Dutch Girl

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

This book was very interesting and provided some new insights into an actress that I already knew a fair bit about.
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First, I had already heard that this was a history, not a biography, so I think that really improved my expectations for this read.  It starts with pre-war family history and details a lot of the dynamics leading up to the war.  I was surprised to hear how Audrey’s mother had initially supported Hitler before seeing the ugly side of his plans for the world.  

One of my favorite parts was learning how Audrey coped with the issues of war by dancing even when she was too starved to succeed and by reading.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that one of her two favorite authors was E. Phillips Oppenheim, since he is also one of mine but is mostly forgotten nowadays.

Thanks to the publisher for a free reading copy.  A favorable review was not required.
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Somehow I had completely missed that Audrey Hepburn was Dutch and lived there during the second world war. The recent publication Dutch Girl was about to set that straight. 

I've seen some reviewers complain that the book was too much about life in the Netherlands during the second world war and not enough about Audrey herself, but I disagree on that account. Not only did I find that was the most interesting part of the book (being Dutch myself), I also believed the broader context is necessary to understand this part of her life. 

However, at some points I had the feeling the story dragged a bit, and it maybe would have been better if  a little bit shorter. But overall an interesting read. 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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Audrey's Dutch (somehow...), I'm Dutch... there's the reason to pick up this book. Now I'm not really into biographies; they tend to distort history, colored by the author without me being really able to check all the facts. But that's how it is...
From WWII on it covers her life focussing on the impact her early WWII years had on the rest of her life.

It's not mine, it's all too much "Audrey is a goddess who didn't do anything wrong". The writing style is primal; for instance, war scenes are depicted as throwing firecrackers from the sky “Every second the thump, thump, thump of the cannons could be heard.”

I had a feeling Matzen had a story to tell and created a book out of it to gain some pennies.

My advice: don't touch this book!
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With a topic so infamous as World War 2, it's difficult to give this a high rating, just because of the content and the emotions that surrounded it. I love Audrey, as many people do, and it was an amazing experience to be able to read about her, and in a time that impacted her life so heavily.
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My apologies for not reviewing this book. I was unable to download it before the archive date. I would in the future really like to read it
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This is a really well-written book about how the trauma of war can follow a person through their whole life. It doesn't quite crack the mystery of Audrey Hepburn's young life, as she was notoriously tight-lipped about much of her experiences, but it covers more ground than any other book I've read about her. It focuses only on her Hollywood career as it pertains to how the war affected her, it's not about the glamour or the fame; it's about the trauma and the shadow that WWII cast.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest, voluntary review.
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This very well researched book shows a side of Audrey Hepburn the public never saw.  Far from the glamours life of her later years, Audrey went through some unbelievably hard times during her teenage years.

The book can be rather dry at times with so many facts, but it's an important story and worth persevering.  I always enjoyed Audrey Hepburn as an actress but now I also have immense admiration for her as a person.
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I did not finish this book. I found the narrative repitative and uninspiring. I felt Audrey Hepburn was tagged on to boost sales
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Very interesting book about Audrey.  Recommend this to anyone looking to learn more about her.  3.5 stars.
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The Dutch Girl, I was looking forward to reading this book, however I was not able to get into it. There are many characters in the book and some of the such as Audrey, her mother and a few other members are called different names. It’s enough they change name and to on top of it use their title, their nick name, real name.  It did not make it for a smooth readying. A lot of information. Was interesting, however having some of it told as a story,  then as a researched fact made it choppy reading for me.  I have dragged reading this book and finally came to the conclusion that I would no longer invest time in trying to finish it.
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For such a fascinating story, this was such a dull book. The author had a clear problem from the start, since Ms. Hepburn was too private and too traumatized by the war to talk about it much during her life. Matzen was able to get some facts about where she was and when, things her mother wrote, and things like that, but because he didn't know her and she didn't talk about her feelings, that's mostly all you get. We read long detailed histories about the town she was in and what was happening, without much humanity or connection to Ms. Hepburn or the other people who lived it.

I read a digital galley of this book for purpose of review.
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Dutch Girl 

Being a long time fan of Audrey Hepburn I have read several memoirs that have been written about Audrey’s life and film career, but none of these can compare to the in-depth look Dutch Girl provides to the most influential years in Audrey Hepburn’s life, her time spent in the Netherlands during World War II.

Dutch Girl takes a closer look at Audrey Hepburn’s war story and many of the facts that Audrey refused to discuss in the public eye for many years. Largely, Dutch Girl is written from the historical perspective of World War II and the events surrounding the daily struggle of survival for Audrey and her family. I was in awe of Audrey’s story and how it impacted the rest of her life and career. 

