The Book of Lost Names - Kristin Harmel

The Book of Lost Names

By Kristin Harmel

  • Release Date: 2020-07-21
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 900 Ratings



Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the “epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale” (Alyson Noel, #1 New York Times bestselling author) The Winemaker’s Wife.

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.


  • The book of lost names

    By srormy1
    I wanted to love it but I found the book to be very repetitive with way too much dialogue.
  • Great read

    By Jilllyfr
    I really loved this book. I felt like I was there, in occupied France.
  • A triumph of a book

    By gracies mommy
    Brilliant! I read all day and all evening.
  • Another home run!

    By lmybudo
    Another home run by Harmel! I could not put this book down. She brings the characters to life in such a dynamic way that makes you root for them, cry with them and want to hug them. The historical perspective woven through the story is intriguing. This one will stay with me for years.
  • Simply wonderful

    By ABPNW
  • Great

    By Camerinwinovich
    Amazing story, so so great.
  • Love!!!

    By clarac98
    Such a great book! Couldn’t not put it down.I didn’t want it to end. One I will read again.
  • Beautiful story

    By lawrenkris
    Captivating! I easily followed the story as it switched between present and past. Wonderful story line had me enraptured until the very end. I loved it!
  • Catchy but with gaps

    By kikarm
    It’s an interesting story. But it leaves one flat when the story line jumps more than 8 months and with no idea how was to journey in Switzerland. Or if she manages to find any of the kids she saves. Besides it should say based on facts of history. ( the war, the forgery, but that’s the extent of it). But all the rest is fiction. Not really based on a true story.
  • Good love story

    By mariesh2014
    The writing felt rushed at times and the story a little jumpy but all in all a good love story though sad at times. It’s not the best book I’ve ever read but I’m happy to have read it. It’s one that will live in my head a for a few days.