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madbkwm

madbkwm

The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister - Nonna Bannister, Carolyn Tomlin, Denise George So...one certainly feels like one can't critique a diary of a young girl during WWII; and yet, this book was really quite terrible. I blame the editors. There was so much repetition (and yet so much still missing). We hear several stories twice; the editors feel the need to insert footnotes within the text (rather than the more standard bottom of the page or end of the book); and these footnotes very rarely add anything...they most often just paraphrase what Nonna has already said. I understand that they tried to "enhance" the actual diary (which was itself re-written by an elder Nonna), but I think there were two other options which would have made a much better book out of the raw material.

First, they could have just left it alone and added a chapter at the end to supplement with historical context and/or personal info. Why don't we learn what happened to Nonna in America? I think most readers would be interested to know if she became a nurse here or did not pursue a career and focused mostly on family life. How did she search for Anatoly and her grandmother? The book says she did, but this must have been hard considering she didn't actually tell her husband or kids any of this. Why didn't the authors try to look for records of her Russian family and add this info to the book?

Alternatively, they could have interspersed chapters written by Nonna with chapters written about the context; non-fiction chapters that teach the reader more about what was happening all over Russian/Germany/Europe during that time. I think this is what they were trying to do with their notes, but they were lacking and just annoying.

Overall, I found it to be a very disappointing, disjointed, and not really educational book.