To Be Read: Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen

“When my mother wanted to teach me a lesson about life,’ said Luca Dotti, ‘she never used stories about her career. She always told stories about the war. The war was very, very important to her. It made her who she was.”
Robert Matzen, Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II

Published: April 15, 2019 by GoodKnight Books
Category: Nonfiction, WWII, History

I love all things Audrey Hepburn so when Smith Publicity offered to send me an advanced reader’s copy of Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II I couldn’t respond YES fast enough!

I am a few pages in and the initial focus has been on Audrey’s family, specifically her mother and father and their six degrees of separation type relationship with Hitler.

Audrey Hepburn and Anne Frank were the same age and both lived in the Netherlands at the time the war started. I heard there is a section the discusses these commonalities and the different directions their lives would take; and perhaps parts of their lives had intersected at one time.

I put the book on reading hold for a week or two, as I needed a few light-hearted reads to whip through after reading Dopesick and Just Mercy. I aim to pick this one back up soon.

Goodreads Synopsis: 3.97 average rating
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.


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Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II

12 thoughts on “To Be Read: Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen

  1. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts as you read more. I saw the headline that “Audrey was a spy!” when the book came out, and that’s a hard tease to resist! Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think its because it was written well after Audrey had passed and the element of her contribution is missing. I’ll keep you posted! I set aside a bit as I read 2 nonfictions in a row that were heavy and needed a rom-com to get my head back in the reading game.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t really say I know to much about her. Yes I know who she was and what she did and how much of an icon she was /is. However i don’t think I have ever seen a movie with her in it. I’m not really into classics. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

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