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The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found: The Costa Book of the Year 2018

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,820 ratings  ·  213 reviews


'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

Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published August 2nd 2018 by Penguin
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Budd Margolis Fantastic book, up there with Anne Franks Diary BUT there are two sexual assault cases which might be difficult at this age. Maybe for 13+ year olds…moreFantastic book, up there with Anne Franks Diary BUT there are two sexual assault cases which might be difficult at this age. Maybe for 13+ year olds but this is a parental decision. Good luck!
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,820 ratings  ·  213 reviews

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Angela M
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elyse Walters
Library overdrive: by the author: Bart van Es

Problem #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
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
In the words of Maria Condo This one is not bringing me joy and I have read 50% of the book and that has taken me a week. I think it is time to part company. I struggle with giving up on a book as some books do turn around and am always afraid I will miss out by not finishing the read.

I am not sure what the problem with this book is but I am just plodding along reading and feel I am not retaining any of the information or making any connection with the characters. I asked myself one question
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 ...more
From BBC radio 4 - Book of the week:
The story of a man's search for the truth about his family's past

The 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
Bev Walkling
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

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
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book I found very interesting and tell the story of the authors foster aunt who was given away during the German occupation of the Netherlands and had several hiding houses. the book follows interviewers during a period where the story explains her experiences during the second world war as a young girl and finding later that her parents had passed away in a concentration camp.
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.
I just finished reading the graphic novel version of Anne Frank's Diary, so I guess this was natural progression. Another young girl in the Netherlands hidden to save her life. The author included quite a bit of history about the Dutch underground that I did not know. It was a bit shocking to learn that of all the countries with Jewish populations, the Netherlands lost the most during WW2. 80%. 80%!!! I had heard so many stories about how the Dutch protected and hid Jews, that it hardly seemed p ...more
Claire Fuller
Oh my goodness, this book. When I first started reading The Cut Out Girl, I wasn't sure about the writing style: very plan, unliterary, but as Lien's life and Van es's research hooked me, the style became a perfect foil for this fascinating non-fiction story. Lien is a Dutch Jew, at a point during the war her parents hand her over to the Dutch resistance for hiding. She never sees them again. Lien was mostly looked after by Van es's grandmother, but late in her life there was a rift between the ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
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
Daniel Sevitt
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Just when you think there are no new angles to stories about the Holocaust something comes along that is both desperately tragic but also vital and healing. Lientje’s story is heartbreaking, but it’s related here with compassion and love. It’s about families and surviving. The Dutch don’t come out of this in any great light, but it’s far less about blame than understanding.
Benjamin baschinsky
I didn’t care for the writing style, he gets off the focus of the book too many times for me.
Jayasree B
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-kindle-lib
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
Clair Sharpe
Our March book club read and as we have already discussed it, I can tell you that everyone rated it quite highly and all found it shocking but informative.
Lien is just 8 years old when her mother tells her she has a secret. Lien must go to live somewhere else for a while. World War Two has broken out and The Netherlands is a dangerous place for Jews. Soon she is taken from her family and all she knows and goes to live with the Van Es family who foster her to keep her safe from the persecutors of
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars. A heartfelt biography that alternates between the time of Nazi occupied Holland and the present day. It is portrayed through the eyes of Lientje, a young Jewish girl, who was (mostly) hidden in plain sight during the occupation when she was sent to live with a non Jewish family. The author has a direct connection to Lientje and spent a lot of time interviewing her during the writing and research of this book and he also includes chapters about these conversations to provide clarity. ...more
Mike Sumner
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very moving account of one man's investigation into tracing his 'aunt' Lien and telling her story. A searing exploration of two lives and two families. Lien was given away by her Jewish parents in the Hague in the hope she might be saved from the hell of the Nazi death camps. Lien is hidden and raised by a foster family in the provinces during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. She was moved on many occasions - and survived the war only to find out that her real parents had not. Many year ...more
Christopher Jones
Incredible story, Incredibly moving, Incredibly harrowing, INCREDIBLY BRILLIANT ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ ...more
Laura Spira
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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 ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is about a Jewish Dutch girl Lien and the various families who saved her following the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, in particular the van Es family. The ‘the cut out girl’ represents Lien but the title comes from a picture in a ‘poesie’ album she kept which was a scrapbook of poetry that people wrote in for her and about her - these were popular with girls at that time. Lien’s family were not especially religious and the author pointed out that it is really Hitler who made Lien Je ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lien de Jong, now over 80 years old, had long kept silent about her childhood as a Jewish "child hideaway" in the Netherlands, not able or willing to piece together her memories of those years of the Holocaust nor to find the words needed to describe the pain she suffered. Bart Van Es, an Oxford University professor and researcher, knew that his Dutch grandparents had fostered Lien, hiding her from the Nazis and from the fate of her parents and extended family. Van Es is driven to investigate th ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Stephen Goldenberg
Whenever I pick up another book about the Holocaust or a survivor’s memoirs, I always wonder if there is anything new to say and whether we have reached overload. However, as we rapidly approach a time when there will no longer be living survivors and as we see anti-semitism growing around Europe, perhaps such books are more important than ever.
And this particular book, winner of the Costa award, certainly told me a lot I didn’t know, as well as being a fascinating personal story and beautifully
Cherise Wolas
Hesseline de Jong, known as Lien, was one of the Jewish hideaway children during WW II in Holland. She is eight years old when her parents send her to stay with a family in Dordrecht, in order to protect her. This is the story of Lien's life, of what it was to be a hideaway child, the loss of her family, the loss of herself. The family she first stays with, and then returns to at the end of the war, are the van Esses, a non-Jewish family and the grandparents of the author. The book weaves togeth ...more
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Bart van Es is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St. Catherine’s College. He is the author of Spenser’s Forms of History, Shakespeare in Company, and Shakespeare’s Comedies. He was born in the Netherlands and now lives with his family in England.
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