The Book of Lost Names

by Kristin Harmel

Book, 2021



Call number




Gallery Books (2021), 416 pages


Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the international bestselling author of the "epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale" (Alyson Noel, #1 New York Times bestselling author) The Winemaker's Wife . 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 R?my, 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 R?my disappears. An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network , The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member bell7
The story opens in 2005, when a book that had been looted by Nazis is found. Eva, a women in her eighties working at a library, recognizes it as the Book of Lost Names and, though she thought her past was far behind her, she decides to go back and get it. Then we're brought back to 1942, where
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young Eva Traube is living in Paris with her Polish Jewish parents, and her father is arrested in a roundup. Her art skills come in handy as she crafts new identity cards for her and her mother to travel to a small town in the Free Zone and hopefully to freedom in Switzerland. But then she meets Pere Clement and Remy, resistance workers who could use her skill in forgeries.

This is what I think of as historical fiction lite. It is researched, but it wears this lightly and isn't the focus of the story. The focus is, instead, on the characters' relationships, with the time frame more of a back drop than center stage. And while this sort of World War 2 fiction is very popular with my library patrons (and the book world in general, judging by the number of titles being turned out regularly), at this point in my reading life I'm looking for something with a little more meat to it. So when all Eva and her mother can talk about is that Eva's leaving behind their Jewish heritage but the only Jewish holiday that comes up is Hanukkah (twice), coincidences abound (I can't explain more without major spoilers), several characters' choices and motivations don't get explored, and I figure out a major plot twist early on, I'm left feeling like something's missing.
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LibraryThing member Liz1564
This novel was sent to me by the publisher Simon and Schuster via NetGalley. Thank you.

I must say that this is not the novel I expected to read. The title and blurb suggested that the focus of the novel would be how forged papers helped to not only save the lives of Jewish children during WWII, but
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also to preserve their true identities so that they could eventually be reunited with surviving relatives after the war. Instead, the book is mainly about two young college students who fall in love while they work together forging documents for not only the children, but also resistance fighters, downed Allied pilots, and others who need to escape occupied France.

It is a nice love story. Eve and her mother flee Paris in 1942 after they narrowly escape a Jewish roundup that captured Eve’s father. A tip from her father’s employer points them to a small mountain town that may be helping refugees and with little effort they arrive at Aurignon. By incredible luck, Eve is recruited by the parish priest who is impressed by the identity papers Eve forged for her mother and herself. In a library at the back of the church she meets Remy, a local young man, who is doing the same work. For the next three years, they work, fall in love, and contemplate a future with each other. Eve is conflicted because of their religious beliefs. Her mother keeps berating her for being interested in a Christian when there is a nice Jewish boy in the resistance who seems interested in the girl.

And so the novel goes. There are heroics and betrayals, but very little about the Jewish children being hidden in the town, In fact, there are only three scenes in the novel where children appear. Twice Eve briefly visits a home where she discusses the Wizard of Oz with a little girl and one scene where Eve becomes involved in an escape. That’s it. The coded book does not even feature much, except in the title. It is taken back to Germany by looters and is rediscovered 65 years after the war is over. So it was never actually used for its purpose, to match the new identities on the forged papers to the original names of the children so they could be reunited with surviving family members.

I was hoping for much more information about how the children got to the village. Who transported toddlers there? What were the back stories of their families. I wanted the satisfaction of Eve decoding the names and following the threads through postwar Europe as her efforts placed children back in the arms of loving relatives.

Instead, in 2005 Eve sees a picture of her book on a NY Times story and the very,very sprightly 86-year old boards a plane to Berlin to reclaim the book.

