The Book of Lost Names
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 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. 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.

The Book of Lost Names Details

TitleThe Book of Lost Names
Author
ReleaseJul 21st, 2020
PublisherGallery Books
ISBN-139781982131890
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

The Book of Lost Names Review

  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a historical fiction that goes between 2005 (Eva in the present) and the 1940's (Eva in the past). This book is all about WWII when Germany takes over Paris, France. Eva is a Jewish girl that lived in Paris. This book will stay with me for so long. It will touch your heart. Eva is a girl that loves book that after the war become a librarian, but during the war she helped Jewish kids escape France to safe their life. She used The Book of Lost Name to help her remember all the kids re This book is a historical fiction that goes between 2005 (Eva in the present) and the 1940's (Eva in the past). This book is all about WWII when Germany takes over Paris, France. Eva is a Jewish girl that lived in Paris. This book will stay with me for so long. It will touch your heart. Eva is a girl that loves book that after the war become a librarian, but during the war she helped Jewish kids escape France to safe their life. She used The Book of Lost Name to help her remember all the kids real names. This book has sadness, l0ve, misunderstanding, and so much more. If you loved The Nightingale you will love this or if you love historical fiction books about WWII Paris France books. I loved this book so much, and this book should get a million stars. This is one of the best historical fiction books I have read. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher or author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is schedule to be release on July 21-2020.
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  • Karren Sandercock
    January 1, 1970
    May 2005, Eva Traube is in her 80’s and she enjoys working part time at her local library and she spends most of her time shelving books. One day she is shocked to see an article in a magazine, it’s about how the Nazis stole or destroyed priceless books from Berlin libraries during WW II, in the article was a photo of a book that was precious to Eva 65 years ago and she never thought she would ever see it again. Paris 1942, Eva lives happily with her mother Faiga and father Tatus, once the Germa May 2005, Eva Traube is in her 80’s and she enjoys working part time at her local library and she spends most of her time shelving books. One day she is shocked to see an article in a magazine, it’s about how the Nazis stole or destroyed priceless books from Berlin libraries during WW II, in the article was a photo of a book that was precious to Eva 65 years ago and she never thought she would ever see it again. Paris 1942, Eva lives happily with her mother Faiga and father Tatus, once the German’s arrive every day life is made more difficult for Jewish citizens and living in Paris is very hard. Despite being warned about a roundup of Jewish people Eva’s parents believe they are safe and one night during a raid only Tatus is taken into custody. Tatus has told Eva what to do if something happens to him, she’s to contact a man her father has organized to help her, he’s nervous, and he gives her some papers and makes her leave.Eva and her mother escape to a little town called Aurignon in the free zone, using their new identity papers she altered and they find a place to stay at a small boarding house. Eva discovers from her desperation to save her mother and leave Paris, she’s has a talent for forgery and she can help others and the French resistance. Her years of watching her father repair type writers, she has learnt to type and she has a unique skill. Give her the correct paper, ink and pens, Eva can easily create fake identity papers, birth certificates, ration cards, travel documents and copy signatures. Eva's sweet mother has changed by the loss of her husband and she is now an angry, bitter, difficult women and she thinks Eva should be concentrating on trying to save her father. If she helps the resistance group, her mother has a place to stay and she feels like she is doing her part to get back at the Germans and she can’t do anything to help her father.Eva spends her time at the local church with Pere Clement a priest, Remy a fellow forger and together they create new identities for hundreds of Jewish people escaping to Switzerland. Eva notices that many of the new identities are for young Jewish children who are not escaping with their parents, they are too young to remember their real names and how will anyone, find them when the war ends? Eva comes up with the idea to use a secret code called Fibonacci Sequence that only she and Remy understand, they use an eighteenth century religious book to keep a record of the children’s names and they refer to it as The book Of Lost Names.Sixty five years later, Eva must face her past to be reunited with her precious book that was taken from a church library during the end of the Second World War and she thought she would never see it again.The Book of Lost Names, has a dual time line that’s very easy to follow, the story is a about sacrifice, duty, friendship, honor, betrayal and lost love. This is the first book I have read by Kristin Harmel and I look forward to reading The Winemaker’s Wife as it will soon be available in Australia as an eBook and I have pre-ordered it. What a brilliant book, five stars from me and if you like to read historical WW II fiction I highly recommend The Book of Lost Names. I have shared my review on Goodreads, Twitter, Edelweiss, Kobo and my blog. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    A captivating historical fiction story full of bravery and resilience.SUMMARYEva Traube was forced to flee Paris in 1942 with her mother after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. She finds a refuge in a church in a small mountain town in the Free Zone. There she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to Switzerland. In erasing these children’s identity Eva knows she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are perhaps too young to remember who the A captivating historical fiction story full of bravery and resilience.SUMMARYEva Traube was forced to flee Paris in 1942 with her mother after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. She finds a refuge in a church in a small mountain town in the Free Zone. There she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to Switzerland. In erasing these children’s identity Eva knows she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are perhaps too young to remember who they really are. She and Remy, her forging partner, keep records of the children secretly coded in a eighteenth century religious book she now calls The Book of Lost Names. Eva survives the war and now over 65 years later, She is a semi-retired librarian in Florida. It is at the Library that she spies a photograph of her book from 1942, The Book of Lost Names along with thousands of other valuable books had been looted by the Germans in the final days of the war and it is now housed in a Berlin library. At 86, Eva questions whether she has the strength to revisit old memories And see the book again. REVIEWTHE BOOK OF LOST NAMES is a tension-filled and thought-proving World War II historical fiction drama. Eva’s character is a strong, smart and resilient woman, who is the pillar of the story. Her character is well-developed and the dialog is delightful. This riveting story is as smartly structured as the code in Eva’s secret book. The writing is engaging and evocative and transports us to Paris and the fictional town of Aurignon, South of Vichy during the height of the war. You can’t go wrong with this engaging story of bravery and perseverance. If you liked The Lilac Girls or The Alice Network you will love this oneAuthor Kristen Harmel is a international best selling author of numerous books including The Winemaker’s Wife and The Room on Rue Amélie. Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her family. Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Publisher Gallery BooksPublished July 21, 2020Review www.bluestockingreviews.com
