The Cut Out Girl
Bart van Es
WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018
WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE 2018
A SUNDAY TIMES PAPERBACK OF THE YEAR 2019
‘A masterpiece of history and memoir’ Evening Standard
‘Superb. This is a necessary book – painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting’ The Times
Little Lien wasn’t taken from her Jewish parents in the Hague – she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in the provinces during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not. Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es – the grandson of Lien’s foster parents – knew he needed to find out why.
His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences – so crucial in defining us – can also be redefined.
‘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
‘Sensational and gripping . . . shedding light on some of the most urgent issues of our time’ Judges of the Costa Book of the Year 2018
An extraordinary, harrowing story of loss, survival and love * Guardian * Powerful . . . extraordinary * Irish Times * An extraordinary story, harrowing, deeply affecting. This fascinating story is guaranteed to haunt you * People * The Cut Out Girl is a reminder of the extraordinary richness of archives and the treasures released by scholarly research * TLS * Harrowing and beautiful * Bookseller * 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 * 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 * 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 * Deeply moving, this is a remarkable memoir * Sunday Times * 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 * Astonishing. Van Es has created a masterpiece of history and memoir, concluding on a note of reconciliation, hope and great love * Evening Standard * Deeply moving. Writes with an almost Sebaldian simplicity and understatement * Guardian * Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting * The Times Book of the Week * Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through * Philippe Sands, Author of East West Street *
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