The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found (Paperback)Bart van Es (author)
- 10+ in stock
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
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 233 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm
'Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through.' - Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
'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
'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
'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
'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
'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
'A nuanced, moving, and unusual "hidden child" account.' - Publishers Weekly
'Harrowing and beautiful.' - The Bookseller
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“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
This is the story of a little Jewish girl living in Holland during World War 2.
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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.
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