About the Book
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.
Book Synopsis INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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.
"Harmel writes a poignant novel based loosely on the true story of an American woman who helped on the Comet Line, which rescued hundreds of airmen and soldiers. This compelling story celebrates hope and bravery in the face of evil."-- "Booklist"
"This book of historical fiction is also a surprising story of love, courage, and the resiliency of the human spirit....[Harmel] manages to draw her audience in, even to the point of unexpected tears at the story's end.."-- "Jewish Book Council"
"Written in heart-wrenching prose, THE WINEMAKER'S WIFE is a complex story of love, betrayal and impossible courage set in the champagne growing region of France during World War II. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and savored every moment at the same time."--Anita Hughes, bestselling author of Christmas in Paris"Engrossing... a suspenseful tale of betrayals personal and political, and of courage and sacrifice."
-- "Tampa Bay Times on The Winemaker's Wife""
A story of courage and love in unimaginable circumstances."--bestselling author Barbara Taylor Sissel
"A heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism centered on a female forger who risks everything to help Jewish children escape Nazi-occupied France."-- "People (20 Best Books to Read this Summer)"
"Harmel brilliantly imagines the life of a young Polish-French Jewish woman during the depths of WWII...Harmel movingly illustrates Eva's courage to risk her own life for others, and all of the characters are portrayed with realistic compassion. This thoughtful work will touch readers with its testament to the endurance of hope."-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"Harmel injects new life into a well-worn story in this hopeful three-voiced tale about the struggle to find normalcy amid the horrors of WWII... Harmel's emotionally fraught story hammers home the message that each person has a unique opportunity to stand against injustice. This is a celebration of those, like Ruby, who found the courage to face life head-on."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"Harmel...authentically weaves American history into this engaging novel. An appealing family saga that connects generations and reaffirms love."-- "Kirkus Reviews on WHEN WE MEET AGAIN"
"Harmel's engrossing latest reminds us that love, like resistance, begins with courage."-- "People on THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE"
"Harmel's latest novel overlaps somewhat with recent book club favorites Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale
and Martha Hall Kelly's Lilac Girls
... recommended for fans of World War II historical fiction."-- "Library Journal"
"Harmel's previous historical novels, including The Winemaker's Wife
(2019), illuminate heartbreakingly real but forgotten stories from World War II, blended with a dash of suspense and romance, and this does the same. Recommend to fans of romantic historical fiction, including All the Ways We Said Goodbye
"Kristin Harmel writes with such insight and heart that her characters will stay with you long after you've finished her books."
--New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin on THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING
"Not since "The Nightingale" have I finished a book and been so choked with emotion. Harmel was inspired by the true story of French citizens who fought against evil during WWII with courage and conviction. She shines a brilliant light on those who had their identities erased and lives destroyed, on a country and its people torn apart, and young women like Eva, who risked their lives with everyday acts of epic heroism. Sweeping and magnificent."
--Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
"Reminiscent of The Nightingale and The Map of the Heart, Kristin Harmel's THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE is an emotional, heart-breaking, inspiring tribute to the strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love."
--NYTimes bestselling author Mariah Stewart
"Richly detailed and yet fast-paced, Harmel's story flows at remarkable depth, as ordinary citizens rise to the challenge of extraordinary circumstances in occupied France. A fascinating exploration of the escape routes set up for downed Allied pilots, readers will be swept up in this heart-wrenching drama."--Juliette Fay, author of The Tumbling Turner Sisters
"Set against all the danger and drama of WWII Paris, this heartfelt novel will keep you turning the pages until the very last word."--New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe
"The latest from Harmel...is an affecting tale about finding happiness amid grief and guilt. Some twists are telegraphed early in the novel, but that doesn't diminish the satisfying conclusion."-- "Booklist on THE LIFE INTENDED"
"The strong and courageous inhabitants of THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE occupied all my time until the tender and powerful final pages. Beautifully written, Kristin Harmel's latest is an unforgettable exploration of love and hope during the darkest of moments."--Amy E. Reichert, author of The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
"The Winemaker's Wife is a beautifully told, atmospheric story about redemption, heartbreak, resilience, and courage. With evocative prose and a lush setting in a champagne winery, it reminds us of the power of secrets, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love."---Maureen Leurck, author of Cicada Summer and Monarch Manor
"What could be better than a story of champagne, secrets, lies, and history from a writer as compulsively readable as Kristin Harmel? Pick up this epic and heart-wrenching WWII tale immediately!"--Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times bestselling author of SAVING ZOE
"With exceptional skill, Kristin Harmel constructs The Winemaker's Wife
between the past and the present, giving equal weight and importance to both, all the while weaving a tale full of secrets and betrayals that puts to the test mankind's strength, fragility and vileness. Once you start reading this moving novel, you will not be able to put it down until you reach the last page." --Armando Lucas Correa, bestselling author of The German Girl, on THE WINEMAKER'S WIFE
"With meticulous research and an assured hand, Kristin Harmel once again spotlights French Resistance figures of the Second World War, unique heroes whose bravery and immeasurable sacrifices are too often lost to history. THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES is a fascinating, heartrending page-turner that, like the real-life forgers who inspired the novel, should never be forgotten. A riveting historical tale that I devoured in a single sitting."--Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday
About the Author
Kristin Harmel is the New York Times
bestselling author of a dozen novels including The Book of Lost Names
, The Winemaker's Wife
, The Room on Rue Amélie
, and The Sweetness of Forgetting
. She is also the cofounder and cohost of the popular web series Friends and Fiction
. She lives in Orlando, Florida.