The Cut Out Girl

The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found

Non-Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Literary Biography & Memoir
Paperback Published on: 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: 233g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Cut Out Girl
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 ou... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp
The Cut Out Girl
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 ... READ MORE
Nicole at Haywards Heath
The Cut Out Girl
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.... READ MORE
Milton of Campsie  Annie
The Cut Out Girl
A Page Turner
This was a very difficult read in parts but is the astonishing tale of how Lien van Es attempted to escape the Nazis during the German occupation of the Ne... READ MORE
Daniel Moran
The Cut Out Girl
Well researched and written...
... but it was missing something. I couldn't really understand why he wrote the book? What was his passion? It didn't really grab me.
Juley Howard
The Cut Out Girl
Well paced writing
The true history of the writer's family's relationship with Lien, a Jewish girl taken into hiding in Holland, is told with a clear eyed compassion. It is n... READ MORE
The Cut Out Girl
Bart van Es tells the story of Lien’s ‘individuation’, to use a Jungian term. His biography includes her years of being a Hidden War Child and stretches f... READ MORE
Rob Donovan
The Cut Out Girl
Highly recommended
It's unusual for me to read a book more than once and more unusual still for me to read it again within two months. This, however, is the case with The C... READ MORE