The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es

An Encounter With History

The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es is a remarkable true story of Lien, a Jewish girl who was eight years old in 1942 when she went into hiding in the Netherlands. Her life intersected with the author’s as she lived with his grandparents for part of the war.

This book is a tribute to all the innocents who perished. The author lists all the family members of Lien’s who perished during the Holocaust. It makes for grim reading. May we never forget.

The reader ‘experiences’ life through the eyes of an eight year old. These memories are then put into historical context through extensive research by Bart Van Es. We then have a comprehensive narrative.

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Lance: A Spirit Unbroken by Walter Stoffel

Die Hard: A Survivor

Lance: A Spirit Unbroken by Walter Stoffel is the most heart breaking book I have read in a long while. It is the true story of Lance, an abused Border Collie, and his rescue by the author and his wife. Lance’s story broke my heart, it made me angry, and filled me with love for a dog that I will never know and it made me cry. I knew what was coming but what I didn’t expect was the emotional attachment I had made to Lance during the book and the tears I would cry. I felt bereaved as the book ended, as if a part of me was missing. I really connected with Lance: A Spirit Unbroken.

I am full of admiration for Walter Stoffel and his wife. They went above and beyond the extra mile when they rescued Lance. This book is as much a tribute to their love and perseverance as it is to Lance’s will to survive.

Abused for ten years this poor dog should have been dead but Lance’s strength of will and spirit is truly amazing. A lesser dog would have given in.

This book is a love story – a great love by a couple for a poor dog who had only known cruelty and abuse. The love shines out from the pages. I ‘caught’ the love for Lance. I did not know him before reading the book but now I do, such is the power of Walter Stoffel’s writing.

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Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard

A Beacon Of Hope

 Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard is the most heart-warming true story of a long distance runner and a little stray dog in need of a home.

The story is about love. At times it was lacking in the lives of both the author and Gobi. They recognized a need in each other.

Gobi is a little dog with a huge personality. “Any dog that tough deserves a happy ending.” She is a fighter with a sense of loyalty.

Gobi attached herself to Dion Leonard whilst he was competing in a long distance race in China which took in the Gobi desert and hence the name. Gobi saw something attractive in Dion Leonard and by the race’s end, they were inseparable.

A decision to bring Gobi home to Edinburgh required grit, determination, sacrifice and money but “When it comes to family, you don’t count the cost.”

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A Very British Christmas by Rhodri Marsden

Poking Fun At Traditions

A Very British Christmas by Rhodri Marsden is a light hearted look at the traditions of a British Christmas.

The book is split into twelve chapters loosely following the twelve days of Christmas but looking at twelve different traditions. Each chapter has anecdotal stories included. Some are highly amusing, some are sad and some are just plain bizarre.

Reading the book, I certainly noticed things we do as a family or that happened in my childhood.  I definitely laughed out loud at times. I had a nostalgic look back with the mention of Morecambe And Wise… a staple part of Christmas in the 1970’s.

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