If you are looking for the glamour of Hollywood and stories from Audrey’s film career this book is not for you. This book means to tell a deeper story of who Audrey was and the world in which she grew up in. 

I would definitely recommend especially for anyone who has a love for both history and Audrey Hepburn. 

Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this ARC!
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This was such a unique book.  Not only is it a biography of Audrey Hepburn, but it also gives a detailed history of The Netherlands and their experience during World War II.  I learned so much, but about the actress and her country.
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Audrey Hepburn's life would have made a great novel. She was born into a wealthy Dutch aristocrat family with a British father and a Dutch mother. Her parents, who divorced when Hepburn was young, were members of the British Union of Fascists, dedicated supporters of Adolf Hitler. Her mother attended the infamous Nuremberg rally in 1938 and wrote glowingly of it in the British fascist magazine published by Oswald Mosely. Her father was imprisoned in England for the duration of the war, Her mother took Hepburn and her two brothers to live in Holland, thinking that Hitler would not invade. He did, and the harsh realities of a Nazi occupation led the family into support for the Dutch resistance.

In the later years of World War 2 Hepburn was in her mid-teens, an accomplished ballet dancer and a brave participant in the efforts to undermine the Nazi occupation.

Robert Matzen has written a comprehensive biography of Hepburn's life. If it has a fault, it is in too much detail.
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Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen tells the story of Audrey Hepburn during the Second World War.
This book caught my attention for two reasons: I’ve always been an admirer of Audrey Hepburn and I wanted to  read more about her experience in Holland during WW II. Furthermore my mother was born in Oosterbeek during this period and I wanted to read more about the history of Arnhem, Velp and Oosterbeek in this period.
I vaguely remembered that  Audrey Hepburn had Dutch roots but didn’t realise that she had lived for a substantial period in the Netherlands during her childhood years.

I think the author did a great job and the book is very well documented. The background history on the Battle of Arnhem, operation market garden was very interesting even though I already knew quite a bit about this part of our history. The vivid description of the airborne parachutists coming down was very evocative even though I’ve seen the droppings that are staged every year on the Ginkelse heide so had a good idea what it would have looked like. I was especially impressed by the descriptions of the evacuations of Arnhem and Oosterbeek, the more because I remembered that my own ancestors were part of the evacuees too. 

I’ve recommended the book to my mother because I saw that there will be a translation in Dutch and the author will be in Oosterbeek in a couple of weeks to sign the book. I’m sure she will enjoy the book as much as I did.

I certainly recommend this book. Full marks.
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I adore Audrey Hepburn, and this book gave me a good glimpse into a formative part of her life that isn't usually covered extensively in biographies. I loved learning even more about her, but my heart broke knowing what she had to go through, what all of them had to go through.

You know what makes Audrey Hepburn even more beautiful? Her soul. There's a part in the book where it talks about how WWII and her experiences made her who she was. It made her kind and compassionate and just plain lovely. Such dark atrocities made more light in the form of Audrey Hepburn.
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You could go into this book expecting a biography of Audrey Hepburn which I did, but, dear reader, you get so much more.  This book shows in great detail how the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands effected its people by focusing on Audrey Hepburn and her family during this time.   It goes a long way to explain why Audrey was to become so passionate about her work with Unicef in her later years.  
This book is an incredible history lesson about the Netherlands during the war and informed me about episodes in the war that I knew nothing about, and I found it fascinating.  It highlighted just how brave the Dutch people under occupation were and the great lengths they went to help the allied forces.  
Well done to Matzen for writing this book.  By having Audrey as its focus I hope that many more people will read and come to know more about these little mentioned war time events and the bravery of the Dutch people.
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An interesting, well written and well researched account of Audrey Hepburn and her experiences through five years of Nazi Occupation of her homeland  the Netherlands.
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I always loved Audrey Hepburn and was extremely happy when i received an advance copy of Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen from #netgalley.  It is a well-written story of a girl who built her character during WWII in Denmark. We all know the woman she became-Audrey Hepburn. Before I read the book, I knew that she was born before the war and had to experience a great deal of suffering. Her life story, written by Robert Matzen, is not only an important part of her biography but also an example of a great character. I am sure that there were thousands of stories during the war that everyone needs to know and not to forget about. The book helps us to remember about the sufferings that Audrey, her family and millions more went through. During the war times everyone is equally getting hurt and humanity is the only thing left.
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