The title says it all. This is the diary of a young girl. It covers her life from age 11 to 14-1/2.
Grete (Rita, to her friends) is the youngest in a fairly well-off family in Vienna. Her father is a judge, or something similar. Rita's best friend is Hella, and the two decide to keep diaries.
The time is the early part of the 20th Century, prior to World War 1, and Rita and Hella show a naïvete that makes the von Trapp girls look like the Kardashians.
I've read a decent amount of contemporary YA fiction, and I admit it was kind of charming to hear hear 14 year-old girls who blushed at the mere thought that they might have to appear naked in front of their husbands someday.
Disease plays a part. Hella develops appendicitis at one point. She has an appendectomy, and survives, but the recovery period is over a month. Two friends of mine just had appendectomies. The procedures were done laparoscopically, and they were back at work after one week.
I found myself caring about these characters more than I'd thought I would, and I enjoyed the literary time capsule.
I would recommend this as a change of pace to frequent YA readers, but I think fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's works would find this tale of a very different girlhood most compelling.