So, a nice love story with lots of history about forgers and how they worked. But maybe the title and blurb are a bit misleading,
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LibraryThing member alekee
A read that will linger and is full of emotions, mostly who will make it out alive!
A horrendous time in Europe and a hate for a religion that held no bounds, they cared not the age or sex of the individual and the infection spread to many sadly, no mater their religion or place in society. While
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there were those eager to turn in their fellow man, there were others that were willing to give their own lives to save others.
This story focus on a young woman Eve, and her struggle to survive, but what an amazing life she ends up living, and the sacrifices she makes, and we go along to meet others that come on her path. We are introduced to talented people whom are forgers, and what a vital part they played in the resistance and saving lives.
There are times when you will need tissues, and others will make you sigh, and there are a few chuckles here, and many moments of heart in your throat!
Make sure to read the author's notes at the end, and now I want to read some of her previous books, this one was that good!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Gallery Books, and was not required to give a positive review.
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LibraryThing member claudia.castenir
It is nice to know that midst all of the craziness, 2020 still has some special treasures to offer; The Book of Lost Names being one of them. This is my favorite book of the year thus far, and it will be difficult to unseat. Kristen Harmel fully emerges her readers in the life of Eva Traube,
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graduate student turned forger for the French Resistance. We get a glimpse of Eva's life as an eighty-six-year-old librarian in Florida, but most of the story takes place in the early 1940s in France. The book is well-researched, well-written, and quite emotional. I give it my highest recommendation, and am grateful to have received a copy from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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LibraryThing member eyes.2c

I must admit that the plight of Eva Traube unfolded before my mind's eye in startling detail, even if it was smudged in tones of grey with the occasional flashes of color.
Escaping Paris in 1942, a sliver ahead of the rounding up of Jewish Parisians by the Nazis, Eva makes her way to
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Aurignon, in the Free Zone.
By a set of twisted circumstances she ends up forging papers along with a fellow forgerer and Resistance member Rémy, for Jewish children being funnelled through to Swizerland. A local priest, Père Clément, is embedded in the program. Eva and Père's discussions about God and guilt and their efforts are touching parts of the story.
Eva is determined that as new identies are being forged for the children a list of their names should be kept. Using a mathematical code sequence, the Fibonacci sequence, she and Remy record the childrens'real identities in a religious text.
Spurred on by her mother's despairing voice that the Nazis were "erasing us, and we are helping them." It becomes "very important to [her] that they are not forgotten.”
Years later in 2005, now an elderly woman, widowed Eva Traube Abrams sees that particular tome, she referred to as The Book of Lost Names being discussed in an article about the looted books of Europe.
Now in the care of Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it's seen to contain mysterious markings. After sixty-five years Eva sights the book that had meant so much to her. Her decision whether to go Berlin or not to see for herself after all these years has her re-examining her buried memories from that time. As readers we join with her, swinging between those frenetic, fearful times and the present.
Lightly held, with just the right amount of emotion and understandings this is a fascinating look at dark times in World War II, and French history, particularly honing in on the dangerous work done by forgerers, capturing the uncertainty and dedication for many.

A Gallery Books ARC via NetGalley
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LibraryThing member SilversReviews
Was Eva seeing correctly? Did this newspaper article actually show the book she had used during the war to put children's names in that they had to change to protect their identity?

Eva had to go to Berlin immediately to claim it.

We now move from present day to 1942 where Eva and her Mother escape
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from Paris with documents she forged the morning after her father was arrested and taken to a prison camp.

Eva and her mother travel to Aurignon, France, on the advice of a friend where they found lodging and an observant owner that realizes their papers aren’t real.

That turned out well, though, because the owner was part of the French Resistance. Eva was asked to help forge travel documents and birth certificates for Jewish children.

Eva didn’t want to allow the children to be lost forever to their real names so she and Rémy invented a code that would keep the children anonymous but be able to know their real names some day.

The code they used was brilliant, and Eva saved many children.

Now that it is 65 years later she hopes to help find the children and let them know their real names.

THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES is another impressive Kristin Harmel gem.

It will grab your heart and pull you in.

Words cannot express the beauty of this book.

All I can say is you must read this book to appreciate it. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member deslivres5
Heartfelt WWII historical novel based in facts. Set mainly in 1940s France, but alternates some chapters in 2005 for the 60th anniversary of VE Day, the story of French Jewish graduate student Eva unfolds: from her life with her parents in Paris, to her having to flee during the roundup of French
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Jews to be detained in Drancy, to her desperate and brave work with the resistance and to her falling in love.

