The Cut Out Girl
"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 The extraordinary true story of a young Jewish girl in Holland during World War II, who hides from the Nazis in the homes of an underground network of foster families, one of them the author's grandparentsBart van Es left Holland for England many years ago, but one story from his Dutch childhood never left him. It was a mystery of sorts: a young Jewish girl named Lientje had been taken in during the war by relatives and hidden from the Nazis, handed over by her parents, who understood the danger they were in all too well. The girl had been raised by her foster family as one of their own, but then, well after the war, there was a falling out, and they were no longer in touch. What was the girl's side of the story, Bart wondered? What really happened during the war, and after?So began an investigation that would consume Bart van Es's life, and change it. After some sleuthing, he learned that Lientje was now in her 80s and living in Amsterdam. Somewhat reluctantly, she agreed to meet him, and eventually they struck up a remarkable friendship, even a partnership. The Cut Out Girl braids together a powerful recreation of that intensely harrowing childhood story of Lientje's with the present-day account of Bart's efforts to piece that story together, including bringing some old ghosts back into the light.It is a story rich with contradictions. There is great bravery and generosity--first Lientje's parents, giving up their beloved daughter, and then the Dutch families who face great danger from the Nazi occupation for taking Lientje and other Jewish children in. And there are more mundane sacrifices a family under brutal occupation must make to provide for even the family they already have. But tidy Holland also must face a darker truth, namely that it was more cooperative in rounding up its Jews for the Nazis than any other Western European country; that is part of Lientje's story too. Her time in hiding was made much more terrifying by the energetic efforts of the local Dutch authorities, zealous accomplices in the mission of sending every Jew, man, woman and child, East to their extermination. And Lientje was not always particularly well treated, and sometimes, Bart learned, she was very badly treated indeed.The Cut Out Girl is an astonishment, a deeply moving reckoning with a young girl's struggle for survival during war, a story about the powerful love of foster families but also the powerful challenges, and about the ways our most painful experiences define us but also can be redefined, on a more honest level, even many years after the fact. A triumph of subtlety, decency and unflinching observation, The Cut Out Girl is a triumphant marriage of many keys of writing, ultimately blending them into an extraordinary new harmony, and a deeper truth.

The Cut Out Girl Details

TitleThe Cut Out Girl
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 14th, 2018
PublisherRandom House Large Print Publishing
ISBN-139780525634614
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, Biography, World War II, Holocaust, Autobiography, Memoir, War

The Cut Out Girl Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars “Without families you don’t get stories.” (Lien, the girl of this title). This sounds like something we might all accept as true, but how profound this really is in relation to this book and what it means for this story is something that I won’t forget. This is about the Holocaust, about the goodness of some Dutch families in helping to save Jewish children, about the opposite of that when thousands were turned in, about the author’s journey to discover the details of his family’s part 4.5 stars “Without families you don’t get stories.” (Lien, the girl of this title). This sounds like something we might all accept as true, but how profound this really is in relation to this book and what it means for this story is something that I won’t forget. This is about the Holocaust, about the goodness of some Dutch families in helping to save Jewish children, about the opposite of that when thousands were turned in, about the author’s journey to discover the details of his family’s part in saving Lien, who grew up with his grandparents. There is no doubt, though, that this is Lien’s story, but it also reflects the stories of many more Jewish children who were hidden during the war. How quickly things changed from a happy childhood to being sent away before you are nine years old in order to be saved from being rounded up by the Nazis. It’s impossible to imagine the heart break of sending your children away to save them, when love for your child somehow has to help you through the grief of sending her away. It’s impossible to imagine the fear, not really understanding when your mother says “I must tell you a secret,” she tells her. “You are going to stay somewhere else for a while.” In alternating narratives we are told Lien’s story in the past and the author’s journey to discover his family’s past