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    During WWII, forgers played important role in the Resistance. It was a network of “brave people who used their artistic ability and scientific ingenuity to produce convincing documents that allowed innocent people to survive.”Florida, 2005. Eva Traube, librarian, comes across an article talking about a book, which she thought had vanished forever.Paris, 1942. Eva is pursuing her doctorate in English literature. Her father, Polish-born Jew, is arrested. But before that he arranged with his employ During WWII, forgers played important role in the Resistance. It was a network of “brave people who used their artistic ability and scientific ingenuity to produce convincing documents that allowed innocent people to survive.”Florida, 2005. Eva Traube, librarian, comes across an article talking about a book, which she thought had vanished forever.Paris, 1942. Eva is pursuing her doctorate in English literature. Her father, Polish-born Jew, is arrested. But before that he arranged with his employer for fake documents for Eva in order for her to escape to the free zone in Switzerland. Since she has to escape with her mother now, she is given blank documents and supplies to forge their own documents. From Paris, they travel east, toward the Alps and make a stop in Aurignon. Where, even though their papers are very legible looking, there is something else that gives them away. Now, a Catholic priest asks Eva for help in forging papers for Jewish children. He convinces her to do this “artistic endeavors” in order “to move toward a life of freedom.” Her mother wants to continue toward the free zone. Eva is torn. With her work materializing on a page in front of her, “hope floats up within her.” She feels it within her that she is doing a good work and the right one. Her father’s words “Who will remember us?” bring up a concern. Who will remember the real names of the Jewish children for whom she is forging the documents and who are too young to remember later their real names. Her partner in forgery, Remy, comes up with a brilliant idea. His love for math and the Fibonacci sequence give him an idea how to code real names without putting any one in danger.Written with so much humanity. There is so much love and caring breathed into the characters, making it one of the most endearing and beautiful stories. You can also feel the pain of those who lost the love ones. You can sense Eva’s hesitation. She wants to do the right thing by her mother and the right thing dictated by her heart. But her mother’s different thinking doesn’t make it easy for her. Helping the children makes Eva feel like she “can bring some light to the world, even in the midst of all the darkness.” The description of the town brings so much of visible charm. I was also enchanted by the invisible charm of the closeness of people working together, being part of a network which helps hundreds of innocent children, who some lost their parents, to escape the injustice inflicted upon them.I enjoyed the magical description of the town so much that I wanted to locate it on a map. As it turns out, it’s a fictional town. I understand it gives any writer more freedom, who doesn’t have to worry about town’s accuracy. But setting it in a real town makes it a more credible story. That’s the only thing I wished was different about this book.This spellbinding page-turner doesn’t bring atrocity of WWII and despite the horror and injustice of the war, the author manages to create such heart-warming story of network of people who risk their own lives to save others. The story brings such characters one cares deeply for and who take a reader on an extraordinary journey of courage, faith and bravery. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON JULY 22.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?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. This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an ho FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON JULY 22.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?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. This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    Once again, Ms Harmel has hit a home run with this WWII historical fiction! We begin this story meeting an elderly librarian in Florida as she sees an image of a book that she has not seen in decades! The image and article is of a book that our librarian used to log the names of Jewish children that had been smuggled out of France. The story takes off from there...The story is told in alternating timelines and it is easy to follow. When we are in our current time period, I kept thinking, "Let's Once again, Ms Harmel has hit a home run with this WWII historical fiction! We begin this story meeting an elderly librarian in Florida as she sees an image of a book that she has not seen in decades! The image and article is of a book that our librarian used to log the names of Jewish children that had been smuggled out of France. The story takes off from there...The story is told in alternating timelines and it is easy to follow. When we are in our current time period, I kept thinking, "Let's get back to 1942/43". This was a wonderful book that kept me on the edge of my seat for a few days. I loved it and that is why I gave it 4 Stars! I did take 1 star away because I really would have liked to have focused more on the names of the children in present day. Perhaps that is her next book!!!!!My thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for this advanced readers copy. This book is due to release in July 2020.
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  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    What a beautiful story! I read the 10 first chapters of this historical novel and stopped, waiting for the paper version to be released because I wanted to slowly enjoyed this beautiful story.I kept thinking about what would happen to Eva and her mother, so I decided to continue reading my ARC ecopy. The story goes between now (2005) and the 1940's with Eva living in Paris, moving to the fictional city of Aurignon, as the main character. Eva is working as a forger for the Resistance. I was curio What a beautiful story! I read the 10 first chapters of this historical novel and stopped, waiting for the paper version to be released because I wanted to slowly enjoyed this beautiful story.I kept thinking about what would happen to Eva and her mother, so I decided to continue reading my ARC ecopy. The story goes between now (2005) and the 1940's with Eva living in Paris, moving to the fictional city of Aurignon, as the main character. Eva is working as a forger for the Resistance. I was curious about the Fibonacci sequence, it’s something I wasn’t aware of and it’s pretty interesting.I loved the end, it’s so touching.One of my favourite 2020 read.My thanks to Netgalley, Simon and Schuster Canada and Gallery Books for this advanced readers copy. This book is due to release in July 2020.
