WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018
WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE 2018
A SUNDAY TIMES PAPERBACK OF THE YEAR 2019
‘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 saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in the provinces 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
‘Sensational and gripping . . . shedding light on some of the most urgent issues of our time’ Judges of the Costa Book of the Year 2018