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Two world-famous girls, one devastating war

Audrey & Anne

Jolien Janzing

Autumn, 1956. Otto Frank visits up-and-coming movie star Audrey Hepburn in the hopes of convincing her to play the role of his daughter in the movie ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’.

Spring, 1929. Audrey Hepburn and Anne Frank were both born in the same year, though they led very different lives. Audrey was born in Belgium to a Dutch baroness and a British fortune-seeker; Anne was born in Frankfurt am Main to a German merchant and his wife. Both came into contact with fascism, but the outcomes could not have been more different. Audrey’s parents sympathised with the Nazis and met Hitler in Munich. Anne’s parents were Jewish.

A piercing novel painting a picture of how wartime must have been like

Fate brought both girls to the Netherlands. Audrey’s father abandoned his family and she moved to a mansion in Arnhem. Anne’s family fled to Amsterdam. War was breaking out in Europe, but they hoped to be safe in the neutral Netherlands. Audrey celebrated her eleventh birthday in a free country, but when Anne turned eleven a few weeks later, Germans were marching through the streets. Suddenly, they were trapped.

In her historical novel, which is based on actual events, Janzing shines the spotlight on the childhoods of two of the greatest icons of the 20th century and on the wartime past of Audrey Hepburn and her parents.

A successful biographical novel, evocatively written
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