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  • Genevieve Graham
    January 1, 1970
    As author Kristin Harmel so neatly states, "one of my favourite things about writing about the war [WW2] is that I'm able to dig deep into subjects many of us may not be familiar with." So true! There is a treasure trove of novels set during that time period, but only the ones that contain thorough and careful research - novels like "The Book of Lost Names" - stand out. I have read a great deal about the French Resistance, but I had never really considered the forgers and the incredibly importan As author Kristin Harmel so neatly states, "one of my favourite things about writing about the war [WW2] is that I'm able to dig deep into subjects many of us may not be familiar with." So true! There is a treasure trove of novels set during that time period, but only the ones that contain thorough and careful research - novels like "The Book of Lost Names" - stand out. I have read a great deal about the French Resistance, but I had never really considered the forgers and the incredibly important role they had to play in the war. I was captivated by the inner workings of their network from the beginning of Eva's journey into that world, and I stayed up late into the night along with her as she worked. And of course there is a love story - a beautiful story of two people whose lives are twisted again and again by fate, and by their choices to sacrifice for the greater good. Definitely recommend.Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with the book for an honest, unbiased review.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    THE BOOK OF LOST NAMESBY KRISTIN HARMELThis book was very similar to a book I recently read and reviewed early called, "The Paris Children," by Gloria Goldreich." It also was about a woman fleeing Paris during occupied France to the Southern free zone to forge documents for children to be led across the mountains to be free in Switzerland. The only difference was in "The Paris Children," the children were to travel further to Pakistan. In this novel in the Author's Note she also drew much of her THE BOOK OF LOST NAMESBY KRISTIN HARMELThis book was very similar to a book I recently read and reviewed early called, "The Paris Children," by Gloria Goldreich." It also was about a woman fleeing Paris during occupied France to the Southern free zone to forge documents for children to be led across the mountains to be free in Switzerland. The only difference was in "The Paris Children," the children were to travel further to Pakistan. In this novel in the Author's Note she also drew much of her research on a book called, "Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger's Life by Sarah Kaminsky among others. In "The Paris Children," Kaminsky is mentioned in the text as a character where one of the forgers in the resistance once worked besides to gain knowledge in how to forge documents. Both books are inspired by true stories and it is highly coincidental that I read both almost back to back.This one was about an almost retired librarian living in Florida and one day as she is shelving books she spots an article where she sees a photograph of an 18th century religious book that goes on to say that there was much looting across Europe done by the Nazi's and she recognizes that the image in the article is the book of lost names that she hasn't seen in 65 years.She was known back then as Eva who is earning her PhD when a young man named Joseph comes up to her in Paris warning her that the Nazi's are rounding up thousands of Jews and sending them to work camps. A couple of days later her father tells her that if anything happens he has paid his friend enough money for her and her mother to get false documents that will get them to safety in Switzerland. A few nights pass and that dreadful knock on the door comes and her father is arrested. Her and her mother visit that friend and he helps them but they go to Southern France where they stay. For the next year and a half Eva is involved in forging false documents for the masses until it is no longer safe to remain where they are. A priest had recruited Eva and she was first forging documents with a young man named Remy. Her mother never approved of the work Eva was doing. Her mother remains heartbroken over the loss of her husband Eva's father.Eva had gone back to Paris within two days with Remy as her guide to Drancy to inquire about her father with fake paper's with a ruse to free him saying he was part Argentinian but when they arrived at Drancy they are told her father was already put on an eastward train bound for an extermination camp.This was very much like "The Paris Children," also how many French gendarmes sold or traded the names of good French Jewish people doing important work who were betrayed by their own people. I thought this was also a well written story but felt as if I had read it already. This one was a little lighter as it had a happy ending.Thank you to Net Galley, Kristin Harmel and Simon & Schuster Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.Publication Date: July 21, 2020#TheBookOfLostNames #KristenHarmel #Simon&SchusterPublishing #NetGalley
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I flew through most of this book in a single sitting and then spent the last 10-15% absolutely sobbing, so that should give you a good indication of how much I loved this book.I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and a book set during WW2 can hardly ever go wrong. This book started a bit slow but really picks up once the main character, Eva, is forced to flee Paris with her mother after the arrest of her father and the larger roundup of Jews by the Nazis. She finds eventual refuge in an underg I flew through most of this book in a single sitting and then spent the last 10-15% absolutely sobbing, so that should give you a good indication of how much I loved this book.I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and a book set during WW2 can hardly ever go wrong. This book started a bit slow but really picks up once the main character, Eva, is forced to flee Paris with her mother after the arrest of her father and the larger roundup of Jews by the Nazis. She finds eventual refuge in an underground network, forging documents for children who are being smuggled out of the country and into safety.In general, the story reminded me a lot of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, in regards to a female main character in France joining a network devoted to helping Jewish people escape and survive. I absolutely loved the occasional cuts to the present-day, as Eva, now well into her eighties, recognizes a book in a newspaper article that calls her back to the past. (And the ending! Ah! My favourite.) That's a framing device The Nightingale also uses, and I think it's a really clever move to keep readers engaged and curious to see what happens next. Really, I just loved this novel a lot. Its characters were full and complex and it was heartbreaking to read at times, knowing the likely outcome of those taken away by Nazis. This was my first time reading a book by Kristin Harmel, though I've heard rave reviews for The Winemaker's Wife, and I am definitely going to dip into her backlist. Highly, highly recommend.An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nicola Short
    January 1, 1970
    What a heartwarming WWII historical fiction. The story rotates between two time periods, the 1940’s and 2005 and revolve around one main character, Eva.I strongly recommend you read this beautifully written book if you are interested in stories about WWII.This is a book that will surely touch your heart ♥️ I did not want the book to end.....Quote from the book: “those who realize that books are magic....will have the brightest of lives.”Thank you to NetGallery, the publisher and author for the o What a heartwarming WWII historical fiction. The story rotates between two time periods, the 1940’s and 2005 and revolve around one main character, Eva.I strongly recommend you read this beautifully written book if you are interested in stories about WWII.This is a book that will surely touch your heart ♥️ I did not want the book to end.....Quote from the book: “those who realize that books are magic....will have the brightest of lives.”Thank you to NetGallery, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest opinion.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 for this book. I always enjoy Kristin Harmel’s WWII books, the premise of this one was about Eva- a young girl escaping France with her mother helping others with forgery documents. Very interesting to learn about and I was so deeply invested in these characters. I loved Eva. She’s a book lover so I loved her even more. This book had a bit of everything- romance, family drama, history with a hint of mystery. What I didn’t like was the ending- I felt like I was just left hanging. The story co 3.5 for this book. I always enjoy Kristin Harmel’s WWII books, the premise of this one was about Eva- a young girl escaping France with her mother helping others with forgery documents. Very interesting to learn about and I was so deeply invested in these characters. I loved Eva. She’s a book lover so I loved her even more. This book had a bit of everything- romance, family drama, history with a hint of mystery. What I didn’t like was the ending- I felt like I was just left hanging. The story could have went on, there was more but it just abruptly ended. Also, through the middle there was a lot of repetition. Some more focus on the 2005 timeline would have nice too and with the son. Overall, I enjoyed it and liked learning about this piece of the war I didn’t know much about. Thanks to Netgalley for my advanced ebook copy.
