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 bestselling author of the “epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noel), The Winemaker’s Wife.
Lina Meisel, a retired librarian in Florida, is reading the newspaper one morning when she freezes. Her eyes lock on a photograph 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 Lina remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts stolen 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 Stadtbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Lina 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, Lina was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the shadow of the Alps, 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 Rémi, Lina decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children 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 Rémi disappears.
A gripping, heartfelt 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 Kristin Harmel
Published by Gallery Books on July 21, 2020
Buy on Amazon
I received a complimentary ARC from Borrowed in exchange for an honest review.
THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES by Kristin Harmel
While reading The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel, it made me think of the movie “Casablanca” but with a better flavor of the French Resistance and the beneficial things they did to help Jewish children flee the Nazis during World War II. If not for the talents of those people, many more would have been caught, and possibly killed.
This book grabbed me from page one, not letting go until I finished reading it later that day. I will warn you to keep a box of tissues nearby while reading this book. This is not just another survival story during the Holocaust but also a love story and a story of remembrance. It is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil. I highly recommend this book to other readers.
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Reviewer: Eileen is a retired high school teacher who has loved reading all of her life and goes everywhere with a book. She enjoys reading Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Women’s Literature, YA, NA, Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Cozy Mysteries. She likes strong heroines, hot heroes and a story that draws her in, not letting go until the last page is turned. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, pup, and near her four adult children.