Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II

Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II


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Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
MitBrooks 10 months ago
I am a history buff and love old Hollywood, so I enjoyed this book. The research that was done to put this book together was extensive. It is very detailed and so very interesting. Audrey Hepburn was shaped by the events of her childhood and WWII. As a teen in German occupied Netherlands, she learns the greatest of life lessons that she carries with her throughout her life. As her son points out in the foreword, this is the Audrey Hepburn he knew growing up. She lived with this as her guide rather than allowing Hollywood to change her. *I was provided a copy of this book by NetGalley for an honest review. All thoughts on this book are my own*
mellieoh 3 months ago
Heart breaking story about a beautiful girl growing up in the Netherlands during Nazi occupation. The perseverance of the Dutch is truly remarkable. Makes me appreciate the USA & freedom.
Anonymous 3 months ago
What a beautiful story about a super great lady
Anonymous 6 months ago
At its most basic, the Dutch Girl is the story of a Belgium born, girl named Adriaantje, later she would become Audrey Hepburn. The book recounts the events which shaped Audrey Hepburn's life during her formative years. From her early childhood in Belgium to her education in England then to the Netherlands where Audrey continued her education but found that it was dance that most interested her and she excelled in it. She took lessons not far from her home in the Velp - Arnhem area where she lived with her brothers and mother, Ella. She began to perform at various venues through-out her neighboring communities. The bulk of this book, however, is WWII . Ella was a Nazi sympathizer and somewhat infatuated with Hitler. When Nazi personnel work their way into the Netherlands, Ella welcomes them with open arms but things soon turn sour when the Velp - Arnhem region becomes their main area of command. If the reader is not familiar with the the affects of WWII in this area, he or she will find this book enlighteining as well as horrifying . Also of interest, of course, was the lasting impact the war had on Audrey. She was struck by the imprisonment and assasination of her Uncle and the diary of a young girl, very similar to her in age, named Anne Frank. Author, Matzen has written a wonderful portrayal of a much loved actress. Many readers who have enjoyed her as an actress may not have known just how much she had lived through during the years of World War II. Thank you NetGalley, Good Knight Publishing and the author for an Advance e-ARC of this book.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Elena_L 9 months ago
"Dutch girl" is an untold true war story of the cinematic icon Audrey Hepburn. This is a definite biography result of an intense research by the author Robert Matzen: it covers Audrey's family history (wealthy van Heemstra) and its involvement with the fascism/nazism in Europe, from her complicated childhood to becoming the famous actress, fashion icon and humanitarians that she is popularly known. Born in Belgium, raised in England and being a Dutch girl, Audrey struggled a lot with her identity. Then you follow her ballerina career and her constant conflicts while emerging as a Hollywood success but at the same time, in the middle of politics of war (WWII). Through a dense writing, the author shows us actual facts beyond her superficial glamour: I found utterly interesting her special bond with Frank's family, her devoted life as a UNICEF ambassador to help those in need in war-torn territories and her active role in the Dutch Resistance. There are rich and detailed facts that you discover from Audrey Hepburn and it was engaging reading her life (and feelings) during the war. In addition, never-before-seen photographs and documents are provided in this title to illustrate this biography. I found the many names quite confusing in some parts of the book, however they are essential to comprehend Audrey's relatives origin. "Dutch girl" is a deep look into Audrey Hepburn's life and it is a biography to digest even after reading it. [I received an ARC from GoodKnight Books in exchange for an honest review]
Anonymous 9 months ago
I gave this book 5 stars. I have admired Audrey Hepburn since I was a young girl. She was a great humanitarian and outstanding actress. Her life story was tragic, but had moments of great joy. She had a will of iron and the ability to focus on the important events she was confronted with.