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  • Chelsie
    January 1, 1970
    Eva Traube has been given word from a friend that there is to be a mass round up of Jews. Thousands! She is a little hesitant, as these rumors have been crossing lips the last few months and as of yet they have not heard or saw of anything happening. She tells her mother and father, and her father sets Eva up with a plan if something were to happen. But he kind of brushes it off also.One morning, the neighbor woman asks them to watch her children, she needs to take her mother to the doctor and n Eva Traube has been given word from a friend that there is to be a mass round up of Jews. Thousands! She is a little hesitant, as these rumors have been crossing lips the last few months and as of yet they have not heard or saw of anything happening. She tells her mother and father, and her father sets Eva up with a plan if something were to happen. But he kind of brushes it off also.One morning, the neighbor woman asks them to watch her children, she needs to take her mother to the doctor and no one else can help. Although this neighbor has made it very clear she despises them because they are Jews, they agree to watch her girls, it is only right to be kind. Talk about right place, at the right time! While her mother, and her are with the girls, her father is taken. Her mother is distraught and cannot believe this has happened, and Eva has to pull all the strength she can together, to save her and her mother now. She heads to the one person her father told her to go to for help. He is not very forthcoming and says he cannot help both, but only Eva as that was her fathers instructions. He gives Eva some items and a few tips and she hurries back to the apartment.Eva decides she is going to forge some documents and get them out of there. It is her only hope at this point, and she cannot do nothing. Her mother is beyond help, and wants to go to the camp where her husband has been taken. Eva and her mother flee, and thankfully they make it to where her father had told her to run. To the Free Zone. Her mother is angry and sad. It is all Eva's fault, and now their father will never find them since they ran. She wants to go back to Paris and is determined to convince Eva of this. Eva's forged documents raise some eyebrows, but it is not in the sense of getting caught. It is in the sense of her skills are just what is needed to help others. Eva gets sought out, and agrees to help forge some documents, they are to help smuggle children to Switzerland. How could she say no, these poor children did nothing wrong to deserve this. Days, turn into weeks and soon it has been months and Eva has made huge progress in increasing their operation, as well as doing good.Decades later, Eva is working in the library as usual when she comes across a newspaper that has been left open on a table. She nearly faints! It can't be! Someone found The Book of Lost Names, she thought it was forever lost. They are trying to find the owner, and want that person to come forward with information about the code inside as well. Eva can hardly believe her eyes. She must go back! She just has to, the children and an answer she has wondered her whole life could be in there.What is the code that was placed in this book, and what answer is Eva looking for. She boards a plane headed east, and walks back into her past, and a place she never thought she'd go back to. Thank you to Shelf Pro Awareness and the publisher, Simon & Schuster for sending me an ARC! I really really really enjoyed this novel, and literally inhaled it in less than a day! It is such fast paced reading and it is amazing the different things these people did during the war to save others!
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  • MicheleReader
    January 1, 1970
    I love historical fiction. And I gravitate to books that take place during WWII. But I’m always concerned that the book will be too emotional. Yet here I am, feeling gutted but so happy that I read The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel. This engrossing story is set mostly in the past during the 1940s in France and in 2005 where 86 year-old Eva is going to confront her past. Widowed and living in Florida as a semi-retired librarian, she reads an article in The New York Times about a library in I love historical fiction. And I gravitate to books that take place during WWII. But I’m always concerned that the book will be too emotional. Yet here I am, feeling gutted but so happy that I read The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel. This engrossing story is set mostly in the past during the 1940s in France and in 2005 where 86 year-old Eva is going to confront her past. Widowed and living in Florida as a semi-retired librarian, she reads an article in The New York Times about a library in Berlin that has a large collection of books that were looted by the Nazis during the war and the effort being undertaken to find the true owners. Eva immediately recognizes the book she had called The Book of Lost Names. Her book.In 1942, Eva and her mother had to flee Paris after her father was arrested. As Jews, they were no longer safe. They went to a small town in France to hide with the hopes of escaping to Switzerland. Eva soon became an integral part of the resistance using her artist skills creating new identities for Jewish children by forging official documents for them. Working secretly in a church, she takes an old religious text and encodes the pages with the real and new names of the children. Her hope was that one day the children would be able to learn of their true identities. Together with Remy, they made it possible for many children to escape through ingenious forging methods. But the Nazis are about to uncover their operation.Based on true events, The Book of Lost Names will bring you into the horrors of the war and the dilemma of whether to try to save yourself or try to save others. And as Eva becomes more integrated into the Catholic community that is working to save the lives of Jewish children, is she losing her own Jewish identity as she erases the children’s identities on their records? This is a beautiful yet heartbreaking story of bravery, determination and love. If you too enjoy books of this genre, this one should be at the top of your list. And as with other books that draw from history, be sure to read the Epilogue which details the brave people who inspired this book.Now, please pass the Kleenex.Many thanks to NetGalley, Edelweiss, Gallery Books and Kristin Harmel for an advance copy of this unforgettable book which will be published on July 21, 2020.Review will be posted on MicheleReader.com closer to the publication date.
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  • Carissa
    January 1, 1970
    Another excellent historical fiction read by Kristin Harmel! Kristin Harmel became a favorite of mine when I picked up "When We Meet Again" in summer of 2016. I quickly placed her other titles on hold at my library and devoured them. If you haven't checked out "Sweetness of Forgetting" or "The Life Intended," please do so! Her latest releases have not disappointed either! This book follows Eva, a young Jewish woman, who flees to a small town in France after her father is arrested. Using her tale Another excellent historical fiction read by Kristin Harmel! Kristin Harmel became a favorite of mine when I picked up "When We Meet Again" in summer of 2016. I quickly placed her other titles on hold at my library and devoured them. If you haven't checked out "Sweetness of Forgetting" or "The Life Intended," please do so! Her latest releases have not disappointed either! This book follows Eva, a young Jewish woman, who flees to a small town in France after her father is arrested. Using her talents as an artist, she meets a small group of people and begins forging identity papers for Jewish children to help them to flee to safety. She wants the children's names to be preserved for after the war, so she begins keeping a code in a religious text that becomes "The Book of Lost Names." I love how the book is based on a true story and I appreciate that Harmel always digs into subjects that aren't as familiar to us, like the topic of forgery. The story has alternate timelines, 1940's (Eva in the past) and 2005 (Eva in the present) Like Harmel's previous books, I enjoy this jump back in forth in time. A great book about bravery, heartbreak, war, and even a love story. Highly recommend! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book!
