'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
SHORTLISTED FOR THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE 2018
Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through (Philippe Sands, Author of East West Street)
Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting (The Times Book of the Week)
Deeply moving. Writes with an almost Sebaldian simplicity and understatement (Guardian)
Astonishing. Van Es has created a masterpiece of history and memoir, concluding on a note of reconciliation, hope and great love (Evening Standard)
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)
Brought to lifewith 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)
Compassionate and thoughtfullyrendered, the book is both a memorable portrait of a remarkablewoman and a testament to the healing power of understanding. A complex and uplifting tale (Kirkus)
Remarkable - the story of one traumatic childhood, deeply moving, and told with greatdexterity, allowing the wisdoms of today to run parallel with the absorbing narrative of wartimeevents (Penelope Lively)
A nuanced, moving, and unusual "hidden child" account (Publishers Weekly)
Fascinating, beautifully written. Van Es carefully salvagesLien's story and creates a deeply moving and complex book about war, atrocity and human suffering (The Oldie)
About the Author
Bart van Es was born in the Netherlands and is bilingual in English and Dutch. He now lives with his family in England. He is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College.