as well. When he meets her she is in her eighties and the meeting and their ultimate connecting make for many poignant moments. Bart van Es visits the places and people who would remember her and pieces together the times. Lien was moved from home to home - safe from the Nazis but not always living an easy life, and not always safe from other evils, as further unimaginable things happen to her .A lot is packed into this book: the brutal history of the Holocaust, love of family, the bravery and goodness of people, the trauma of separation, losing the feeling of belonging. Reading Holocaust fiction is heartbreaking and gut wrenching enough when an author is able to bring to the page the horrors that eat at you the reader, but reading biographies and memoirs takes that horror we can only imagine in a novel, to a different level where you find it hard to breathe when these memories are relived. Van Es tells us , “ If I was to do something before these people and their memories disappeared forever, it must be now.” If we as human beings are going to do something meaningful, we have to read their memories so what happened is not forgotten. (4.5 stars and not a perfect 5 stars because the writing felt a little disjointed at times moving around in time, but totally deserving of being bumped up to 5.) I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin Press through NetGalley.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    The Diary of Anne Frank is the source of most of my knowledge about The Netherlands during WWII which is a narrow point of view. Sure, I knew about Operation Market Garden, the Dutch resistance and that the Nazis nearly succeeded in starving the population but nothing much beyond that. The Cut Out Girl filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge by providing the cultural and political environment of the time which is always a good thing.The author, Bart van Es, researches and interviews Lien at g The Diary of Anne Frank is the source of most of my knowledge about The Netherlands during WWII which is a narrow point of view. Sure, I knew about Operation Market Garden, the Dutch resistance and that the Nazis nearly succeeded in starving the population but nothing much beyond that. The Cut Out Girl filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge by providing the cultural and political environment of the time which is always a good thing.The author, Bart van Es, researches and interviews Lien at great length in order to tell Lien’s story of her childhood in hiding from the Nazis. The van Es family and Lien have a connection that fascinates the author and his confusion about what he is planning to write is just as interesting as Lien’s story. Despite disliking the title and being told numerous times what “cut out” means throughout the book, these accounts are somewhat different from those of other survivors and a worthy addition to the genre of WWII biographies.
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Library overdrive:Audiobook....read by the author: Bart van EsProblem #1.....Amazon is selling this kindle book for $14.99.I didn’t want to pay that much for it. The price ‘is’ too high IMO. My Library only had this book available ‘as’ an Audiobook. For over two weeks I’ve been listening to this... ( sometimes sitting down taking notes while the author was speaking to try to keep myself interested. The author ‘as’ the Audio-narrator didn’t have a talent for the job. It was very hard to stay inte Library overdrive:Audiobook....read by the author: Bart van EsProblem #1.....Amazon is selling this kindle book for $14.99.I didn’t want to pay that much for it. The price ‘is’ too high IMO. My Library only had this book available ‘as’ an Audiobook. For over two weeks I’ve been listening to this... ( sometimes sitting down taking notes while the author was speaking to try to keep myself interested. The author ‘as’ the Audio-narrator didn’t have a talent for the job. It was very hard to stay interested when he had no other skill than simply reading the words he wrote. Listening to a flat monotone voice for hours is asking a lot of listeners. He created a drab experience.I tried and tried to stay engaged.I even told my good friend Lisi, to read it.The Choice”, by Edith Eva Egar, is much more emotional engaging memoir. As far as Holocaust stories go....TRUE stories ....Stories that need to be told - not forgotten- this one is important as any other true story. However...it’s not the best written book....and delivered even worse. It’s also possible- bless the author’s heart- that he was ‘too close’ to this story to have been objective. I don’t think it was necessary to have his opinions on how he feels society is today.... comparing ‘today’ with the devastations of the Holocaust. Jewish children felt displaced.....I’ll always be sad about this.The Dutch were honorable people taking in Jewish children - hiding them. These ‘are’ fascinating stories ....But ‘this book’ was disjointed - with personal opinion commentaries.
