"Deeply moving. . . . Writes with an almost Sebaldian simplicity and understatement." --The Guardian
"The Cut Out Girl is a reminder of the extraordinary richness of archives and the treasures released by scholarly research." --TLS "A nuanced, moving, and unusual 'hidden child' account." -Publishers Weekly "In this graceful memoir, van Es artfully intertwines two narrative threads, telling Lien's story and his own, as he struggles to discover the specific reasons for the breach -- and to heal it. He bridges the complexities of his account with writing that is fluid and clear, and readers will find themselves swept along on his journey." -- Forward "The narration of the war years has a novelistic feel . . . [Lien's] voice and the story of her survival, not just of the war but also of the decades after-ward, come through clearly." - Bookpage "Quite 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. The surviving photographs provide an intimacy--bring these families to life--as does the author's determined concern." --Penelope Lively, winner of the Man Booker Prize "Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through." --Philippe Sands, author of East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity "With painstaking research and impeccable prose, Van Es has crafted 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
"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
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