leeniebeenie 9 months ago
Fascinating subject about a horrible time in history. An easy read but a horror story. Audrey Hepburn was a remarkable woman and The Dutch Girl gives the reader an incite into the terrible times that shaped her character for the rest of her beautiful life. A must read for history buffs and Hepburn fans alike.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous 10 months ago
People probably like this book will probably be more interested in World War II than Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn lived through and experienced major episodes of World War II which ended when she was fifteen. However, the book needed to make a better connection Audrey Hepburn's childhood and her adult. Also, the book has a more information about Holland and World War II than is strictly needed for a book that is mainly about Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn lived through some of the major incidents of World War II. Both her parents were early supporters of Hitler and Fascism (her mother continue to support the Germans two years into Germany's occupation of Holland). Her father left her when she was a small child. Audrey Hepburn's mother brought Audrey Hepburn back to Holland at the beginning of World War II believing that Holland would be safe from the Germans. Some of Audrey Hepburn's early education in ballet and theatre was helped because her mother was friendly with the Germans. In about 1942, two years into the German Occupation of Holland, Audrey Hepburn's mother seems to have changed and at least not actively helped the Germans. Audrey Hepburn had an uncle that was shot by the Germans. Her family lived in Velp which saw some of the most intense fighting during the war. The area also experienced severe hunger. Audrey Hepburn and her family helped both the British and the Dutch resistance. The area had many hidden Jews.. The book barely touches on Audrey Hepburn's later life. One would be interested to find a more direct connection between Audrey Hepburn's later life and her war experiences. The more interesting parts of the book are about Audrey Hepburn's mother worked with the Nazi’s until 1942. Her mother was on some Dutch watch lists for being pro-Nazi. My mother fled Nazi Germany so I know that anyone who had what appeared to be voluntary Nazi sympathies could be intensely hated by victims of the Nazis. Audrey Hepburn's mother seem to have a talent for being able to reinvent herself and could hide her Nazi past. Audrey Hepburn seems to have taken some care to hide her mother's Nazi sympathies. Also, Audrey Hepburn herself had to keep quiet that some of her performances that she when she was ten to twelve were done with German sponsorship when she gave talked about her childhood in Holland. It would have been helpful to know how Audrey Hepburn's war experiences affected her adult life. The author seems to assume that people have in depth knowledge about Audrey Hepburn’s later acting career and about her humanitarian activities which many people nowadays don’t have. Again, this book more a book about people interested in World War II than Audrey Hepburn the movie star. I received a free copy of this book from Negalley in exchange for an honest review.
ody 10 months ago
This book is about Hepburn’s early years in Europe during the war. It has a foreword by her youngest son Luca Dotta. She had always been very introverted, a quiet, shy girl. Probably more so after her parents split and her father wasn’t around anymore. but the ballet lessons she loved so much finally helped her become more expressive outwardly. Her mother, Baroness Ella Van Heemstra was very pro-German before the war began and had met Hitler a couple of times during their many travels. But then Audrey’s father had walked out when she was 6. They were both taking it hard but Audrey was really worried about her mother. Elle put Audrey in a school and found her some ballet classes in London, but when war became imminent her mother had her brought to the always previously neutral Netherlands to live. It was hard for Audrey because she didn’t speak the language there and so didn’t understand a word of what they were saying at school. The only thing that made it bearable for her was that her mother was able to get her into ballet classes again. She grew up as Adriaantje (little Audrey) Van Heemstra, but after the Germans moved in she became known as the English-sounding Audrey Hepburn-Ruston. Ella is good at organizing events, especially if it will be something that will offer a chance to show her daughter’s talent. But she’s lacking in showing warm feelings to Audrey, who is so needing them. Audrey can’t understand why Ella is still friendly with the Germans, who are being so cruel to their Jewish friends. Though, as time goes on and her mother can no longer ignore what’s going on, she does stop socializing with them, etc. But this will cause problems for Audrey throughout the rest of her life. About halfway through the book, near the end of the war, it begins speaking from Audrey’s later perspective, done in italics, where she returns to the Netherlands and reminisces about the war, married and a star. This appears off and on through the book. It’s well researched and reads well. This is for those interested in the old star biographies, and WWII.
Peppyob 10 months ago
Audrey Hepburn has always been one of my favorite actress of all time, so I was very eager to read this biographical account of her life after the German invasion and the subsequent course of Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during WWll. She was ten when the war began and 15 when it ended. Her son Luca Dotti wrote the Foreword to this book thanking the author for writing the book. The book is well researched and gives a vivid insight into the personal tragic experiences, near starvation and other horrors she and her family went through during the war. Yet, they were resilient and courageous and were involved with the Dutch Resistance. Audrey became very involved in dance and ballet. She participated in ballet performances in order to help raise money for the Dutch resistance. I highly recommend this book.
