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Publisher's Summary

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. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Robert Matzen (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Dutch Girl

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Beautiful story about a beautiful life

Learning of the extreme hardships of the Dutch people during the war, it's not hard to see how those informed Hepburn's interests and sensibilities as an adult. I knew she had studied ballet but not that she studied it as long as she did or that she taught younger students. Her lack of a father seemed to affect who she chose to marry and neither marriage was very happy.
It's definitely a good read for those interested in WWII from the perspective of daily lives as opposed to battles.

46 people found this helpful

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Never knew this part of Audrey Hepburn's life.

Very interesting and compelling story. Gives a great insight into pre war Europe and the occupation. Shows the effects of the war in ways you wouldn't imagine.

25 people found this helpful

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Humble champion for civility

Audrey championed human rights albeit she was repeatedly forced into sub-human cricumstances during German occuptation of Velp and the surrounding areas where she grew up dancing. Truly inspirational!

22 people found this helpful

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About the Dutch - not Audrey Hepburn

This was very disappointing. I expected it to be an in depth account of Audrey Hepburn's early life but it is not. It's more a historical offering of how the people of Holland were affected by WWII. It goes on for hours about the fate of people who knew Audrey's family, but not about Audrey herself. In this book, she is only an afterthought, sprinkled into the conversation in minuscule doses of insignificance (e.g., she was considered tall for a ballet dancer). Here in the US, Audrey Hepburn was always known as a very private person and someone who chose not to discuss her life or the repercussions of the war. Because she remained tight-lipped about those early days, there is nothing this author can offer to the reader other than what Audrey has already told us herself - she helped out at the hospital, and she taught ballet to local children. The only thing I learned from this book is that Audrey's mother was enthralled by Hitler and remained his supporter into the Occupation. Perhaps that is why Audrey chose not to speak of those early days, and the reason this author has nothing to offer us in this book. If you are looking to learn about Audrey, you will be sorely disappointed with this selection.

21 people found this helpful

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I thought I knew her

There was so much here about Audrey Hepburn that I had never before learned. I knew she was a dancer but not that she was so passionate about dance. That she was born the same year and close to Anne Frank was also a surprise. The war years were terrible to her an yet she survived. What an elegant lady she turned out to be.

43 people found this helpful

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War

This book gave us a glimpse into Audrey Hepburn’s youth and how it affected her in her adulthood. It was often sad and horrifying. It showed how war can affect one years after the experience. Also can everyday bravery can carry you thru.

35 people found this helpful

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Really wonderful "read".

I had no idea Audrey Hepburn had endured such a life before Hollywood. The narrator did a wonderful job of putting us in the story. The story was written well and it was quite easy to follow.

20 people found this helpful

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A very good World War II story

I find her Dutch past so very interesting. Her mother and father’s Nazi involvement was very surprising. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for her for having such a mother. I think the author did a very good job of describing the dutch occupation and the horrors of war.

27 people found this helpful

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Great courage in the tumolts

Admiration & informative of WWII devastation Audrey\Netherlands incurred. Well written & we should not forget.

8 people found this helpful

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Good story, poor narration

The story of Audrey Hepburn’s life during the war is interesting. Many of the references mirror what I have been told by my parents of the WW2 war experience. I wish they had a Dutch narrator as it is virtually impossible to understand the references to Dutch names and towns. The Narrator tries but makes the names and places sound painful.

57 people found this helpful

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  • NADYA D
  • 07-21-22

very good book

very interesting , very touching, lots of details about war in Holland , I recommend it

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  • Aucher
  • 06-25-22

I hope this is not too embellished

As a fan of Audrey but also a keen amateur military historian (I study the SWW continuously) I throughly enjoyed this account, which appears to me to set out to answer openly questions about AH’s wartime life. It does feel as if some of the experiences are either embellished or interpretations of what we now know of the events of time made to sound like actual experiences of the time. If it is, it really doesn’t need to be. It might be because of the presentational style which is very Hollywood, Docusoap with American pronunciations and colloquialisms

Because the basic story stands up for itself and we who have never been occupied should not overly judge those who have. What I really found of value able was a better understanding of AH, the effects of Op Market Garden (less the UK Para often blinkered view) on the good people of Ned; the effects thereon of the Allies then trying to smash the last of the German resistance (their fight to the end) and, similarly to those experience by the the women and children of Stalingrad, Berlin, Caen et al, the victims of war. It’s a useful snapshot of a wartime experience, the impossibilities of being occupied, told through the eyes of one of our most iconic people, who then did so much for UNICEF.