Eva's love of books is a critical theme throughout and will resonate with book lovers.
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LibraryThing member linda.marsheells
If you are a fan of historical fiction, particularly the WW2 era, this may be the book-to-read for 2020! Yep, it was that good in my opinion.
This is the story of Eva Traube, her parents, and loved ones as they struggle with the round-ups of Jews, the search for hiding spots and the ultimate
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question of trust. Most importantly is the on-going story of resistance.....namely the forgers of new documentation for those on the run. This is Eva's area of expertise. The book of lost names-her creation.
The difference between this and the multitudes of other similarly themed books, is the breath-holding "oh no" gasps that just don't seem to end till the book does!
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LibraryThing member bereanna
I’ve read so many great books lately, that this one may deserve a higher rating, because I was engrossed in the forgery aspect of falsifying documents in WWII France from the first pages. Love story here was sweet and the characters realistic and fleshed out.
LibraryThing member Nora_Reads
This book made me cry! An amazing story of a woman who is willing to risk everything for those she loves, for what she believes to be good and right. Absolutely wonderful.
LibraryThing member thewanderingjew
The Book of Lost Names, Kristin Harmel, author; Madeline Maby, narrator
This book is touted as historic fiction. It takes place during WWII and the Holocaust. I read a lot about this topic, and I was encouraged, at first, by the attempt to show that the Church was not always anti-Semitic. It had
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actually, actively intervened and engaged in helping Jewish children to escape from the Fascists. I did wonder, however, if they helped the Jewish children in order to proselytize them, since the book indicates that no effort was made, initially, to identify them appropriately so that they could be returned to their families at the end of the war, if a relative survived. Presumably, there was no widespread knowledge of “death camps” at that time, so why not?
When the novel begins, an 87 year old librarian, Eva Traube Abrams, discovers an article about a book that has been found in a Paris library, a book that has been missing for more than six decades. During WWII, she and another man had created this book. It contained a code that was intended to be used to identify the children they rescued, so that after the war they could reunite them with their families.
When Eva’s father was arrested, Eva and her mother fled to Paris and made it to the Free Zone. With the help of her father’s friend, Eva had used her artistic talent to forge papers giving them new identities. She then used this talent and became the Underground’s forger, creating documents that provided new identities for Jewish children who were then smuggled into Switzerland and freedom.
Working for the Underground, Eva and Remy, a fellow forger, fall madly in love with each other. Their relationship feels like a high school crush and her behavior seems a bit out of character. Often a four year old or six year old makes a comment that seems to have more common sense and a more adult philosophy than Eva did. As a character, I found the very young Eva, a bit too arrogant, while at the same time, also very naïve. It was a contradiction in her personality. I kept thinking would the real Eva please stand up! It was hard to identify her age. At times, she seemed like an uninformed teenager or a spoiled brat, but then so did her mother. They seemed to be in an alternate reality, neither quite comprehending the real danger they were facing nor the real danger they had escaped. They seemed utterly out of touch with events, and their expectations and actions often forced the reader to suspend disbelief.
Fortunately, the book is about forging documents during the war, and it is not about real people. I cannot believe that someone who had escaped the clutches of the Nazis would have so often behaved so thoughtlessly, endangering others. She seemed to be rather selfish, satisfying her own needs above all, and although she was often exposed to extreme danger, she seemed unaware and yet escaped unharmed. In reality, I believe the character would have been caught, tortured and possibly executed.
The depiction of Eva Traube’s mother, Mamusia, was a caricature of a Jewish mother, in the worst light. The author paints her as constantly shaming and blaming Eva, filling her with guilt for actions that should have been praised. While the jokes about Jewish mothers may sometimes elicit laughs, this book did not. Mamusia seems like an ungrateful bigot who rejects those of other religions entirely and has no appreciation for the risks her daughter takes on her behalf or on the behalf of orphans. Her husband, Tatus, on the other hand, is painted as a compassionate, open-minded individual who holds no prejudices against those of other religions. At that time, and in some circles today, that is completely untrue. Decades after the war, I had an uncle who sat Shiva for his daughter when she married out of the religion. He threatened to commit suicide, as well. Actually, even Eva’s eventual marriage is kind of a fairy tale that defies reality.
I question the message the author wishes to impart to her audience as she tells this story. Why did she make the person who ultimately betrays the members of the underground, destroying their network and their rescue effort, a man with a Judaic background? Why did she portray Jews as so shallow and self absorbed while the Christians were heroic in all their deeds? I do not think that this book would educate the reader on the plight of the Jew during WWII nor would it endear the reader to their need for a homeland. On the whole they seemed backward and utterly selfish which is an unkind picture of their reality.
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LibraryThing member repb
An excellent story; gripping and sad - but realistic. Saving Jews - mainly children - from extermination by the Nazis during the tail end of WWII. Only fault I might have is the repetitious episodes of our heroine and her mother - and the deadly chances she took. A bit too predictive - I am happy
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it ended the way I hoped it would.
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LibraryThing member susan0316
The Book of Lost Names solidifies Kristin Harmel's place as one of the top writers of historic fiction about strong women during WWII. I would give 10 stars to this book if I could. Her book is based on real people and she ties that in with comprehensive research and we have a chance to read a
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fantastic book that won't soon be forgotten.

