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  • Published: 14 February 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241978726
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $22.99

The Cut Out Girl

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

A harrowing true story about a young girl's struggle to survive Nazi persecution, and a man's attempt to unveil his family's secrets

The last time Lien saw her parents was in the Hague, where she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken away to be hidden from the Nazis. She was raised by her foster family as one of their own, but a falling out after the war put an end of to their relationship. What was her side of the story, Bart van Es - a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien - wondered? What really happened during the war, and after? So began an investigation that would consume and transform both Bart's life and Lien's. This is an astonishing portrait of a young girl's struggle to survive war, and her powerful, tumultuous and painful ties with her foster family.

  • Published: 14 February 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241978726
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $22.99

Praise for The Cut Out Girl

Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through

Philippe Sands, Author of East West Street

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

Penelope Lively

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

Harrowing and beautiful


A nuanced, moving, and unusual "hidden child" account

Publishers Weekly

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


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

Sunday Mirror

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 Oldie

Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting

The Times Book of the Week

The Cut Out Girl is a reminder of the extraordinary richness of archives and the treasures released by scholarly research


An extraordinary story, harrowing, deeply affecting. This fascinating story is guaranteed to haunt you


Deeply moving. Writes with an almost Sebaldian simplicity and understatement


Astonishing. Van Es has created a masterpiece of history and memoir, concluding on a note of reconciliation, hope and great love

Evening Standard

Deeply moving, this is a remarkable memoir

Sunday Times

Powerful . . . extraordinary

Irish Times

An extraordinary, harrowing story of loss, survival and love


A moving story of personal and family history, with a scholar's objective eye for the bigger picture.

Irish Times

Sensational and gripping . . . shedding light on some of the most urgent issues of our time

Judges of the Costa Book of the Year Prize 2018

Harrowing . . . profoundly moving

Daily Express

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