I am so pleased to be on the blog tour for Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen. I’m a huge fan of history. So, I was so glad when I was given the opportunity to read about my idols during World War II.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Smith Publishing for allowing me to read the e-arc and also send me a physical arc.
Twenty-five years after her passing, Audrey Hepburn remains the most beloved of all Hollywood stars, known as much for her role as UNICEF ambassador as for films like Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Several biographies have chronicled her stardom, but none has covered her intense experiences through five years of Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. According to her son, Luca Dotti, “The war made my mother who she was.” Audrey Hepburn’s war included participation in the Dutch Resistance, working as a doctor’s assistant during the “Bridge Too Far” battle of Arnhem, the brutal execution of her uncle, and the ordeal of the Hunger Winter of 1944. She also had to contend with the fact that her father was a Nazi agent and her mother was pro-Nazi for the first two years of the occupation. But the war years also brought triumphs as Audrey became Arnhem’s most famous young ballerina. Audrey’s own reminiscences, new interviews with people who knew her in the war, wartime diaries, and research in classified Dutch archives shed light on the riveting, untold story of Audrey Hepburn under fire in World War II. Also included is a section of color and black-and-white photos. Many of these images are from Audrey’s personal collection and are published here for the first time. – (via Goodreads )
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Dutch Girl follows young Audrey Hepburn during the Second World War. The foreword is written by her youngest son, Luca Dotti.
Audrey Hepburn was shy, introvert that longed to be a dancer in the ballet. We learn of Audrey’s childhood; her father leaving, her mother’s pro-German attitude before the war and how this effected the young girl. It was her dream to become a dancer. It was these dance lessons that allowed her to become more expressive in life.
As a reader, we follow this young girl who longed to be a dancer through her traumatic time in the Netherlands during the war. We find out in this interesting book why Audrey Hepburn was so hesitant to talk about the war during interviews with the media. Dutch Girl gives historical context to the beloved star and her family during this devastating period. We follow the family and Audrey as they grieve, they starve, and live in their cellar.
Dutch Girl is a wonderfully written book and has been well researched. There’s so much writing, context and sources mentioned that truly bring a strong description of Audrey Hepburn, her family and the Netherlands during the Second World War. I loved this book because I truly felt with every page I was learning something new. It’s truly heart-breaking.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Audrey Hepburn, like myself, or a lover of history. It’s a fantastically put together and after reading, you will sit thinking how lucky we are.
Thanks for reading!