Eva, a semi-retired librarian in her 80s is shelving books and sees a newspaper picture of a book that she immediately recognizes. It's a book that she hasn't seen in over 60 years and she refers to it as 'the book of lost names'. Much to her son's disapproval, she immediately books travel to Munich to see the real book. The German librarian who wrote the article discussed that many books had been taken back to Germany by the Nazis and he was trying to find the original owners. He also mentioned that there was some sort of code in the book and he had no idea what it was. But Eva knew what the code was - she had written those codes in that book during the war when she lived in France.

This is a book about love and war, friendship and family and endangering your own life to help other people. The characters are well written and the story line is intriguing. Plus I learned some history that I'd never known. I knew that children were sent to safe places without their parents but not about them changing their names or about the importance of forgeries during the war. This was a wonderful book and is now on my list of favorite books about strong women in WWII. Eva is a character that I won't soon forget.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member pennykaplan
Eva Traub is Jewish and an English Literature student at the Sorbonne in Germany occupied Paris during WW2. Her father is arrested in an round-up of Jews, and she and her mother escape to a mountain village in southeastern France. There she joins the Resistance forging documents to help Jews escape
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to neutral France. Told in two voices, one young Eva Traub and the other 60 years later when she is a librarian in Florida. Strong romantic line with her love for a Catholic. Happy ending, but still a sad episode of history. Based in fact. Recommended.
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LibraryThing member Romonko
This book is about the French Resistance and the official official document forgers who worked in secret in occupied France during WWII, But first and foremost this is a timeless love story about two young people who meet while they are working with the French Resistance. The love they share lasts
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for sixty years. Both go on to other lives after the war, but they never forget the other person or ever give up hope they will reunite. Eva Traube is a young Jewish woman who lives in Paris with her parents when the war breaks out. Her family is split apart when the Germans come and take her father. Eva and her mother manage to avoid the roundup and they go on the run in order to try to reach freedom in Switzerland. On the way they make a stop in the north-eastern part of France and discover a whole network of French citizens who are actively working for the Aurignan. Eva is a skilled artist and finds she has a talent for forgery and for copying official stamps, so she is drawn in by a Catholic priest to help with the forging of documents, mostly for French children who have been left orphans. Remy is also French and he is a Catholic. These two star-crossed lovers meet in the back of a Catholic church where they do all their fine forgery work, and fall in love. The story begins and ends with a book - The Book of Lost Names. Eva and Remy use an old religious text as a code for keeping track of the real names of the children they help, The book also has the cross-reference to the fake name that that they are each given before they are taken to safety in Switzerland by member of the Resistance. We skip back and forth between the war years of 1942 to 1947 and to 2005 where we meet an elderly Eva Traube who is now Eva Abrams and she is living in the States where she has married, had a son, and become a widow. When the old Book of Lost Names resurfaces in 2005, Eva knows she has to go back to Europe to retrieve it. The book kept me engrossed right through, and the love story it encompasses is timeless and wonderful. I heartily recommend you read this book that embodies the strength of the human spirit, the eternal love held dear between two people, and the courageousness of those who fought against the Nazis in their own way. "Epouse-moi. Je t'aims." The final code in the book of lost names - "Marry me. I love you"
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LibraryThing member VashonJim
An enthralling look at heroic figures who forged documents in Nazi-occupied France, helping thousands to escape to safety. It is also a love story about Eva and Remy, two forgers who found love amidst the ruins. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
LibraryThing member HeatherLINC
What a great read this turned out to be! The last quarter was nail-biting and I was on tenterhooks as the danger intensified in the little town of Aurignon. From the start, I was captivated by Eva's story as she and others, such as Père Clément, Rémy, Geneviève, Madame Barbier, Madame Travere,
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Madame Noirot and Erich risked their lives to save Jews from the tightening clutches of the Nazis. Their courage, tenaciousness, resourcefulness and compassion were shining lights in an otherwise dark, terrifying world.

