Gerti Elias takes on the task of going through the attic after her mother-in-law's death. Wouldn't anyone be thrilled to find a large collection of treasured family letters? Imagine having your late mother-in-law, Helene (Leni) Elias, also be the sister of Otto Frank, making her the aunt of the Anne Frank of The Diary of a Young Girl.
Fortunately for this reader, portions of the letters, family photos, and a lengthy collection of family history are compiled in Treasures from the Attic: The Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank's Family by Mirjam Pressler (2009 in German, published in English in 2011).
Gerti's husband and Anne's first cousin, Buddy Elias, is the only living member of Anne's family who remembers her from real life. Buddy, his brother, and his parents moved from Frankfurt, Germany, to Basel, Switzerland, not too long before Otto, his wife, and their daughters moved from Frankfurt to The Netherlands, and that made all the difference in the experiences of the two parts of the family during WWII. Besides covering the war, there's also quite a bit about Buddy's own adult life in the book, Otto and Leni's mother, and what happened to Otto after surviving Auschwitz.
While I'm not sure this book would appeal to someone without an interest in Jewish history generally or Anne Frank in particular, I plan to treasure my copy.
My overall personal rating of Treasures from the Attic is a B+.