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  • abby
    January 1, 1970
    Bart van Es grew up with the vague understanding that there was a girl in his family who wasn't in the family any more. No one would say who she was and why she'd left. No one spoke of her at all. That cut out girl was Lien de Jong. She was a Jewish child his family had hidden briefly during the war and then raised as a foster daughter afterwards. Wanting to uncover this mysterious part of his family's history, Bart van Es tracks down Lien, now in her 80s, to finally learn what she lived through Bart van Es grew up with the vague understanding that there was a girl in his family who wasn't in the family any more. No one would say who she was and why she'd left. No one spoke of her at all. That cut out girl was Lien de Jong. She was a Jewish child his family had hidden briefly during the war and then raised as a foster daughter afterwards. Wanting to uncover this mysterious part of his family's history, Bart van Es tracks down Lien, now in her 80s, to finally learn what she lived through during the war and what estranged her from his relatives.Most people know Anne Frank's story. But the reality for most Jewish children in hiding was a bit less stable. Those lucky enough to survive were shuffled from hiding place to hiding place. They were separated from their parents and siblings. Some families took them in willingly. Others only grudgingly, seeing it as their political, religious or national duty. The children were safe but not necessarily loved. At one point, Lien was forced to live in a filthy room in a bar and stayed the longest with a family that treated her like an unpaid housekeeper. She was also repeatedly raped by an uncle of that family. This was the hidden dark underbelly of the celebrated Dutch resistance-- people who hid Jews often resented and even exploited them.Lien's story doesn't stop with the end of the war. Despite what the movies would have us think, liberation was not the end of the nightmare for Jews in hiding. Lien's entire family died in the camps, and she has no where to go. She wants to return to the van Eses, but they are slow to agree. It's the beginning of a resentment between them: Lien always feeling that she loves and needs them more than they do her, and the van Eses grumbling that she's changed and ungrateful. In the end, the van Es family cuts ties with Lien.I commend the author for the subject matter and the objectivity with which he approaches it. Despite it being his own family, he never portrays the van Eses as heroes. I'm also very happy that he was able to forge a relationship with Lien. Why I have given this book three stars, however, is because of the writing. Bart van Es describes himself as an "academic writer" and it becomes obvious that he does not have the skills to appeal to a broader, general audience. He struggles to create narrative. He writes in two different styles, a lyrical attempt he reserves for Lien's story, and a more straight forward style used to dispense general information about the war and resistance. The latter is much more successful. He makes strange stylistic choices, for example adopting a child-like narrative when writing about Lien as a child. It just wasn't my thing. I appreciated Lien's story, but this book was kind of a slog to get through.I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    From BBC radio 4 - Book of the week:The story of a man's search for the truth about his family's pastThe last time Hesseline - known as Lien - saw her parents was in The Hague as 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, some years after the war, she became estranged from the family who took her in. What was her side of the story? Bart van Es - a grandson of the couple who loo From BBC radio 4 - Book of the week:The story of a man's search for the truth about his family's pastThe last time Hesseline - known as Lien - saw her parents was in The Hague as 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, some years after the war, she became estranged from the family who took her in. What was her side of the story? Bart van Es - a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien - was determined to find out.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 combines a powerful recreation of Lien's intensely harrowing childhood story with the wider picture of life in Holland under the Nazi occupation.In the first episode, Bart goes to Amsterdam to meet Lien and ask if she might be willing to tell him her story.Written by Bart Van EsRead by Daniel WeymanAbridged by Isobel Creed and Lizzie DaviesProduced by Lizzie DaviesA Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bd...
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  • Bev Walkling
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to #NetGalley and Penguin Press for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.I have always been fascinated by stories of the Second World War and as my father served with the Canadian Army in Netherlands for quite some time, I have a particular interest in stories of that time. I have also been fortunate enough to visit the Netherlands and see places like the Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid or the hidden cupboard in the home of Corrie Ten Bo Many thanks to #NetGalley and Penguin Press for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.I have always been fascinated by stories of the Second World War and as my father served with the Canadian Army in Netherlands for quite some time, I have a particular interest in stories of that time. I have also been fortunate enough to visit the Netherlands and see places like the Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid or the hidden cupboard in the home of Corrie Ten Boom where many people would hide for shorter periods of time. In spite of all that, I did not find this book a particularly easy one to read. The author Bart van Es had a very personal reason for writing this book. His family had been involved in helping to hide a young Jewish girl, Lientje during the war and had even fostered her for some years after the war but ultimately there had been a break n the family relationship that vanEs wanted to understand.The story is told at times through the eyes of young Lientje, who although now a senior is telling her story to vanEs. I was saddened to learn that when she had left her family to go into hiding she had really had very little understanding of what was about to happen or why. I can only imagine what that must have been like for her on an emotional level and it made me think of children who are still being separated from their parents in 2018 (albeit for different reasons) and what the long term ramifications of those separations will be.On another level this book is a bit of a detective story as vanEs travels to various places in the Netherlands to follow up on what Lientje has shared with him. In some cases there is quite a bit to see and learn and in others the landscape has changed dramatically through time. Some of the contacts he makes as he explores are able to fill in the gaps that are inevitable in Lientje's mind. It was fascinating to see it all come together and a few history lessons interjected along the way were extremely eye opening for me.Sadly, not all who helped to hide Lientje from the Germans had her best interests at heart. There were those who treated her more as a servant than a family member and even those who sexually abused her. When the war ended there were no parents for her to go home to and throughout her lifetime she struggled to deal with the emotions and self-esteem issues that developed as a result of her experiences. She was like a child cut out of her element struggling to find out where she would fit. She would not have been alone in this experience. I was stunned to read that in early 1944, a resistance leader who had a strong Calvinist background had begun printing leaflets that instructed the members of her resistance group (who had saved about 80 children) to "keep hold of their charges in the event that a mother or father should return to reclaim their child. By handing their children to the resistance, she argued, Jewish parents had renounced their parental rights."The book includes many wonderful photographs that really helped me to visualize who was who in the story and it was rewarding to see the relationship develop between the author and his subject, to the point where once again "family" connections were established. Even more satisfying was the knowledge that revisiting her past and learning more of things she had not understood as she was living these experiences helped to bring about a healing and wholeness for her.This is a story which still has much to teach the reader of today and is one would definitely recommend to those wishing to better understand what it was like to lose the story of one's past.
