Cut Out Girl
Bart van Es

Book cover image

Narrated By: Bart van Es

Duration: 8 hours and 49 minutes

What to expect



Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Cut Out Girl written and read by Bart van Es.

'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 - she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam 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

'Remarkable, deeply moving' Penelope Lively


Memoirs, Autobiography: historical, political & military, The Holocaust, Second World War, European history, Family history, tracing ancestors, Fascism & Nazism

Listen to a sample

Harrowing . . . profoundly moving

Daily Express

Powerful . . . extraordinary

Irish Times

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

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

Publishers Weekly

Deeply moving. Writes with an almost Sebaldian simplicity and understatement


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


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

Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through

Philippe Sands, Author of East West Street

An extraordinary, harrowing story of loss, survival and love


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


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

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

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

Irish Times

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


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