The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found (Paperback)
  • The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found (Paperback)
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The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 288 Pages
Published: 10/01/2019
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Overall Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2018

Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2018

The enthralling story of a man's search for the truth about his family's past.

The last time Lien saw her parents was in the Hague when she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken to a city far away to be hidden from the Nazis.

She was raised by her foster family as one of their own, but a falling out well after the war meant they were no longer in touch. What was her side of the story, Bart van Es - a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien - wondered? What really happened during the war, and after?

So began an investigation that would consume and transform both Bart van Es's life and Lien's. Lien was now in her 80s and living in Amsterdam. Reluctantly, she agreed to meet him, and eventually they struck up a remarkable friendship. The Cut Out Girl braids together a powerful recreation of Lien's intensely harrowing childhood story with the present-day account of Bart's efforts to piece that story together. And it embraces the wider picture, too, for Holland was more cooperative in rounding up its Jews for the Nazis than any other Western European country; that is part of Lien's story too.

This is an astonishing, moving reckoning with a young girl's struggle for survival during war. It is a story about the powerful love and challenges of foster families, and about the ways our most painful experiences - so crucial in defining us - can also be redefined.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241978726
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 233 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Astonishing. Van Es has created a masterpiece of history and memoir, concluding on a note of reconciliation, hope and great love - Evening Standard

An extraordinary, harrowing story of loss, survival and love - Guardian

Deeply moving, this is a remarkable memoir - Sunday Times

Powerful . . . extraordinary - Irish Times

Brought to life with family photographs and diary entries that add further impact to Lien's harrowing memories and testimony - this deeply affecting and fascinating story is guaranteed to haunt you - Sunday Mirror

Remarkable - the story of one traumatic childhood, deeply moving, and told with great dexterity, allowing the wisdoms of today to run parallel with the absorbing narrative of wartime events - Penelope Lively

Compassionate and thoughtfully rendered, the book is both a memorable portrait of a remarkable woman and a testament to the healing power of understanding. A complex and uplifting tale - Kirkus

A nuanced, moving, and unusual "hidden child" account - Publishers Weekly

Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting - The Times Book of the Week

Fascinating, beautifully written. Van Es carefully salvages Lien's story and creates a deeply moving and complex book about war, atrocity and human suffering - The Oldie

Sensational and gripping . . . shedding light on some of the most urgent issues of our time - Judges of the Costa Book of the Year Prize 2018

Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through - Philippe Sands, Author of East West Street

Deeply moving. Writes with an almost Sebaldian simplicity and understatement - Guardian

Harrowing and beautiful - Bookseller

An awe-inspiring account of the tragedies and triumphs within the world of the Holocaust's "hide-away" children, and of the families who sheltered them - Georgia Hunter, author of We Were the Lucky Ones

The Cut Out Girl is a reminder of the extraordinary richness of archives and the treasures released by scholarly research - TLS

An extraordinary story, harrowing, deeply affecting. This fascinating story is guaranteed to haunt you - People

A moving story of personal and family history, with a scholar's objective eye for the bigger picture. - Irish Times

Harrowing . . . profoundly moving - Daily Express

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“Lost for words”

After this won the costa I agreed with a couple of friends to read this during Feb 2019 to discuss at the end of the month together.
We have all stepped outside of our comfort zone to read this, what I didn't... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 65

“Powerful and poignant, I highly recommend”

Bart Van Es explores his own family history to powerful effect in this captivating biography. There are many layers to this book and it truly offers a new perspective about life in Holland. Not only in regards to the... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 59

“Highly Recommended.”

This is the story of a little Jewish girl living in Holland during World War 2.
Little Lientje was given away by her parents in an effort to save her life. She spent many years being raised by underground foster... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 54

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