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The Book of Lost Names - Kristin Harmel

The Book of Lost Names

By Kristin Harmel

  • Release Date: 2020-07-21
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 689 Ratings



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 New York Times 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.


  • Great

    By Camerinwinovich
    Amazing story, so so great.
  • Love!!!

    By clarac98
    Such a great book! Couldn’t not put it down.I didn’t want it to end. One I will read again.
  • Beautiful story

    By lawrenkris
    Captivating! I easily followed the story as it switched between present and past. Wonderful story line had me enraptured until the very end. I loved it!
  • Catchy but with gaps

    By kikarm
    It’s an interesting story. But it leaves one flat when the story line jumps more than 8 months and with no idea how was to journey in Switzerland. Or if she manages to find any of the kids she saves. Besides it should say based on facts of history. ( the war, the forgery, but that’s the extent of it). But all the rest is fiction. Not really based on a true story.
  • Good love story

    By mariesh2014
    The writing felt rushed at times and the story a little jumpy but all in all a good love story though sad at times. It’s not the best book I’ve ever read but I’m happy to have read it. It’s one that will live in my head a for a few days.
  • Great read!

    By ZuzanaS.
    There are many books describing the atrocities committed at the hands of the Nazis. I would read every single one in the memory of the 6 million lost. This book is gripping and keeps you on the edge to the very end. It makes us pause and reflect on thing we so take for granted in today’s society. We must be grateful for our freedom, something many lost during WWII.
  • Outstanding

    By bnh001
    If you've never read any books by Kristin Harmel, now is the time! She is a wonderful author with great stories to tell. The Book of Lost Names is a historical fiction novel, inspired by a true story from WWII. Eva has a talent for forgery, which she uses to help Jewish children escape the Nazi wrath. This book goes back and forth between the past and present, while Eva relives her war time experience from many years ago. I loved reading this beautiful and touching story about a woman's bravery to defeat evil and did not want it to end.