new novel that asks the question: What if Anne Frank survived the Holocaust?

David R. Gillham paints an alternate future for one of history’s most tragic figures, Anne Frank. She still suffers the worst atrocities during the war—but she lives to tell the tale. Reviewers Chris and Palo tested the waters of this poignant what-if. Read on to know their thoughts.

An Alternate Reality

Chris says: Gillham put himself to task in creating an alternate world where Anne Frank survived the Holocaust. […] He portrays Anne not as saintly as those who have died young are easily imagined, but as a complex woman with the burden of having survived one of the most despicable crimes in human history.

Palo says: At the heart of the novel is Anne—an amalgamation of the real-life Anne Frank and the woman she would have grown to become, had she survived—and Gillham takes us through her transformation, as well as every heartwarming and heartbreaking moment in between.

Anne After the War

Chris says: After the events of the war, the book becomes purely fiction as Anne Frank grows up with a disquieting anger from having survived the war, while her mother and sister didn’t. […] Survivor’s guilt drives Anne as everything she ever imagined and hoped for feels like a different lifetime already. Eventually, when the diary she thought she had lost during the war is found, Anne opens up to her life and finds a new road to redemption and forgiveness.

Palo says: After surviving her ordeal at Bergen-Belsen, Anne’s mother and sister are dead, and her father—once a constantly bright spot in her life—a husk of the man he used to be. She also finds that while the Netherlands might be liberated from oppressive fascist cruelty, things do not go back to how she remembered them to be.

The Verdict

Chris says: There was hesitation on my part to finish reading because I know that as soon as I finish the book, the reality is Anne Frank did not survive the war. This is the kind of escapist fiction you wish would never end.

Palo says: Annelies, again, is more than an expansion of the Anne Frank story—it’s a powerful story of a woman’s journey through loss and the hope she finds to repair her soul and the world.


Annelies by David R. Gillham is available at Fully Booked branches and Fully Booked Online.

Chris has written on Wattpad, yellowpads, and notepads. He works as a Systems Administrator by day and a recluse at night.
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Palo is a writer by trade and a book hoarder at heart. She hopes to one day conquer the behemoth that is her to-be-read pile.
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[Thoughts and views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fully Booked. Then again, we love our authors anyway.]

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