Throughout the novel the only character I didn't like was Eva's mother. There were times I wanted to slap her for the cruel words she flung at the daughter and for not understanding the danger she, and the people around her, were facing. I could understand her grief but not her inability to face reality or accept her daughter's drive to help others.

Based on fact, I found the forging of fake identity documents fascinating. Eva's determination to record the hundreds of children whose names were changed, so their pasts would be preserved, was incredibly moving. So many children, so much heartache! Yet, so many saved thanks to the bravery of others. I also loved that Eva was a librarian and passionate about books. I, too, am a librarian and share her passion, and have witnessed the magic that occurs when the right book is placed into the right hands at the right time.

"The Book of Lost Names" is a novel I would highly recommend to lovers of romantic, historical fiction. By the end, I was in tears and I will definitely be looking for other books by this author.
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LibraryThing member Bookish59
Equal parts WWII resistance story and romance. Eva and her mother flee to Aurignon to escape nazis who have already captured her father. From there they plan on heading to the safety of Switzerland, but life has other plans for Eva.

The small town is part of a resistance network hiding Jewish
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children, and transporting them to Switzerland where they will be adopted or remain until it is safe for them to return to their families in France, if any of their families survive. The town needs Eva's artistic skills to create fake documents for so many children. For the next few years Eva learns much about about herself, her committment to saving people, and about love.

Excellent book about a how a person can grow brave and determined under unfathomable circumstances.

I enjoyed reading this book that felt like a Young Adult novel.
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LibraryThing member arthistorychick
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
Source: NetGalley and Gallery Books
Rating: 5 stars

In 1942, Eva was a young lady working her way through school and towards a career in literature. As a Jew living in Paris, Eva never imagined her entire world would come crashing down in the blink of an eye.
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Nevertheless, Eva’s world does upend the moment her father is arrested by the Nazis and she and her mother are forced to run.

Eva and her mother’s escape is nothing short of miraculous and it all has to do with their faked papers. The two women, both terrified and alone, find themselves in a small town within the so-called free zone. Hoping to rest and formulate a plan for rescuing her father, Eva nor her mother have any intention of staying in one place for too long. The risk is great, and the danger is very real. Though Eva doesn’t know it, word of her excellently forged documents has reached the local priest and when he finally approaches Eva, it is with an offer she finds both difficult to accept and difficult to refuse.

Forging papers in a Nazi-controlled world is madness, but Eva has the skill and along with her lone helper, Rémy they are able to churn out documents that will allow hidden Jewish children to get safely to Switzerland. The hours are long, the work is grueling, and the documents must be impeccable if they are to pass Nazi inspections. As if all this weren’t enough, Eva does this work knowing her mother disagrees with the assignment and routinely reminds Eva of her unfulfilled promise to recover her father. For Eva, the work is something she feels she must do, a task that is seemingly small but has tremendous ramifications for the children who are saved. Aside from the ever-present fear of being caught, Eva’s greatest concern is the children losing their own Jewish identity in order to make their escape possible.