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  • Jules
  • 06-07-22

Heartfelt and Fascinating

Well recommended for anyone wanting to know more about the beautiful and mysterious Audrey Hepburn. Also a fascinating perspective on true wartime in occupied Netherlands.

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  • Beetle
  • 04-19-22

Ooooh

The narration is v bad. Everything is mid pronounced and it’s often hard to gather which places or people she’s referring to. It’s also poorly researched when it comes to everyone but Hepburn. For instance not all the Mitford sisters were nazis. Debo wasn’t one, Nancy most certainly wasn’t one and Decca was a communist. It’s frustrating to listen to all these stories presented as facts. Had to stop listening half way through through sheer frustration

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-22

Well worth listening to ..

For me a powerful and interesting true story , one of courage and history . Very well narrated and I would certainly listen to again at some time in the future..

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  • Faith Mackenzie
  • 02-15-22

Interesting history of an iconic actress

This was a very interesting background about an actress mush beloved for her acting career. She always wanted to be a ballerina but the invasion of Holland put paid to that.
I found the narrator’s voice jarring! However, the history was fascinating enough to continue listening to the end.
I would recommend this book if you can put up with the voice of the narrator.

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  • Charlie S.
  • 08-25-21

The Dutch Girl

A wonderfully recounted story of Audrey Hepburn’s childhood with a special focus on her traumatic wartime years in Holland, the inhumanity of the occupying Germans and her lifelong passion for human rights.

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  • Janet Jones
  • 04-18-21

The fascinating...

Audrey Hepburn story before and after she was famous was very good to listen to. The narrator was good.

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  • cuckfield
  • 07-29-20

Fascinating Audrey made rather dull

Too much unnecessary detail bogged down the story of her early which could have shorter and therefore more interesting. Could not be bothered to finish it. A shame as it was my first Audible download.

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  • Tania
  • 06-16-22

Stilted narrator but a great book.

A shame the narration was stilted as the story is fascinating. If you like Audrey Hepburn and are interested in life, this book is for you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-13-22

Audrey Hepburn. A story of great resilience.

A favourite actress of mine. I knew very little about her. It really touched my heart what she went through and survived. For me the story was beautifully told, I was captivated .

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  • Jacqueline Benz
  • 03-10-22

An enlightened insight of the horrors that happened to the Dutch in WW 2

This is more of a documentary, many people contributed and so although we get quotes of what Audrey said it’s very much a collaboration. I thoroughly enjoyed it regardless.
Jacqui

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  • Tracey
  • 12-29-21

Disappointing

The voice of the narrator spoilt the book for me. She had a weird accent that I've never heard before. It was so forceful. The way she pronounced the correct way of saying the towns and people etc was too hard to understand. She could have just said them in English. The way the novel swapped between years back and forth was confusing. And why do we need to know the exact address including street numbers etc of where people lived and moved to. I did listen to the audio sample and didn't really like the narrators voice but I really wanted to hear about Audrey's life. Next time I will read the book.

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  • RUTH
  • 12-15-21

Wonder Audrey

After listening to this I now wish I could have met Audrey Hepburn. it's good to know that this biography has the endorsement of her sons. What an insight. I feel like I have gotten to know Audrey and to admire her even more now. I will watch her films with a greater appreciation of her life now. I miss her. Such grace light and love she had. The moon bent towards Audrey. ... xx

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  • Hayley
  • 11-11-21

More than just a memoir

I learnt so much from this book, about the war esp the Dutch involvement in the war. Today is Remembrance Day (Nov 11th) and it made the book so much more meaningful.

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  • Professional Gypsy
  • 08-27-19

Masterpiece

A masterpiece about remarkable persons living through hell. More than just a biography, it's a epic struggle through Nazi occupied Netherlands and a side of the war very rarely talked about. Wonderfully relatable thanks to the truthful and somber browns eyes and smile that is revered around the world. Brilliant!
The narrator did a great job with the dutch and encompassing the emotion of the story.