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  • Hai Quan
    January 1, 1970
    It is ironic that victims of racial hatred now becoming the perpetrators in land-grabing and butchering the Palestinian of their ancestral home with the help and jealous support from the 21st century American Nazi party , disguised as U S Republican Party.Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian from military apparatus as well as a majority of unarmed civilians were being murdered every day by the new Hitler ' s S S.There are new concentration camps of sorts throughout PALESTINE and even there is no It is ironic that victims of racial hatred now becoming the perpetrators in land-grabing and butchering the Palestinian of their ancestral home with the help and jealous support from the 21st century American Nazi party , disguised as U S Republican Party.Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian from military apparatus as well as a majority of unarmed civilians were being murdered every day by the new Hitler ' s S S.There are new concentration camps of sorts throughout PALESTINE and even there is no gas chamber , the Palestinian in this new prisons are being murdered even babies , women and children - every day if they protest to the Jew armed forces that guarding them by throwing stones and burning tires ( Well they fired rockets too, but do they have a right for self defense against criminal act of the new Hitler ' SS ?)Am I supposed to shed tear while reading Anne Frank 's diary and this book ? Well, I was.Not tear , but lots of strong emotion.No more ! I will save my tear for the Palestinian sucking babies and their mothers and the rock throwing teenagers who happened to be living in the New Nazi camps within Palestine border, guarded by the new HITLER'S SECRET SERVICE .These Palestinuan are being murdered daily by the castrated or natural balless enuch , a majority if not the whole of the sinister Israeli armed forces, perhaps composed of mostly JewsIf you killed babies, mommies and rock throwing teenagers are you man, with swinging balls ? God damn enuchs ! History has moved finally to a complete circle.Hence the ratingWhat else do I supposed to feel and write ?Another bad day! Godamit!
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  • Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    The Cut Out Girl was an interesting story about World War II and the Holocaust. I don't want to give too much away about the story, but I do believe anyone who is interested in this time period will enjoy this book.This book has two interconnected stories, the author, Bart Van Es's family hid a Jewish girl named Lientje, during World War II. He decides to rack Lientje down so he can understand the full story behind her life and what is was life in the Netherlands when it was occupied by the Nazi The Cut Out Girl was an interesting story about World War II and the Holocaust. I don't want to give too much away about the story, but I do believe anyone who is interested in this time period will enjoy this book.This book has two interconnected stories, the author, Bart Van Es's family hid a Jewish girl named Lientje, during World War II. He decides to rack Lientje down so he can understand the full story behind her life and what is was life in the Netherlands when it was occupied by the Nazi's. I found this to be a very interesting story and certainly recommend it to anyone who is interested in this time period.Thank you to the publisher, Random House, for sending me an ARC of this book.
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  • Nissa
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of historical fiction/non-fiction, and particularly stories that involve WWII, and so when I heard about The Cut Out Girl I was very eager to read it. And I must say, it did not disappoint. I was drawn in instantly and could not put it down. Beautifully written. Do not miss this one.
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  • Benjamin baschinsky
    January 1, 1970
    I didn’t care for the writing style, he gets off the focus of the book too many times for me.
