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The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Based on an astonishing true story, this is one book you do not want to miss!


Inspired by a true story, The Book of Lost Names tells the story of Eva Traube Abrams, who used her artistic skills to forge false papers for Jewish children who needed to escape the Nazi roundups during WWII.

Eva's family lives in Paris when the Germans invade and start rounding up the Jewish people. When her father is taken, she and her mother miraculously escape France. Finding safety in the Free Zone, Eva connects with a group of forgers and helps them make false papers for Jewish people to use to cross into Switzerland.

After Eva joins the forgers, she begins working alongside a handsome, young forger named Remy. As the war rages, Remy becomes restless and wants to aid the resistance in more physical ways. When time passes with no news on Remy's whereabouts, Eva begins to fear the worst.

Six decades later, Eva works as a librarian in Florida when she comes across a photograph of her book - The Book of Lost Names - along with an article about Nazi book looting during WWII. The book is now in the hands of a German librarian. After all these years, Eva must confront the horrors of her past.

My thoughts/feelings: This story is absolutely awe inspiring. I highly recommend this book to all readers. It shows so much perseverance during one of history's most horrific periods. The people who inspired this story, who worked behind the scenes to save the Jewish people escaping the Nazi roundups are true heroes and deserve to be remembered.

Favorite Quotes:

"How nice it must be to be haunted by questions rather than ghosts."

"She doesn’t understand what it means to love books so passionately that you would die without them, that you would simply stop breathing, stop existing."

"Hope is all we have."

"...chaotic but beautiful yet the same."

"...Books bring us to another time and place."

"Books, wherever they were in the world, always felt like home to her."

"There are plenty of people resisting in their own ways. Be careful not to underestimate anyone."

"I am exactly where I am meant to be."

"Books change the world, I think."

"...parents make all sorts of errors, because our ability to raise our children is always colored by the lives we've lived before they came along."

"That's what books were for, after all. They were passageways to other worlds, other realities, other lives one could imagine living. But in times like these, was it dangerous to dream unrealistic dreams?"

"It was a reminder that it didn't matter where someone had come from; virtue could live within everyone."

"Hope was a dangerous thief, stealing her todays for a tomorrow that would never come."


Thank you to NetGalley, Gallery Books, and Kristin Harmel for the advanced copy of The Book of Lost Names in exchange for my honest review.

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