The Costa Book of the Year Winner: The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es
Bart van Es’s voyage into his own family’s past, pricked with truth and revelation, lends a very personal edge to the broader history of the Jewish experience in the occupied wartime Netherlands. For the woman a younger van Es had blankly understood as his father’s adoptive sister, the war had been an experience of incalculable loss and cruelty. Ultimately estranged from the very family who had saved her, van Es's journey is one of understanding and reconciliation.
The Cut Out Girl brims with compassion and dignity, and stands as an important Costa Book of the Year victory for a time of tragic social division.
Pain, secrets and family misunderstandings frame Bart van Es’s affecting account of his own family’s wartime legacy. Lien is Jewish, elderly, a woman who van Es at first understands as a girl who had been an adoptive sister to his father. Soon enough, van Es uncovers a far darker tale, a story where a young girl is forced to find salvation by abandoning her parents and her religion, and where that salvation was sometimes anything but. Unflinching in its revelatory gaze, The Cut Out Girl is a moving exploration of two families tied by horror.
The Costa Book Award 2018 Category Winners
Costa Novel Award 2018 Shortlist
Costa First Novel Award 2018 Shortlist
A stunning year for debuts is admirably represented by the Costa judges, including Stuart Turton’s smash-hit, time-twisting tale of murder and surprise, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.