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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 1,457 Ratings


“A fascinating, heartrending page-turner that, like the real-life forgers who inspired the novel, should never be forgotten.” —Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday

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 “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue) historical novel from the #1 international bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books when her eyes lock on a photograph in the New York Times. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in more than sixty 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 does she have the strength to revisit old memories?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris and find refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, where she began 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.


  • Adolescents will love it.

    By KathyNYC
    It is an adolescent’s teens wonderful book
  • The Book of Names

    By Pamela Davidah
    A great read with a surprise ending
  • Learning to Survive through Imagination of Books

    By Pitty Pat Gamer
    The history of WW2 needs to be remembered how hate tried to erase a group of people. I can’t fathom having the ability that the characters had to survive. The story that the author used intertwining the young woman with the woman she becomes…. Is spell binding. War changes every one. As I write this review I think of the Ukrainian people are going through a this present time. I watch and pray people on both sides caught in this conflict.
  • Thoroughly immersing read!

    By kir4110
    I haven’t used the phrase “engrossed in a book” in years but I said that about this book. I felt completely transported to 1940s France and I could feel all of the emotions described by the main character as if the experience was my own.
  • Beautiful

    By erinclark
    I could not put this book down! So much heart ache and love is wrapped into this beautifully told story. It is the best book I’ve read in years!
  • Could not put this down

    By watermoosie
    Amazing story
  • Amazing

    By 83eagleeagle
    Beautiful story that captures the humanity within the horrors of war.
  • Endearing

    By cant see what i wrote
    The best review of a book is never wanting it to end….I’m sad it’s over and better for having read it.
  • Enthralling story

    By malibumoma
    Well written book! Hard to put down
  • Great book!

    By BabsFox
    This book is so wonderful to fall right into I could not put it down. I love reading stories from WWII, I feel so many emotions when reading stories of heroism during this time. Incredible story and makes me want to go to France. Also a good love story.