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  • Annissa Joy Armstrong
    January 1, 1970
    Kristin Harmel has written another fantastic book. I loved it!!The main character in this book is Eva and it contains a dual time line..Eva as a librarian in 2005 and Eva in the 1940s during WWll. Eva is a 23 year old Jewish girl living with her parents in Paris when the round up of Jewish people start. Her father is taken and her mother and her run away to save themselves. Eva begins to work as a forger to help children get to safety in Switzerland. She changes their identities and records thei Kristin Harmel has written another fantastic book. I loved it!!The main character in this book is Eva and it contains a dual time line..Eva as a librarian in 2005 and Eva in the 1940s during WWll. Eva is a 23 year old Jewish girl living with her parents in Paris when the round up of Jewish people start. Her father is taken and her mother and her run away to save themselves. Eva begins to work as a forger to help children get to safety in Switzerland. She changes their identities and records their real names in The Book of Lost Names so they are not forgotten by using a code.Eva survives the war and is reunited finally with her father in Paris. She falls for an American man and moves to the US to start a new life as she believes her love was killed during the war.Thank you Gallery Books via Netgalley for this early copy of this book due out in July of 2020x
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  • Tina Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    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 m 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.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 se 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 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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  • Sara E
    January 1, 1970
    I can’t wait to read this one!!! 🎅🏻🎄❄️🎁
  • Shirley
    January 1, 1970
    Hero in hidingThis is the story of the horrible acts against the Jewish people in France. It is about a Jewish girl named Eva and how she became a hero saving thousands of lives of Jewish children. After the Nazi's took her father away Eva went to her father's boss who gave her some blank papers to fill out for herself and her mother to get them out of Paris. He told her to go to a small French town in the mountains. After they arrived in the town, Eva met a priest and began forging documents fo Hero in hidingThis is the story of the horrible acts against the Jewish people in France. It is about a Jewish girl named Eva and how she became a hero saving thousands of lives of Jewish children. After the Nazi's took her father away Eva went to her father's boss who gave her some blank papers to fill out for herself and her mother to get them out of Paris. He told her to go to a small French town in the mountains. After they arrived in the town, Eva met a priest and began forging documents for Jewish children and some adults hiding from the Nazi's and escaping to Switzerland. She worked with a man named Remy with whom she grew to love. A book with codes to keep track of the children they helped escape to Switzerland and their real names. They called it the book of lost names. This is their story, the story of Remy and Eva. A story of love, loss and heartache. A story of courage and bravery. It is a story of a young girl asked to take on huge responsibility in the face of grave danger. Her thoughts and feelings, her disagreements with her mother over her work with the resistance. It is the story of the brave men and women in the resistance and how they fought to save Jewish lives. This book was exciting, and heartbreaking. It was a horrible time for the Jewish people under a cruel and heartless Nazi occupation. It was a sad book and a happy book. I didn't want to stop reading and read way too long into the evening. I would recommend it. Thanks to Kristin Harmel, Gallery Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an advance copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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  • Diane Standish
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to #netgalley and #gallerybooks for the chance to read and review this interesting book. #thebookoflostnames by @kristinharmelPub date July 21, 2020What a wonderful book. Eva Abrams is a semi retired librarian (in her 80s) who reads an article about a man in Germany trying to return books that were stolen by the Nazis during the war. She realizes the book he talks about is the one she used to code the names of the children she helped escape from France by forging their papers. Her story o Thanks to #netgalley and #gallerybooks for the chance to read and review this interesting book. #thebookoflostnames by @kristinharmelPub date July 21, 2020What a wonderful book. Eva Abrams is a semi retired librarian (in her 80s) who reads an article about a man in Germany trying to return books that were stolen by the Nazis during the war. She realizes the book he talks about is the one she used to code the names of the children she helped escape from France by forging their papers. Her story of her life during the war is beautifully told. This book is based on true events which makes it all the more poignant. Definitely read this story, it will stir your heart
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  • Marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    I have had the privilege of reading several of Kristin Harmel’s books and have really liked each one. The Book With No Names is no exception. It was a well written historical novel that went back and forth between time periods. Part of the story took place in Florida in 2005 and the other part took part in France in the 1940’s. The characters were well developed and the plot was intriguing. Kristin Harmel, brilliantly wrote about the roles of Forgers as part of the Resistance during World War II I have had the privilege of reading several of Kristin Harmel’s books and have really liked each one. The Book With No Names is no exception. It was a well written historical novel that went back and forth between time periods. Part of the story took place in Florida in 2005 and the other part took part in France in the 1940’s. The characters were well developed and the plot was intriguing. Kristin Harmel, brilliantly wrote about the roles of Forgers as part of the Resistance during World War II. I didn’t know a lot about these valuable and brave men and women and so after I finished this book I did a little research about them on my own. Forgers played such a key role in helping so many people, especially children, escape from the Nazi’s and survive the Holocaust. Most of the well known forgers became forgers out of necessity and to survive. Many of the forgers were Jewish. The Book of Lost Names was based on the lives of real forgers. The research for this book was extensive and thorough. At 86, Eva Traube was still working in a library part time. Although many thought Eva should retire she had no intentions of doing so any time soon. She lived in Florida near her only her son. Eva was a widow. Her job at the library was shelving books. She had always had a love for books so it pleased her to be around so many varied books. One day, Eva was covering the desk when she spotted an article in a magazine. It mentioned that a German man was trying to find the owners of books that had been confiscated by the Nazis during World War II. The name of one of the books