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Publisher's Summary

WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018

WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE 2018

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Cut Out Girl written and read by Bart van Es. 

Little Lien wasn't taken from her Jewish parents - she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam 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.

 

©2018 Bart van Es (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Luminous, elegant, haunting, - I read it straight through." (Philippe Sands, author of East West Street)  

"Remarkable, deeply moving." (Penelope Lively)  

"Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting." (The Times)

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What listeners say about The Cut Out Girl

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Heart wrenching and softly powerful

I truly hope this book does not receive harsh criticism to the writer or his family. They made some tough decisions during harsh times. What an amazing woman Lien is. I truly wish the world would learn to live life better from stories like Lien’s. Humans have made some horrendous choices in life and about life. I would challenge anyone to read this book without a tear in their eye or tightening in the throat. Thank you Bart van Es and Lien, thank you for sharing your story, you are inspiring beyond words.

1 person found this helpful

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Pleasant story

Found this a nice gentle story most enjoyable. Abook about how and what people did to survive. it was moving and touching of people in caing for a young girl. was enjoyable to listen to. Given information as to a different part of history not told. loved the narration and whole story. Excellent

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It’s never too late to be what you might have been.

A victim of circumstance, Lien was a young Jewish girl who was ‘temporarily’ separated from her parents during the occupation of The Netherlands in WW2. She becomes less and less connected with her surroundings, and with herself, as she is moved from house to house, but is never afraid.

Themes of loss, disconnectedness, delayed grief and human kindness shown by idealistic, yet brave, citizens of a country subjugated by a terrible regime, this is not only an account of Lien’s often bewildering and harrowing experiences as a young child, but also of healing and her long journey to reconnection. The author, her nephew whom she’s never previously met, also undergoes a transformation of his own through listening to Lien’s story, and through coming to understand his and other people’s family’s generosity of spirit in hiding Jewish families, often at great personal cost. He also writes about the darker side, not shying away from recounting some of the injustices visited upon people who were at their most vulnerable, including Lien.
Not just another story about the tragedy of the Holocaust, but a personal account of moving beyond survival to becoming whole again.

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  • Charmaine P
  • 25-08-2019

Reality, in the past, Jewish murder....

Most of us, cannot, even begin to understand or comprehend. Heartbreaking to hear and imagine and visualize. So brave to tell this story after the hurt and bruising and heartache....

1 person found this helpful

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  • little rock
  • 16-04-2019

Remarkable story

Rarely do I finish a book and think my time has been so well spent. Beautifully written and narrated by the author, this is such a compelling story. This is all the more remarkable as this genre is possible overpopulated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-08-2018

A compelling listening and revelatory account.

If there is a story beyond Anne Frank, this is one to listen to. I was a 12-year resident of the Netherlands and the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands seems to orbit around the diary Anne Frank, hinting at many events but never too deeply, of collaboration with the Nazis, the Indonesia issue, the life of the war child and after.

This is the story of a girl who lived through it and the post-war issues of the Dutch that have rarely been touched on. The warmth of humanity that nurtured this survival adds to the narrative.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa Sacks
  • 03-02-2019

Riveting story read by author

This book is for anyone who has very heard of the Diary of Anne Frank. It’s a retrospective diary of a remarkable girl, now a woman over 80, mixed together with fascinating historical research by the author, who has a very personal reason for unraveling the sequence. It is a story of one girl that also draws in many other people and also eloquently explains what happened to the Jews in Holland during and after the Second World War. I learned a lot from this book. Read it!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Ainara
  • 07-01-2019

An emotional and exceptional book

It is not easy to find a book like this, so excellently written, which can make you feel as if you were really there, as if you were in her shoes (something I usually struggle with in most biographies).

Loved it, the author has done a brilliant job. I don't think I will ever forget Lien.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-02-2019

amazing story and very compelling.

cannot fault this great novel, its inspiring and pull at your heart strings .unable to put it down.

5 people found this helpful

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  • ann
  • 19-10-2018

A humbling story.

A humbling story of how Dutch jewish children were "hiddden" during the second world war.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle
  • 28-08-2018

Moving

An incredibly moving and revealing story. Written with much care and without judgement. Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bea Rose
  • 13-08-2018

Beautiful

This is read stunningly by the author. It brought me to tears at moments and yet is more uplifting than anything. I heard it first on BBC radio four (which was well abridged I had thought) but this is absolutely something else.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Joanna
  • 10-08-2018

A very different kind of Jewish war story

Beautifully read by the author, this is an intimately gentle uncovering of his own family history in a way that illuminates without judgement.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ronald S
  • 13-09-2018

Fantastic human story

Historical human story highlighting the best and worst of humanity. Growing up myself in the Hague born from parents who were teenagers during the war it really resonated with me.

The pace of the book was just right and being dyslexic the audible version of the book was perfect for me.

Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ginger
  • 18-08-2018

beautiful,

a beautiful read, deeply moving , you join them on the journey, a sensitive portrait of a young Jewess in Holland during the war, most importantly, after the war how children and survivors were treated, gives a fresh insight into the problems face and how there were overcome

2 people found this helpful

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