  • Bettie☯
    January 1, 1970
    BOTWhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bd...Description: a young Jewish girl named Lientje had been taken in during the war by relatives and hidden from the Nazis, handed over by her parents, who understood the danger they were in all too well. The girl had been raised by her foster family as one of their own, but then, well after the war, there was a falling out, and they were no longer in touch. What was the girl's side of the story, Bart wondered? What really happened during the war, and aft BOTWhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bd...Description: a young Jewish girl named Lientje had been taken in during the war by relatives and hidden from the Nazis, handed over by her parents, who understood the danger they were in all too well. The girl had been raised by her foster family as one of their own, but then, well after the war, there was a falling out, and they were no longer in touch. What was the girl's side of the story, Bart wondered? What really happened during the war, and after?So began an investigation that would consume Bart van Es's life, and change it. After some sleuthing, he learned that Lientje was now in her 80s and living in Amsterdam. Somewhat reluctantly, she agreed to meet him, and eventually they struck up a remarkable friendship, even a partnership. The Cut Out Girl braids together a powerful recreation of that intensely harrowing childhood story of Lientje's with the present-day account of Bart's efforts to piece that story together, including bringing some old ghosts back into the light.It is a story rich with contradictions. There is great bravery and generosity--first Lientje's parents, giving up their beloved daughter, and then the Dutch families who face great danger from the Nazi occupation for taking Lientje and other Jewish children in. And there are more mundane sacrifices a family under brutal occupation must make to provide for even the family they already have. But tidy Holland also must face a darker truth, namely that it was more cooperative in rounding up its Jews for the Nazis than any other Western European country; that is part of Lientje's story too. Her time in hiding was made much more terrifying by the energetic efforts of the local Dutch authorities, zealous accomplices in the mission of sending every Jew, man, woman and child, East to their extermination. And Lientje was not always particularly well treated, and sometimes, Bart learned, she was very badly treated indeed.
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  • WordsAndAMug
    January 1, 1970
    Bart van Es tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Lientjie who was taken in during the War by his grandparents. He doesn't know too much about the story but is aware that at one point there was a falling out and they lost touch with her. This book tells the story of him first reaching out to Lientjie and then the process of discovering what had happened to her, his family, and why the falling out happened. Bart van Es treats this story with the respect and care it deserves even when he di Bart van Es tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Lientjie who was taken in during the War by his grandparents. He doesn't know too much about the story but is aware that at one point there was a falling out and they lost touch with her. This book tells the story of him first reaching out to Lientjie and then the process of discovering what had happened to her, his family, and why the falling out happened. Bart van Es treats this story with the respect and care it deserves even when he discovers things that I am sure would have been easier to hide and or/ignore. I absolutely loved the way he wove Lientjie's story in with the story of his research as well. I enjoyed seeing their friendship grow as the story progressed. The switching between present and past and Bart van Es trips to see many of the location Lientjie tells him about - really made the story come alive for me. I am not ashamed to say that I shed tears reading this book - the subject matter was not always easy to get though.I am thankful for the Goodreads giveaway that put this book in my hands and even more grateful for Bart van Es for telling this story. A big takeaway from this book for me was that even thought human beings are capable of such horror - there are always those who are willing to fight, to help and to try make a difference. My heart is grateful for the many hero's in this book who helped Jewish people escape, hide and survive the war. My heart aches for those who didn't survive, for those who lost family members and friends and for those who were left with the horrifying emotional scars that come from such events.You need to read this book.
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  • Jayasree B
    January 1, 1970
    Any book with a WWII background is never going to be a light read. This book is about one girl who, like many others, was placed in someone else's home by her parents just so she could live. The Cut Out Girl shows us what it took to escape and survive, the heights that parents went to to make sure their children lived! A girl whose life changed since she was young, going through different homes and meeting people - some good and others not. Like I said before, this book is not going to be an eas Any book with a WWII background is never going to be a light read. This book is about one girl who, like many others, was placed in someone else's home by her parents just so she could live. The Cut Out Girl shows us what it took to escape and survive, the heights that parents went to to make sure their children lived! A girl whose life changed since she was young, going through different homes and meeting people - some good and others not. Like I said before, this book is not going to be an easy read. It will disturb you as it should for that era was anything but nightmarish. And it is books like The Cut Out Girl that lets us into the lives of the people who survived and not just state facts about the war. For more book reviews, visit Frost At Midnite.