As Eva’s life and work trudges on in the small town, the war rages on all around them and the threat of discovery is always looming. Rémy takes on a new and far more dangerous role within the resistance network and Eva welcomes a new partner. As the end of the war nears, the situation for Eva and her mother become desperate and desperate measures are taken. Outside of her mother, father, and Rémy, Eva’s greatest care is that the names of the children she has helped save never fall into the hands of the Nazis. To protect the book is to protect the innocent and Eva will do almost anything to ensure its safety.

The Bottom Line: Once again, I have found myself drawn to a Nazi-era/Holocaust read. Once again, I have myself sucked into one of Kristin Harmel’s exquisite reads and regret nothing. What a book this turned out to be! I found myself furiously turning pages as I became completely engrossed in this story. Eva’s life is extraordinary in the most horrific way, yet she deals with the challenges, the fear, the disapproval, and the danger with grace and humility. Eva’s journey is harrowing and as she comes ever closer to danger the pace of the book increases. Lest you think this is only a sad recounting of one family’s struggle during World War II, rest assured, there is an HEA and it is so worth all the danger, the fear, and the years that have passed. Once again, Harmel has woven a desperately beautiful story that reminds us of true evil and the wonderful bits of humanity, love, and grace that face down that evil and triumph over it.
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LibraryThing member EllenH
This is the second book I've read by this author, both set in WWII. I very much liked the history, story, and premise. This was a great read, it was well researched, has history of some of the document forging necessary at the time along with some romance along with the terrible things that
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happened in France during WWII. The Nazis were deporting the Jews to camps and there were heroic measures by the resistance and French citizens to help victims escape. As with her other book it is based on things that actually happened, but not the actual characters, so for me, that was a very minor defect. Her depiction of the time period seems very accurate though.
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LibraryThing member shazjhb
Excellent book. A piece of history well told.
LibraryThing member Jthierer
it isn't entirely the fault of this book, that I didn't care for it (I suspect I'm just burnt. out. on WW2 novels at this point) so I'm rounding up to three stars on this one. The plot and writing are definitely on the simplistic side, but things move along quickly and I was admittedly interested
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in how the book would end.
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LibraryThing member lilibrarian
When Eva and her mother escape the roundup of Jews in Paris, they flee to a small town where Eva becomes involved in a resistance group, forging documents to smuggle Jewish children out of the country to safety.
LibraryThing member khoyt
As long as I draw a breath, I will never tire of WWII novels. I am always so amazed at the strength of ordinary people and their ability to do extraordinary things. This novel highlights forgers who saved tens of thousands of lives with their artistic abilities. Entire towns hid refugees from the
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Nazis. No matter how dark the days, nor how dire the circumstances, God raises His people to work together for good. He lets in hope, kindness, and mercy to comfort those who are suffering.
Kristen Harmel has included all the necessary ingredients to make for an exciting read: Resistance fighters, drama, intrigue, a range of emotions, faith, human kindness as well as the atrocities humans can commit. Even some homage to"Romeo and Juliette" is thrown into the mix.
I am ready to read more from this talented writer.
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LibraryThing member mrstreme
One time, a woman commented that authors should stop writing about World War II, implying it was an overused setting that has been thoroughly explored by fiction and non-fiction writers. While we do have lots of World War II fiction out there, I am grateful for these books because with each story,
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I learn something new. In the case of The Book of Lost Names, I learned about forgers--people who forged documents for Jewish refugees, resistance fighters, and others trying to get away from the Nazis.

What's extraordinary about World War II is that common, ordinary people did extraordinary things every day, not only to survive, but to help others survive too. That's the case for this story's main character, Eva. A young Jewish woman who fled Paris with her mother to Vichy France, Eva uses her artistic skills to forge stamps and documents to help Jewish children escape to Switzerland. She meets a cast of other brave people, from the local priest to the local bookseller, who all play a role in the shuttling of Jewish children to neutral Switzerland.

An important theme in The Book of Lost Names is how to protect your identity when it's dangerous to do so. It made me think about how many people who lived during World War II lost so much, including their own identity, just to survive. It's remarkable to think about.

This is a fast-paced book with a love story sprinkled in, and if you are looking to learn more about World War II, be sure to add The Book of Lost Names to your to-read list.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

416 p.; 8.25 inches


198213190X / 9781982131906
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