February 8, 2021

The Book of Lost Names Review

The Book of Lost Names Review

Title: The Book of Lost Names
Author: Kristin Harmel
Style: Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5

“But we aren’t defined by the names we carry or the religion we practice, or the nation whose flag flies over our heads. I know that now. We’re defined by who we are in our hearts, who we choose to be on this earth.”

Eva Traube is a librarian in Florida and while stocking shelves she sees an open magazine with a photograph.  It's an image of a book she hasn't seen in sixty-five years, a book Eva called The Book of Lost Names.  The magazine article talks about trying to unite books with their original owners.  Books that were stolen by the Nazi's in France during World War II.  Within Eva's book, appears to be code that no one can seem to crack.  Only Eva holds the answers to the code and now she must confront her past.  As she travels to collect her book, she begins to recall her involvement with The Book of Lost Names, where she forged documents for Jewish children which allowed them to flee to Switzerland.  She wanted a way to preserve the children's true identities.  The Book of Lost Names becomes vital when Eva's resistance cell is compromised and everyone involved is forced to flee.

I am a sucker for a good WWII historical fiction book and this book did not disappoint me. The Book of Lost Names is a heartbreakingly, gut wrenching but beautiful story about bravery, love, family and resilience.  The story is character driven and unforgettable.   I truly didn't want it to end. I loved Eva's bravery and drive to do whats write in a scary world. I often wonder what I would do in a situation like this and I can honestly say that I don't know.  My only wish is that it would have contained an authors note.  I would have liked to know where Harmel got her ideas and what research she did when writing this story.  I did do this book on Audio though Scribd, the audio was fantastic, so its possible a physical copy might contain this. So please disregard if you have read physical or e-book copy and it has an authors note.