Reviews for Margot


Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
Everyone who's read The Diary of Anne Frank knows that Anne and her sister, Margot, died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. But what if Margot didn't die? What if she somehow survived and immigrated to Philadelphia? What if she continued to hide? That's the premise of Cantor's (The Transformation of Things, 2010) daring new novel. It's 1959, after Anne's diary has been published, and the movie made. Margot--morphed into Margie Franklin, a Christian from Poland--works for a law firm, where she pines for her altruistic Jewish boss as they take on a Jewish discrimination case. Guilt-ridden Margie's life mirrors her attic days. She lives in a studio, eats minimally, and secretly keeps Shabbat. She covers her camp tattoo with sweaters. Throughout the book, Cantor drops a breadcrumb trail of Margot's life outside Anne's diary that leads to the reason why Margie covers her past. These morsels make the story believable. While Cantor occasionally overplays the drama (Margie is always tugging down her sweater sleeves), ultimately this story of sisterly rivalry, sacrifice, and love survives and thrives. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 August #1
Children's book author Cantor (The Life of Glass, 2010, etc.) shrinks her high concept--what if Anne Frank's sister Margot didn't die at Auschwitz but moved to Philadelphia under an assumed identity--to fit more predictable parameters of women's fiction. In 1959, when the movie version of her sister's diary hits American theaters, Margot is working as a secretary for a firm of Jewish lawyers in Philadelphia. She is 33 years old pretending to be 27 and has taken the name Margie Franklin. Margot seethes with bitterness and guilt: Anne was always the favored younger sister and now her father has published Anne's not Margot's diary; Margot was the one carrying on a romance with Peter while hiding in the Amsterdam annex up until the moment Anne caught them just before their arrests; but she loved Anne too and feels responsible for her death; she finds Americans, especially American Jews, naïvely innocent. She tells the reader she is no longer Jewish but secretly lights a Sabbath candle every Friday night. She and Peter used to fantasize they'd start a new life together in Philadelphia after the war, and she keeps looking for him, hoping that perhaps he survived, too. Otherwise, she tries to disappear into American life. She wears long-sleeve sweaters even on hot summer days to cover the numbers on her arm. She lives alone with a cat but occasionally socializes with another secretary. Even less often she visits her warmhearted sponsor, who loves Margot like a daughter and suspects her past. Margot finds herself falling in love with her boss, Joshua, whose domineering father, Ezra, is a partner in the firm. Joshua is dating Penny, a stereotypical Jewish American Princess and the daughter of Ezra's partner, but he is clearly attracted to Margot (although Cantor makes it hard to see why anyone would be attracted to her). Then an angry Holocaust survivor asks Joshua to sue her employer for job discrimination, and he enlists Margot's help. Cantor diminishes Margot's spiritual identity crisis by introducing a predictable office romance plot. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2013 July #1

YA author Cantor's second adult novel (after The Transformation of Things), which explores what might have happened if Anne Frank's older sister had survived World War II, exerts its grip on the reader from the start and doesn't let go. In postwar Philadelpha Margot works incognito (as Margie Franklin) in a law firm passing as a Gentile, wearing long-sleeve sweaters in the summer heat to cover her concentration camp tattoo while combing the telephone book for Peter, whose family had been in hiding with Franks in Amsterdam. Peter had promised to meet Margot in the city of brotherly love after the war. Margie's yearning for Peter threatens to produce results just as she's falling in love with her boss, who plans to fight discrimination against Jewish workers in America through group litigation. Readers will keep turning pages to find out whether the story of the "'ghost" of Margot is magical realism or whether Cantor's Margot didn't really die at the age of 19, two days before her sister Anne in 1945, but instead escaped the Nazis to start over in Philadelphia. VERDICT Cantor's deft juxtaposition of the specter of Nazi Germany on the American psyche in the days of Marilyn Monroe reveals itself with unexpected force, although her disregard for Margot's actual history throws into question the novel's dramatization of the Nazi war camps.--J.L. Morin, Boston Univ.

[Page 76]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
YA author Cantor's second adult novel (after The Transformation of Things), which explores what might have happened if Anne Frank's older sister had survived World War II, exerts its grip on the reader from the start and doesn't let go. In postwar Philadelpha Margot works incognito (as Margie Franklin) in a law firm passing as a Gentile, wearing long-sleeve sweaters in the summer heat to cover her concentration camp tattoo while combing the telephone book for Peter, whose family had been in hiding with Franks in Amsterdam. Peter had promised to meet Margot in the city of brotherly love after the war. Margie's yearning for Peter threatens to produce results just as she's falling in love with her boss, who plans to fight discrimination against Jewish workers in America through group litigation. Readers will keep turning pages to find out whether the story of the "‘ghost" of Margot is magical realism or whether Cantor's Margot didn't really die at the age of 19, two days before her sister Anne in 1945, but instead escaped the Nazis to start over in Philadelphia. VERDICT Cantor's deft juxtaposition of the specter of Nazi Germany on the American psyche in the days of Marilyn Monroe reveals itself with unexpected force, although her disregard for Margot's actual history throws into question the novel's dramatization of the Nazi war camps.--J.L. Morin, Boston Univ. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 July #4

What if Anne Frank's sister Margot, instead of dying in Auschwitz, had survived and gone into hiding in America? Cantor's latest (after The Transformation of Things) posits this alternative scenario with a modern eye for symptoms of trauma and survivor's guilt. Wearing long sleeves even on hot days to cover her camp tattoo, Margot is passing as a gentile in 1950s America under the name "Margie Franklin," avoiding both her father in Switzerland and her own tragic history. But after The Diary of Anne Frank is published by her dad and the movie version arrives in theaters, Margot's careful reconstruction of herself begins to fray. Joshua Rosenstein, the lawyer for whom she works as a secretary, asks for her help in finding Jews experiencing discrimination, further inflaming long-repressed memories. A troubled pair of love triangles figures in the book--one from Margot's teenage years in hiding and another in the law office; the first seems unfair to history and the second is a Holocaust survivor's version of Cinderella. But with Margot having been denied a happy ending in real life, Cantor is determined for her to find one here. Agent: Jessica Regel, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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