So Much More Than Just Beautiful
Dutch Girl Audrey Hepburn And World War II by Robert Matzen is a comprehensive account of Audrey Hepburn’s teenage years in the Netherlands during WWII. It also touches on her life up until her death in 1993 aged just 63 years from abdominal cancer – a cruel end for a beautiful lady who gave so much.
Audrey Hepburn was ‘emotionally wounded’ by WWII saying, “It was worse than you could ever imagine.” Consequently her whole life was lived in its shadow. She involved herself in UNICEF and the plight of suffering children due to her experiences in the war.
Not only did the war years shape Audrey Hepburn but her love of dancing did. “I wanted to be Margot Fonteyn.” Audrey Hepburn gave concerts to raise money for the resistance. Following the war she ‘stumbled into acting.’
The war made the teenager into the woman we see on screen. She was incredibly brave and saw things no one should have to see. The faces of the Jewish men, women and children as they were herded into cattle cars would haunt her forever.
We see the elegant, beautiful woman on screen but Audrey Hepburn thought she was ugly and ungainly with large hands and feet as a teen. Her poise and beauty are what I remember Audrey Hepburn for – and none more so than her transformation in My Fair Lady.
Robert Matzen has produced an excellent account of both WWII in the Netherlands and Audrey Hepburn’s part in it. As a historian it was both fascinating and horrifying. As a fan of Audrey Hepburn I admire her even more after reading this book. Audrey Hepburn was so much more than just a beautiful face – she was incredibly brave and full of compassion. Thank you Robert Matzen for opening my eyes to the brave and very beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Thank you also for showing the true picture of WWII. We owe it to the six million innocents to keep their memory alive.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.