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A captivating historical fiction story full of bravery and resilience.
Eva Traube was forced to flee Paris in 1942 with her mother after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. She finds a refuge in a church in a small mountain town in the Free Zone. There she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to Switzerland.
In erasing these children’s identity Eva knows she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are perhaps too young to remember who they really are. She and Remy, her forging partner, keep records of the children secretly coded in a eighteenth century religious book she now calls The Book of Lost Names.
Eva survives the war and now over 65 years later, She is a semi-retired librarian in Florida. It is at the library that she spies a photograph of her book from 1942, The Book of Lost Names along with thousands of other valuable books had been looted by the Germans in the waning days of the war. It is now housed in a Berlin library. At 86, Eva questions whether she has the strength to revisit old memories and see the book again.
THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES is a tension-filled and thought-provoking World War II historical fiction drama. Eva’s character is a strong, smart and resilient woman, who is the pillar of the story. Her character is well-developed and the dialog is delightful.
This riveting story is as smartly structured as the code in Eva’s secret book. The writing is engaging and evocative and transports us to both Paris and the fictional town of Aurignon, South of Vichy during the height of the war. You can’t go wrong with this engaging story of bravery and perserverence. If you like The Lilac Girls or The Alice Network you will love this one
Author Kristin Harmel is a international best selling author of numerous books including The Winemaker’s Wife and The Room on Rue Amélie. Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with family.
Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher Gallery Books
Published July 21, 2020