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 1,952 Ratings


“A fascinating, heartrending page-turner that, like the real-life forgers who inspired the novel, should never be forgotten.” —Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday

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 “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue) historical novel from the #1 international bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books when her eyes lock on a photograph in the New York Times. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in more than sixty 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 does she have the strength to revisit old memories?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris and find refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, where she began 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 Joanabake
    I loved the story of the forgers who saved so many children during WWII and was engaged by the characters. However the ending was very pat and improbable. Unreal to believe that Eva and Rémy were magically reunited on the steps of the Berlin museum after so much time and loss of life.
  • Loved it

    By Chrstcat
    The best book I have read since the Nightingale. It was so easy to read. The main character was so relatable, both in present and in past tense. I continue to be in awe how people were treated during World War II. This book is beautiful.
  • The book of lost names

    By beans-72
    This book took my breath away. Heartbreaking and beautiful. It’s a timely reminder of what it means to be a good human being.
  • I could not put this book down, wow!

    By HOQR
    I could not put this book down. On to the next one. Just terrific!
  • Deeply Satisfying Read

    By Jtucker-movie review007
    This brings the intensity of love and war together and is a deeply emotionally satisfying read.
  • Must Read

    By Uber driver107934
    Great book !
  • Really special

    By Kebello
    Beautiful, important….
  • Hooked

    By Emdanben
    Beautifully written book. Learned about the French town b/c of this book. AND learned about forgers during WW2.
  • Excellent!

    By fboyko
    Fascinating historical fiction!
  • Book of lost names

    By penrn123
    Loved this book