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  • Laura Spira
    January 1, 1970
    This is an unusual book, the story of a highly personal quest set against the background of the Second World War and a sometimes painfully honest set of reflections by the author as well as his subject.Bart van Es, an academic, sets out to uncover a family mystery relating to Lien, the Jewish girl hidden by his grandparents during the German occupation of the Netherlands. Having been treated as part of the family for many years after the war, a breach suddenly occurred between Lien and his grand This is an unusual book, the story of a highly personal quest set against the background of the Second World War and a sometimes painfully honest set of reflections by the author as well as his subject.Bart van Es, an academic, sets out to uncover a family mystery relating to Lien, the Jewish girl hidden by his grandparents during the German occupation of the Netherlands. Having been treated as part of the family for many years after the war, a breach suddenly occurred between Lien and his grandmother which no-one can explain to him so he tracks down Lien and goes to talk to her. They have many conversations, he visits the places she remembers and he writes her story.Lien's recollections of her experiences are very poignant. Her parents place her for safety with strangers and she never sees them again. Some of the people she stays with are kind to her, others are not. But she survives, marries and has children, apparently a happy ending.What struck me most was the vivid way in which the author recounts Lien's survival mechanism. In order to cope with the fear and uncertainty of wartime life in hiding, she becomes distanced from those about her. This disconnection is accentuated during a period of horrific sexual abuse and the long term effects, in the form of severe depression, do not surface until much later in her life. Lien's openness is recounting her story prompts the author to reflect on his own relationship with his step-daughter in a rather touching way. The explanation for the breach turns out to be rather trivial, the sort of thing that happens in many ordinary families, but this very triviality points up the complexity of the relationships between those who bravely hid children like Lien and the children themselves, both during the war and after. (Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.)
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  • Jeanne
    January 1, 1970
    Very well done. This book weaves a personal account of a young girl, the history of WWII in the Netherlands, and the story of a family into a wonderful, yet heartbreaking story.
  • Marjanneke
    January 1, 1970
    Een mooi persoonlijk verhaal over een onderduikkind en haar leven tijdens en na de oorlog, aangevuld met het onderzoek van de schrijver naar feiten rondom de gebeurtenissen.
  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es is a remarkable true story of Lien, a Jewish girl who was eight years old in 1942 when she went into hiding in the Netherlands. Her life intersected with the author’s as she lived with his grandparents for part of the war.This book is a tribute to all the innocents who perished. The author lists all the family members of Lien’s who perished during the Holocaust. It makes for grim reading. May we never forget.The reader ‘experiences’ life through the eyes of an eig The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es is a remarkable true story of Lien, a Jewish girl who was eight years old in 1942 when she went into hiding in the Netherlands. Her life intersected with the author’s as she lived with his grandparents for part of the war.This book is a tribute to all the innocents who perished. The author lists all the family members of Lien’s who perished during the Holocaust. It makes for grim reading. May we never forget.The reader ‘experiences’ life through the eyes of an eight year old. These memories are then put into historical context through extensive research by Bart Van Es. We then have a comprehensive narrative.The Cut Out Girl is a heart breaking read but one of great courage. “We were not brave, but you had no choice if somebody turned up at your door.” I beg to differ I think there were extraordinary acts of bravery by ordinary citizens who put their own and their families lives on the line to help others as they hid Jewish children. The parents of the Jewish children showed tremendous courage too in handing over their children to strangers.These traumatic war years defined a generation. Some would be plagued with fears and nightmares well into adulthood. As memories became too much, thoughts turned to suicide and some succeeded.Not all who hid children were good. Some used the children as servants or worse.The Cut Out Girl is a hard, emotional read. Bart Van Es pulls no punches. He tells it as it was. We need to know. We need to keep the memories of the innocents alive.Packed with photos throughout, the reader becomes well acquainted with Lien as a girl, as a bride and as an old lady of eighty three.Thank you Lien for your story. Thank you Bart Van Es for telling the world. May we never forget the six million innocents who perished.
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  • Caro
    January 1, 1970
    I’m reading the Costa Prize winners for our work book club and really loved The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es. I don’t read many books on the Second World War and I wasn’t keen on the cover but the topic and the writing really won me over. The audio edition is brilliantly read by the author and I was taken in by the story of Lien, a young Jewish girl living in the Netherlands during the war. The author is the grandchild of the couple who took Lien in at some point in her life but after a rift in t I’m reading the Costa Prize winners for our work book club and really loved The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es. I don’t read many books on the Second World War and I wasn’t keen on the cover but the topic and the writing really won me over. The audio edition is brilliantly read by the author and I was taken in by the story of Lien, a young Jewish girl living in the Netherlands during the war. The author is the grandchild of the couple who took Lien in at some point in her life but after a rift in the family, they had lost touch. The author got in touch and tried to piece together her story. The book is deeply moving, harrowing and painful to read but at the same time brings up themes like family, a sense of home and hope as well. This is one of the best narrative non-fiction books I’ve read in a while and I feel it will stay with me for a long time.