that had been found was The Book of Lost Names. Eva started to tremble when she saw the name of that particular book. She knew that book. It was hers. Right before her eyes was the picture of the book Eva believed was lost. She hadn’t seen that book for 65 years. Eva knew what she had to do.Eva had grown up in Paris. Her parents were observant Jews that had immigrated to Paris from Poland. When the Nazis invaded Paris in 1942, Eva was in the midst of obtaining her doctorate in English literature. One day, a friend of Eva’s who was involved in the Resistance tried warning Eva of a potential roundup by the Nazis. They planned on taking thousands of Jews and putting them in work camps. Sure enough, a few nights later, the roundup occurred. Eva and her mother were not at home. They had been asked to watch a neighbor’s children while the neighbor went to help her elderly mother. The neighbor Eva and her mother were helping was not Jewish so when the Nazis came to their apartment building they did not bang on that door. Eva’s father was taken into custody. Her mother was inconsolable. Eva’s father had instructed Eva what to if he and her mother were ever taken into custody. She was to go to his boss. Eva’s father had paid his boss an insurmountable amount of money to guarantee he would make Eva forged documents so she could escape to Switzerland. When Eva arrived at her father’s boss’s office and she explained that now she needed documents not only for herself but also for her mother her father’s boss panicked and told her he could not do that. Instead he gave Eva blank papers and colored pens and told Eva she would have to forge her own documents for her and her mother. That was what Eva did.Eva and her mother made their way to the train station. They knew they had to get to the Free Zone. Headed east they departed on a train and arrived in a small, quaint village called Aurignon. Eva and her mother found shelter in a boarding house. The documents Eva forged for her and her mother were quite impressive. Little did Eva know that because of necessity she had shown a remarkable talent for forgery. She had not known she possessed this talent. The town of Aurignon had many residents involved in the resistance. The Catholic priest was not only involved in the resistance but was quite a central figure in its organization in this quiet little town. He convinced Eva to forge documents for them so hundreds of Jewish children could escape to Switzerland. Eva’s mother made Eva feel guilty. Her mother thought Eva was forgetting her religion and her father. She could not understand why Eva was devoting so much time to this effort and putting herself at such a risk for this priest. Eva’s mother only wanted to honor her father’s wishes and get to Switzerland. Her mother never lost hope that Eva’s father would return and find them when the war was over. Eva felt that she was saving lives and that that was so important. One thing troubled Eva, though. All the Jewish children she was forging false documents for had to take new names. Who would remember who they really were? Eva and her fellow forger, Remy, devised a plan. The real names of the children were secretly coded in a book Eva and Remy named The Book of Lost Names. Remy brilliantly devised a system where he used the Fibonacci sequence to code the children’s real names. No one was able to decipher the code so the children’s real identities were safe but not forgotten.When Eva, now an old lady, living in Florida, saw her book pictured in the magazine article, she knew that she had no choice but to confront her past head on. She called the person in Berlin that had possession of her book and let him know she was coming to Berlin to claim it. Determined to get to Berlin to repossess her treasured book that had been stolen from the secret church library in Aurignon sixty five years ago by the Nazis, she boarded the plane without even informing her son of her plans. Eva never dreamed that she would ever see this book again. She had to go and make sure this was her book and to hold it in her own hands.I had previously read The Winemaker’s Wife and loved it. I didn’t think that Kristin Harmel could top that one but she did. The Book of Lost Names was brilliant. I could not put it down. The characters were likable and endearing for the most part. The story was fast paced and heart-warming. There was so much courage, bravery, love, faith, friendship, sacrifice, caring, deception and pain sprinkled and interwoven throughout the story. If you love historical fiction you will absolutely love The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel. I highly recommend it.I received a complimentary copy of The Book of Lost Names from Gallery Books through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This was a strong five star book for me.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel is an excellent historical fiction novel focussed on the latter years of WWII France and interweaves between 1942 Paris/Free Zone and current day. We meet our Eva current day and also then learn more about her past and how she entered into the harrowing world of the Resistance within occupied France. An art student that finally finds her hidden talents in forgery and creating fake papers for fellow Jewish children and assisting in smuggling them to safe t The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel is an excellent historical fiction novel focussed on the latter years of WWII France and interweaves between 1942 Paris/Free Zone and current day. We meet our Eva current day and also then learn more about her past and how she entered into the harrowing world of the Resistance within occupied France. An art student that finally finds her hidden talents in forgery and creating fake papers for fellow Jewish children and assisting in smuggling them to safe territories. Eva herself is Jewish and has had to flee from Paris with her mother. Eva is a smart, fiery, talented, strong, and passionately flawed young woman who happens to be the daughter of an arrested Polish Jew. She ends up selflessly and potentially sacrificing all that she has to help the groups of amazing souls that join together to help save everyone that they can from a certain death.We get to meet a wonderful cast of characters that all come with their own strengths, losses, and weaknesses. I enjoyed meeting each and every one. I especially liked the character, Remy. Their chemistry and fire jumped off the page. This book has it all: an amazing plot, wonderful and realistic characters that are just normal human beings being thrust into abnormal and difficult positions in an unbelievably horrific time. Yet, they rise above and help save others, putting themselves last. I actually was interested in the dynamics and rough relationship between Eva and her mother. One could say she was a barrage of negativity and depression, however I think it was more of a mechanism of instinct and survival. Every one of us has no clue how we would truly respond in such a circumstance. I also enjoyed learning more about the art of forgery, the way it was used, and also after further research, learning more about the Fibonacci sequence. I also truly loved the final ending. This book is so unique, and I love finding historical fiction that gives a new light from a different angle to the events that we thought we already knew. I cried, my heart raced, my stomach did summersaults, and I also learned something in the process. The author gave is everything in this book: heroism, suspense, mystery, romance, sacrifice, love, friendship, loyalty, distrust, and