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.
Eva’s father is taken one night by the Nazis. Eva and her mother were spared because they were helping out a neighbor. They flee Paris and Eva, by chance, begins a life as a forger to help young Jewish children escape the Nazis.
This is a great story based on a real person. Eva is a strong woman during this terrible time period. She is determined to preserve all the real names of the children. Eva has to change the real names to fake ones and she understands when the war is over, someone will be looking for them.
This story did move a little slow for me, especially in the middle. But, I enjoyed the premise of preserving the names of all the children which were saved. And to know people risked their lives to see that happen is a great joy during this time of war. Kristin Harmel did a great job with the history and the intensity surrounding this tale. Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.