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  • A moving story about the French Resistance

    Kristen Harmel’s “The Book of Lost Names” is the story Eva, a young French Jewish woman who worked as a forger with the French Resistance during World War II. After Eva’s father is arrested and sent to a concentration camp, Eva and her mother flee Paris for a small town near Vichy. Staying at a boarding house operated by a sympathizer with the Resistance, Eva becomes involved with the local priest and other members of the resistance movement. She and others work hard forging documents for Jewish children being smuggled from France to safety in Switzerland. Eva and Remy, another forger, fall in love and make plans to meet in Paris after the war is over. The title of the novel refers to a book in which Eva and Remy recorded, using code, the names of the children for whom they made documents. When Remy never meets Eva as planned, she eventually accepts that he is dead. In Paris after the war, Eva meets an American tourist, marries him, and makes a life in Florida. Decades later Eva reads a newspaper story about the code book, which is now in a library in Berlin. Eva, 86, flies to Berlin to try to obtain the book; at the library in Berlin she is surprised to find that someone from her past has also traveled to Berlin with the same goal... A wonderful read!

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    9 person found this review helpful

    9 people found this review helpful

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • I was left weeping & celebrating! Raw Beauty!

    I was left weeping and celebrating all at the same time! “The Book of Lost Names” pulled out emotions in me that were so intense I felt a true desire to do better, be better….Like Eva!! When such raw beauty & awe resonates from the pages of a novel, it is because authors like Kristin Harmel can take a character like Eva and make her feel so real to us that we want to reach out and hug her in gratitude! With the most tender kind of writing for a time in our history where the suffering was intensely exquisite, Kristin Hormel writes with delicacy and in such a warm way that this entire story leaves you breathless, closing the book grateful for knowing this part of history. I am very grateful for all that I learned! Not only about history, but humanity and it’s desire to rise above darkness and truly be a bright light! Eva and “The Book of Lost Names” is forever imprinted upon my heart. Like a tattoo! As I am sure the true forgers had imprinted themselves on the hearts of so many children. Bravo, Kristin Harmel! You took a cold, dark time and made it feel warm because of the hope of the people! Any Child with a Lost Name would be proud to read this novel and keep it close! I received a copy of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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    7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Well Done! 6/5

    Highly recommend this historical fiction based on a true story. 6/5 When Nazi's round up Paris Jews Eva Traube and her mother are helping a neighbor and miss being carried off with the father & husband. They escape to the free zone where Eva's talents in forging documents that got them out of Paris is put to use helping Jewish children escape to Switzerland. Eva & her forgery partner Remy keep track of the names of the children through a code in an old religious text in the hopes that after the war the children can find their families again. Being part of the Resistance is well handled. The story flipping between WW 2 and May 2005 where Eva is an 86 yr old American librarian flying off to Berlin to reclaim this book from the collections stolen by Nazis during the war. I was so fascinated by this novel that I stayed up all night to finish it! A Reading Guide is included.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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  • Hero in Hiding

    This 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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  • The Book of Lost Names

    Love the story line - I felt that the book was well written & really flowed together.

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