After an abrupt move across the country to San Francisco, sixteen-year-old Livvy is shocked to find that her mother has lied to her. Instead of looking for work at a bakery, her mom is taking care of Adelle, Livvy’s grandmother, who Livvy thought was long dead. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Adelle shouts out startling details, mistakes her own name, and seems to relive moments that may have taken place in a concentration camp. When Livvy and her new friend Franklin D. find journal entries from the Holocaust in Adelle’s home, Livvy begins to suspect that her grandmother may have a shocking link to a notable figure -- Anne Frank.
What worked: This is an amazing tale with an unique twist on the holocaust and the survivors. What I really liked about this story was how much the final reveal took me off guard. I love when that happens!
This story starts off in 1945 Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp and then to current times. Sixteen-year-old Livvy's life suddenly changes when her mom and her move to San Francisco. While there she meets Adelle, her grandmother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. She goes into rages and shouts confusing things. Livvy then discovers a connection of her family to Anne Frank. The truth though is much more haunting.
I really loved the insights into a war survivor's life and when the final twist does come, it does surprise me. What would you do if you found out a family member might have been on the wrong side of a war? Secrets, lies, and then having the courage to confront the truth and what to do with it. There's also a message of forgiveness.
Totally recommended for those who love to read stories of WWII and on survivors of both sides of the war.