I was never forced to read this book in my early years at school, which I think just about ruined every book that I read in my formative years. I am so thankful this was not one of them. From first page to last, I was struck not only by the honesty of Anne's words, but by the sheer eloquence of her description of the world around and inside her. For her age and for that time, she was a forward thinker, sharp, witty, intuitive, challenging and entertaining. To follow her growth spiritually and physically into an ambitious, strong young woman was to see the spirit that was behind the good that was happening in the world at that time, which she plainly saw just from watching from behind a shabby curtain or listening to the news. Anne's spirit is what shines through on these pages, and I like to think that if she had lived, her dreams of being an independent woman and a writer would have come true. But, she became both of these through her diary, didn't she?