Historical Fiction

Book Review – The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel #20booksofsummer20

Book Details
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: None
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 7/21/2020
Pages: 400

Goodreads Synopsis –

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

My Opinion –

This is a beautifully written story that captured my attention and heart from the very first pages!

Eva is 86 years old when she sees “her book” staring back at her in an open magazine. It is her book, she can hardly believe her eyes and before she knows it she is on a flight to Berlin to see it in person.

More than sixty years earlier Eva is 23 years old when her world crashes around her. She and her family are living in Paris when her dad is forcibly removed from their home sending Eva and her mom fleeing to safety. They find solace in a small town where Eva plunges into the world of forfeiting identifications for children who need new identities in order to save their lives.

This book is a story of survival, endurance, and bravery. It emphasizes the importance of the forger during the war and the danger they put themselves in, all in an effort to save others. It is an intricate network of men and women all working together. They have to rely on and trust each other with their lives as well as those they are trying to save.

Kristin Harmel is a favorite author of mine. She never fails to wow me with amazing stories and I cannot wait to see what she writes next!

*Thank you Gallery Books for the opportunity to read and review this book via NetGalley for my honest opinion.

*Book 6/20 in the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge.

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22 thoughts on “Book Review – The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel #20booksofsummer20

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