BookBrowse Reviews The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

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The Book of Lost Names

by Kristin Harmel

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel X
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2020, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2021, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Will Heath
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In this moving work of historical fiction based on real events, a young Polish-French Jewish woman forges identification papers to aid Jews fleeing the Nazis during World War II.

There is certainly no shortage of books set in World War II Europe — from thrillers to family dramas — but even within this crowded setting, The Book of Lost Names stands out thanks to a strong sense of character and a compelling tale of love and survival.

While it doesn't carry the emotional or political weight of Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin or Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See, Kristin Harmel's novel is tightly written and impressively affecting. The Book of Lost Names tells the story of Eva, a young Jewish Parisian and daughter of Polish migrants, that begins in 1942 and ends in 2005.

The novel flits back and forth between World War II Paris and 2005 Florida, with Eva now well into her eighties. When the titular Book of Lost Names — a book which Eva herself created during the war — turns up in Berlin, the events of this time in her life come ...

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