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  • Pam Venne
    January 1, 1970
    While van ES did make a point about the relationships between families and stories his book fell short on interest.What the story reminded me of was some of our own orphans who are in the system going from home to home with no connections. Abuse and servitude abound in both. I did find Lien's ability to use her imagination her saving grace and ability to survive her horrendous encounters. I can't imagine what it is like to live like a troglodyte or be quarantined indoors for months at a time.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    This is a deeply moving book about a very difficult topic and the story was written with simplicity and honesty and integrity. I would strongly recommend this book
  • Anna Brunskill
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not really sure how to describe this book: it blends history and survival and the trauma of the Holocaust and the things people do that make a life fulfilled and meaningful; it’s beautifully written, wonderfully evocative of people and time and place and space; and it ends up being wonderfully life-affirming. A beautiful book with which to begin 2019’s reading.
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  • Claire O'Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    Read as category winner for the Costa Book Award. A good read. Looking forward to discussing this
  • Daniel Koch
    January 1, 1970
    A gripping and fascinating historical account. I listened to this as an audiobook. While the narration is a tad flat, the story itself is so interesting I couldn't stop listening to it. Family histories are of a particular interest of mine as a hobbyist genealogist. The story of Lien has many twists and turns. Her story is both of tragedy, suffering, and survival. Recommended for anyone who enjoys research on the holocaust or Jewish dutch history.
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  • Cheryle
    January 1, 1970
    The extraordinary true story of a young Jewish girl in Holland under Nazi occupation who finds refuge in the homes of an underground network of foster families, one of them the author's grandparentsBart van Es left Holland for England many years ago, but one story from his Dutch childhood never left him. It was a mystery of sorts: a young Jewish girl named Lientje had been taken in during the war by relatives and hidden from the Nazis, handed over by her parents, who understood the danger they w The extraordinary true story of a young Jewish girl in Holland under Nazi occupation who finds refuge in the homes of an underground network of foster families, one of them the author's grandparentsBart van Es left Holland for England many years ago, but one story from his Dutch childhood never left him. It was a mystery of sorts: a young Jewish girl named Lientje had been taken in during the war by relatives and hidden from the Nazis, handed over by her parents, who understood the danger they were in all too well. The girl had been raised by her foster family as one of their own, but then, well after the war, there was a falling out, and they were no longer in touch. What was the girl's side of the story, Bart wondered? What really happened during the war, and after?So began an investigation that would consume Bart van Es's life, and change it. After some sleuthing, he learned that Lientje was now in her 80s and living in Amsterdam. Somewhat reluctantly, she agreed to meet him, and eventually they struck up a remarkable friendship, even a partnership. The Cut Out Girl braids together a powerful recreation of that intensely harrowing childhood story of Lientje's with the present-day account of Bart's efforts to piece that story together, including bringing some old ghosts back into the light.It is a story rich with contradictions. There is great bravery and generosity--first Lientje's parents, giving up their beloved daughter, and then the Dutch families who face great danger from the Nazi occupation for taking Lientje and other Jewish children in. And there are more mundane sacrifices a family under brutal occupation must make to provide for even the family they already have. But tidy Holland also must face a darker truth, namely that it was more cooperative in rounding up its Jews for the Nazis than any other Western European country; that is part of Lientje's story too. Her time in hiding was made much more terrifying by the energetic efforts of the local Dutch authorities, zealous accomplices in the mission of sending every Jew, man, woman and child, East to their extermination. And Lientje was not always particularly well treated, and sometimes, Bart learned, she was very badly treated indeed.The Cut Out Girl is an astonishment, a deeply moving reckoning with a young girl's struggle for survival during war, a story about the powerful love of foster families but also the powerful challenges, and about the ways our most painful experiences define us but also can be redefined, on a more honest level, even many years after the fact. A triumph of subtlety, decency and unflinching observation, The Cut Out Girl is a triumphant marriage of many keys of writing, ultimately blending them into an extraordinary new harmony, and a deeper truth.
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  • Margery
    January 1, 1970
    An unexpected great read. I had no idea that the holocaust in Holland was so horrendous. Well written and enlightening.
