WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018
WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE 2018
'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
Astonishing. Van Es has created a masterpiece of history and memoir, concluding on a note of reconciliation, hope and great love
An extraordinary, harrowing story of loss, survival and love
Deeply moving, this is a remarkable memoir
Powerful . . . extraordinary
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
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
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
A nuanced, moving, and unusual "hidden child" account
Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting
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 book, which follows the story of a Dutch girl who was taken in by the author's grandparents before her own parents were sent to Auschwitz, was called "sensational and gripping - the hidden gem of the year" by the judges.
The Cut Out Girl is a powerful, harrowing story about a young girl's struggle to survive Nazi persecution, and a man's attempt to unveil his family's secrets. Here, Bart van Es, the author of the book, describes his first encounter with the woman at the centre of the book, Lien de Jong.