ARC Review: The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel


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 – Goodreads

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Title: The Book of Lost Names

Author: Kristin Harmel

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Pub date: July 21, 2020


SYNOPSIS:

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

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

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


MY REVIEW:

Wow. This book has left me speechless with tears in my eyes. This was so incredibly beautiful and haunting.

Eva is a Jewish girl living in Paris during the time of the German take over of France. Eva flees with her mother to escape the Nazis and start a new life in the free zone. On the way, she gets involved in the resistance and forges documents for innocent people to escape France to Switzerland. There are a lot of twists along the way and a lot of heartbreak.

Remy is a man who works with Eva during this time. All I can say is that Remy is an amazing character and he tore my heart out and then brought me back to life. The ending of this story shook me!!

This is such an interesting story of bravery and love. Eva is amazing! She is a hero. She lives all her life with regrets and her story is so sad. This is truly an unbelievable story. All of the people who helped the Jewish population during WW2 are heroes. It is heartbreaking thinking about what happened to people. This story opened my eyes to things I already knew, but took me there to really feel it in my heart.

Read this book. The author is amazing and this story in life changing. So beautiful and full of despair, yet hopeful in a way. The last few chapters will make you go insane. I LOVED this book!

* Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!


Do you enjoy historical fiction? Is this something you would read?

Chat with me in the comments 😊

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

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