Tangen 10 months ago
war-is-hell, world-war-ll, The Netherlands, ballerina, UNESCO ***** Who knows more about children's troubles living in a country visited by war than a girl who lived in England and then was summarily moved to the Netherlands not long before it was occupied by the Nazis. Her later accomplishments allowed her to make a difference through UNESCO, but that frightened girl remained inside her forever. This biographer had some real advantages in being vetted by Audrey's son and also being able to have someone able to access classified documents in the Netherlands. At first the book spends an inordinate amount of time lauding her mother and later details some aspects of the War in Europe in excruciating military detail. However, even if the reader only reads half the book and skims whatever doesn't suit, it is worth the full retail price. I requested and received a free ebook copy from Smith Publicity via NetGalley. Thank you!
PanglossMystic 10 months ago
One of the best biographies I've read in a long time. This beautifully researched and written book chronicles the early life of actress/dancer Audrey Hepburn in the Netherlands in World War II. Though she spent some of her early years in England, she returned to Velp and Arnhem in the Netherlands right before the German occupation. Towards the end of the war, Audrey and three relatives took refuge in the cellar as one of the last major battles of the war raged right above them. "Dutch Girl," in one sense, is a tale of one small Dutch town's experiences during the Nazi occupation. Historians and those who enjoy historical case studies will find this book riveting. The fact that the "main character" of the book turns out to be an A-list Hollywood actress is almost an aside. Nevertheless, the book insightfully shows how war affects children and young people for the rest of their lives - emotionally, psychologically, and physically.
Lynne Ernst 10 months ago
While this book give in depth details of Audrey Hepburn during World War 2 it also tells of the Netherlands during the invasion of the Germans and Nazi Rule. Interesting to read how Audrey was influenced by the war. Well researched and documented about a sad part of history. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher and am voluntarily reviewing it.
brf1948 10 months ago
Minka Kent brings us an interesting and exciting tale told in the first person, alternating chapters, by 34-year-old Nicolette, wife of photographic artist Brant Gideon, and Wren, oldest of three girls being raised in upstate New York off the grid and in very primitive conditions by a single mother. Time is pretty modern, Wren is 20, Sage 18, and Evie is 9. None of the girls can remember even going to town. Their whole world is the homestead they inhabit, the goats and chickens that provide them with eggs, milk, butter and cheese, and the unseen man who meets their mother in the woods with the occasional order of supplies. Until Evie becomes dangerously ill with a soaring temperature and difficulty breathing. Mama bundles her up and heads into the late night woods, looking for help. Sixty-three days later, Mama and Evie have still not returned. Food is running out, the chickens are dying and winter is just weeks away. And with the first light snow comes a strange man looking for their mother. His is big, mean, and dangerous - that man Mama has always warned them about, wandering in from that wicked world she has always protected them from. Wren sprinkles ground up sleeping herbs on his serving of the baby goat he killed and made her cook, and while he is passed out she and Sage take his well-equipped backpack and escape. The only problem is where can they escape too? Neither can ever remember leaving the clearing the cabin is centered in. Luckily the first place they come across is that of Nicolette. And Nicolette, motherless since an emergency hysterectomy when she was 25 and home alone since her husband is off on a photo shoot in South America, has been getting set up to become a foster parent to needy kids. Wren and Sage in their threadbare homemade nightgowns and hunger-induced thinness with no knowledge of electricity or indoor plumbing or kitchen appliances very much qualify as needy. All three of them very much need each other. But where is their mother? And where can Evie be? I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Minka Kent, and Thomas & Mercer. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have voluntarily read and reviewed this novel. This is my honest opinion of this work. pub date April 9, 2019, are a lot of us Americans who think we know poverty, we understand hunger, appreciate that life is hard and sometimes barren. Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II is a reality check for even those of us with memories of a rough childhood. Most history's and historical novels don't more than touch on the effects of the Second World War on Holland. This biography by Robert Matzen brings to life the world of young wartorn Audrey, that remarkable actress of Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany's fame, that gamine face on the big screen that we feel like we know and love. After you finish this book, you will have to watch those old films again and know that you really do love that pretty smile and honor the memory of that girl. I received a free electronic copy of this biography from Netgalley. Robert Matzen, and GoodKnight Books. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have voluntarily read and reviewed this book. This is my honest opinion of this work.