survival all in one glorious book. The best part was reading the Author’s note to find it was all based on real-life heroes that helped save their fellow men and women all the while risking their own lives and loved ones in the process. It is stunning and humbling to say the least. A magnificent book by Ms. Harmel and one that is sure to be remembered and cherished. This is not the first book that I have read, and loved, from this this author, and it most certainly will not be the last. 5/5 starsThank you NetGalley and Gallery Books for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    How does a child lose a name? It's easy, if you're Jewish and orphaned in WWII Germany and are being taken across to Switzerland. Crossing the border to safety necessitates [forged] papers with a new, Gentile name. But what happens to the previous name? This question troubles Eva Traube, whose sketching is soon incorporated into identity cards, birth certificates, ration cards. Children to protect. "You said the children whose documents I'll be forging are without their parents. Who keeps track How does a child lose a name? It's easy, if you're Jewish and orphaned in WWII Germany and are being taken across to Switzerland. Crossing the border to safety necessitates [forged] papers with a new, Gentile name. But what happens to the previous name? This question troubles Eva Traube, whose sketching is soon incorporated into identity cards, birth certificates, ration cards. Children to protect. "You said the children whose documents I'll be forging are without their parents. Who keeps track of their real names?...If the youngest ones can't recall where they come from?" "It's too dangerous to send them across the border with anything bearing their true identities, Eva." "Could you find out their names for me anyhow? I would know who they are. It's very important to me that they are not forgotten.""I want to keep a list of the children we are falsifying documents for. They belong to someone, all of them." Also in this clandestine activity are a young man named Remy, a loveable priest named Pere Clement, a fellow-forger named Genevieve, Madame Noirot and her bookstore, a crusty landlady named Madame Barbier, Eva's mother who is being a martyr, and a host of French resistance members. Eva and Remy devise a code based on the Fibonacci sequence [I didn't know what this was, but quickly learned] and proceed to document the old and new names of each child who gets new papers, a new identity. "I was never trying to erase the children. I only want to save them.""But someone has to prevent them from being lost."A haunting novel of trust and mistrust, love and the devastating effects of war. With a totally unexpected conclusion.I read this EARC courtesy of Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss. pub date 07/21/20
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  • Toni Osborne
    January 1, 1970
    This latest chronicles the story of a skilled forger who risks her life to help hundreds of Jewish children escape the Nazis during World War 11. This unforgettable historical novel is inspired by an astonishing true story. “The Book of Lost Names” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of evil. This is the story of Eva Traube, her story transitions between 2005 in Florida and France 1940 where the life of a young Polish-French changed for ever.The dual time line is eas This latest chronicles the story of a skilled forger who risks her life to help hundreds of Jewish children escape the Nazis during World War 11. This unforgettable historical novel is inspired by an astonishing true story. “The Book of Lost Names” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of evil. This is the story of Eva Traube, her story transitions between 2005 in Florida and France 1940 where the life of a young Polish-French changed for ever.The dual time line is easy to follow, it is smoothly done. Mostly set during the war, of course there is a great deal about the French Resistance and the incredible important role the forgers had to play in order to save thousands of lives. We follow Eva’s journey into a world of inner working of networks and into Eva’s personal sacrifice. We also have a love story of two people which time is not on their side.The writing is touching and much care is brought to each character making this one of the most engaging stories I have read in some time. Who to trust and who not to trust were on everyone’s mind and the author highlights the struggles Eva suffered to find the right balance. There is a lot to this story, so much humanity in the words, so much pain…In Eva`s clandestine group we will meet other forgers, a priest, a bookstore keeper, her landlady and her mother who plays an important role. These good people are just a drop of good people doing dangerous activities under the nose of the Nazis.….many of them will be betrayed and will never be seen again… The author tells us although her story is based on true historical facts she took liberty to change place, names and modified events to give her more freedom to transport us into a heart-warming story that would stay with us after the closing page….This page-turner surely did for me. This is one novel I had a very hard time to put down. Well-done.I receive the ARC from the publisher Simon & Schuster Canada via Netgalleys for my unbiased and voluntary opinion.
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  • Kristie
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow.Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing me with a free electronic copy in exchange for an honest review.
  • Lizzy
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, I loved this book by @kristin_hamel! To be fair, I'll hit up just about any book about WWII, and this one had it all: mystery, intrigue, love, betrayal, priests, Nazis, disapproving mothers, two timelines, and so much more. The book of Lost Names is well-written, well-paced, and its characters have multiple layers and a great deal of depth.The book begins with Eva, an elderly librarian, seeing a book in featured in a New York Times article about books stolen by the Nazis. It was a book that Oh, I loved this book by @kristin_hamel! To be fair, I'll hit up just about any book about WWII, and this one had it all: mystery, intrigue, love, betrayal, priests, Nazis, disapproving mothers, two timelines, and so much more. The book of Lost Names is well-written, well-paced, and its characters have multiple layers and a great deal of depth.The book begins with Eva, an elderly librarian, seeing a book in featured in a New York Times article about books stolen by the Nazis. It was a book that meant so much to her a lifetime ago, and immediately we're transported to occupied Paris. We learn about Eva's life, her beloved father and mother and how she fled Paris to escape to a small town where she found her pushed aside talent as an artist made her perfect for forging documents to save hundreds of lives.The Book of Lost Names kept my attention and I couldn't put it down. I loved it. Eva is an interesting character with depth, and the naivete of someone her age. I loved that Eva and her parent had a tumultuous relationship, fraught with differing points of view over what was going on in their world, and yes, I loved the love story. I gasped out loud at least twice while reading it.If you're looking for a WWII book in the vein of The Nightingale and The Huntress, pick it up when it comes out. I loved it. I received an early copy from @netgalley and am so glad I did!