  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    I won an Advanced Reader's Copy of "The Cut Out Girl" in a Goodreads giveaway. A fascinating book, relating two stories that are connected and intertwine. Not to give anything away, the author Bart van Es' family hid a young Jewish girl named Lientje during the war. He tracks her down and reconnects with Lientje to uncover the whole story and what it was like to hide in Nazi Occupied Holland. You are drawn in and you get a different view of the Netherlands. We best know of the Dutch and their re I won an Advanced Reader's Copy of "The Cut Out Girl" in a Goodreads giveaway. A fascinating book, relating two stories that are connected and intertwine. Not to give anything away, the author Bart van Es' family hid a young Jewish girl named Lientje during the war. He tracks her down and reconnects with Lientje to uncover the whole story and what it was like to hide in Nazi Occupied Holland. You are drawn in and you get a different view of the Netherlands. We best know of the Dutch and their resistance during the war through Anne Frank's diary, but not every rescue attempt was like Anne's. Some protectors were not always as altruistic. Lientje's story is not for the faint at heart, but its direct and unflinchingly honest. A must-read for anyone interested in the Holocaust or WWII history.
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  • Doris Vandruff
    January 1, 1970
    Lien is a Jew. When she is eight years old she is "given" to another family to save her from the death camps and the Nazis. She will never see her mother and father again. Through the war she is shuttled from house to house trying to keep her safe. Some of the homes were not safe. In one home she was taped by an adopted uncle. In another she was used as a servant. This is a story that takes you into the reality of being a hidden child. It was not easy. Even after the war the Jewish children felt Lien is a Jew. When she is eight years old she is "given" to another family to save her from the death camps and the Nazis. She will never see her mother and father again. Through the war she is shuttled from house to house trying to keep her safe. Some of the homes were not safe. In one home she was taped by an adopted uncle. In another she was used as a servant. This is a story that takes you into the reality of being a hidden child. It was not easy. Even after the war the Jewish children felt displaced. They had to hide who they were for so long that they forgot who they were. This is Lien's story. It is sad, and tragic. But she finally finds her voice. She discovers who she is and she is comfortable with that. An excellent, excellent story. Highly recommended!
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  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    The Cut Out Girl is an engrossing read of the author's inquiry about why a girl his grandparents had fostered during WWII was inexplicably excised from the family forty years later. Van Es tracked down Lien, the Jewish girl, reared by his family, and revealed her story. The first past is a little confusing because the author introduces several people and gets sidetracked with minutia. Readers will think they have discerned the reason for the fracture, only to discover the real reason was pretty The Cut Out Girl is an engrossing read of the author's inquiry about why a girl his grandparents had fostered during WWII was inexplicably excised from the family forty years later. Van Es tracked down Lien, the Jewish girl, reared by his family, and revealed her story. The first past is a little confusing because the author introduces several people and gets sidetracked with minutia. Readers will think they have discerned the reason for the fracture, only to discover the real reason was pretty trite. Liens story is fascinating and heartbreaking. I really enjoyed the story.
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  • Anne Marie
    January 1, 1970
    This was an emotional and beautifully researched book; the true story if Lien’s survival . The Cut Out Girl demonstrates the importance of belonging. It reflects on the affects of the Nazi occupation on one child, her family and the families of those who cared for her. Then the wider effect on the Nation if the Netherlands , the bravery of the resistance and the complicate Jew Police’ efficiency in hunting out Jews . This is a truly moving informative and beautifully crafted book.An absolute mus This was an emotional and beautifully researched book; the true story if Lien’s survival . The Cut Out Girl demonstrates the importance of belonging. It reflects on the affects of the Nazi occupation on one child, her family and the families of those who cared for her. Then the wider effect on the Nation if the Netherlands , the bravery of the resistance and the complicate Jew Police’ efficiency in hunting out Jews . This is a truly moving informative and beautifully crafted book.An absolute must read
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  • Michelle Marx
    January 1, 1970
    Since I traveled to Amsterdam this summer, I was really intrigued to read this story. The author of The Cut Out Girl, Bart Van Es heard childhood stories when he was living in Amsterdam of a young Jewish girl, Lientje who was taken in during WWII. The author narrates the audible version and he did a horrible job, his voice was not pleasant to listen to. I always love when a story takes you back in time and to the present but as heartbreaking as this true story was, this Nazis occupation tale was Since I traveled to Amsterdam this summer, I was really intrigued to read this story. The author of The Cut Out Girl, Bart Van Es heard childhood stories when he was living in Amsterdam of a young Jewish girl, Lientje who was taken in during WWII. The author narrates the audible version and he did a horrible job, his voice was not pleasant to listen to. I always love when a story takes you back in time and to the present but as heartbreaking as this true story was, this Nazis occupation tale was not my favorite.
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