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    “But in times like these, was it dangerous to dream unrealistic dreams?”To put it upfront: This book made me reach catharsis (the pinnacle of story perfection, as the Greeks would agree).It has been a while since I cried this much reading a book, and there is still the ghost of a tear clinging to my eyelashes as I type this, but I must push through, because I have to tell the world how dear, how beautiful this story is. The Book of Lost Names is a historical fiction WWII novel that follows a you “But in times like these, was it dangerous to dream unrealistic dreams?”To put it upfront: This book made me reach catharsis (the pinnacle of story perfection, as the Greeks would agree).It has been a while since I cried this much reading a book, and there is still the ghost of a tear clinging to my eyelashes as I type this, but I must push through, because I have to tell the world how dear, how beautiful this story is. The Book of Lost Names is a historical fiction WWII novel that follows a young girl named Eva who escapes Paris with her mother and begins forging documents that help children (and many others) escape the German occupation by passing over the border into Switzerland. ANDThe Book of Lost Names is a love story: a story of its length, of its endurance, of its power.ANDThe Book of Lost Names is a beautifully thematic story that reminds its reader that we are the true authors of our identities, and nothing--not the taking of our name, not a change of location, not the passing of time--can strip that away from us. What I loved about this story:1. The ending: Lately I have been so disappointed by how authors have ended their stories. I now want to show them all the ending to this story as an example of how endings should be done. Obviously, I can’t discuss the content, but I will say that I felt like I was crying so hard at points near the ending that I thought I might choke. 2. The framing of the story: With occasional (& well-timed) flash-forwards, this story is written in such a way that the reader is able to see the implications of the past on the present in such a way that makes the ending (and the story’s themes) even more powerful.3. The overall message: There are so many different themes at the core of this story--true love is powerful enough to endure all, goodness always can be found (even if you must create it yourself), etc, but the message that meant the most to me was that we are the true authors of our identities, and though many things can be taken from us, that never can.What I disliked:1. Insta-love?: There were a few moments in the beginning where I felt like this might be like any other WWII romance story. The falling in love aspect seemed to happen unbelievably fast, but that is just the way things happen sometimes. With the way the rest of the story turned out, I’m not bothered at all by the slight insta-love element. 2. “A breath she didn’t know she was holding”: I almost forgot this actually, but the main character releases a breath she didn’t know she was holding in two sequential chapters. I now realize that the author must have just been messing with us. Overall, this a book that I would recommend to:1. Anyone who loves historical fiction: You will learn a lot about forgery and the French resistance during the German occupation. The author based much of what Eva did on real-life forgers like Adolfo Kaminsky and Oscar Rosowsky (as can be seen in her author’s note).2. Anyone: Truly. I think that everyone needs to be reminded of the core message of this story: that we are the true authors of our identities, and nothing--not the taking of our name, not a change of location, not the passing of time--can strip that away from us. And there you have it. The five-star story I wasn’t expecting to find. As the book so aptly states, “those who realize that books are magic . . . will have the brightest lives.” This book is magic. I will be including this book in a video on my channel entitled “My Best Reads of 2020 So Far” that will go live on 5/3/20. You may look for a further discussion there, and here is the link to my channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAa3...& of course, thank you to Gallery books for providing me an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Melissa Kiley | memoirs.of.a.booknerd
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel is the story of Eva Traube, a young Jewish woman with a talent for forgery who, upon fleeing Paris after narrowly escaping capture by the Nazis, unintentionally finds herself at the centre of the clandestine world of the underground French Resistance. I have always been fascinated with novels and history related to the French Resistance in WWII. The spirit and tenacity of these people to fight back in whatever ways they could in order to save the lives of The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel is the story of Eva Traube, a young Jewish woman with a talent for forgery who, upon fleeing Paris after narrowly escaping capture by the Nazis, unintentionally finds herself at the centre of the clandestine world of the underground French Resistance. I have always been fascinated with novels and history related to the French Resistance in WWII. The spirit and tenacity of these people to fight back in whatever ways they could in order to save the lives of strangers - at great risk to their own - never fails to fill me with awe and respect. I was drawn to the concept of this book as it adds a unique perspective to this genre, focusing on the lives of forgers in the resistance who helped to create the documents needed to smuggle thousands of Jewish people out of occupied France. This one is a bit of a slow burn. If you like historical fiction because you have a genuine interest in the history, this is not a problem at all, as it was incredibly fascinating to learn about the innovative techniques they developed for forging the documents. If you are a lover of fast-paced plots, however, you might find it slower to get through, but it's worth the wait when the story starts to build towards its climax. When it does, it will have you experiencing the emotions - the fear, the tension, the love, and the loss - right along with the characters. There were some characterizations and subplots/conflict in the novel that I struggled with - finding them hard to relate to or unnecessary, but it didn't detract from the main story.There is also a love story that develops through this novel and I've seen some comment that romance in this genre is sometimes portrayed as "too fast" or unbelievable. I think we sometimes forget, though, that those were different times. Shared experience of trauma and survival can create deep immediate connections between people, something we don't fully grasp having not experienced it ourselves.Reminiscent of The Nightingale and The Alice Network, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction about the French Resistance and are looking for a fresh take on this genre. Thank you to Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for providing me this digital ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Amy Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Lost Names is an extraordinarily touching novel by author Kristin Harmel. Ms. Harmel is making a huge name for herself in WWII Historical Fiction. If you are a fan of her previous books, you won't want to miss this one. If you are new to her writing, you are in for something very special.This story is based upon a young Jewish woman chased from her home and torn from her family in WWII, German occupied France. Eva has a special talent, a talent that will help save the children of Fr The Book of Lost Names is an extraordinarily touching novel by author Kristin Harmel. Ms. Harmel is making a huge name for herself in WWII Historical Fiction. If you are a fan of her previous books, you won't want to miss this one. If you are new to her writing, you are in for something very special.This story is based upon a young Jewish woman chased from her home and torn from her family in WWII, German occupied France. Eva has a special talent, a talent that will help save the children of France escape the Nazi regime. Eva works diligently and dangerously to forge paperwork allowing for the safe passage of misplaced children into neutral Swiss territory. Eva, having lost her own father to the Natzi work camps, struggles between what is right, her faith, family, and true love. One thing that stands true throughout is her dedication to her cause. Eva works relentlessly to give these children new identities, with the heartfelt desire that they may someday be reunited with their families and return to their homes. Eva sacrifices the lives of many, her own included, to masterfully create a future for these lost little souls. Her job may be one of danger, distrust and mystery, but her story is one of heart, hope, and kindness.No spoilers here...Ms. Harmel creates a grim scene of terror and destruction. As sad and horrible the setting might be, she brings you back to this era and more than gently pulls at your heartstrings. Her character development is wonderful. They come alive, with feeling of sadness, fear, and danger, but also strength, faith, and determination. The title of this book has great meaning and depth. The secrets within are woven and complex. The unwavering faithfulness in a time of such devastation, mistrust, and death is truly heroic.Thank you to Netgalley for providing the ARC of The Book of Lost Names. All opinions are that of my own and provided freely.#thebookoflostnames #netgalley #kristinharmel
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