The Book of Lost Names

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About The Book

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 international 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.

About The Author

Photograph by Phil Art Studio, Reims, France

Kristin Harmel is the international 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. Her work has been featured in PeopleWoman’s Day, Men’s Health, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among many other media outlets. She lives in Orlando, Florida.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (July 21, 2020)
  • Length: 416 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982131890

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Raves and Reviews

“Love and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption combine in a heady tale of the ever present past…fantastic!"

– Pam Jenoff, NYT bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

“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

"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

“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

"Harmel's engrossing latest reminds us that love, like resistance, begins with courage."

– People on THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE

“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

 "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

"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

“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

"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

 "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

“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

"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

"A story of courage and love in unimaginable circumstances."

– bestselling author Barbara Taylor Sissel

"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

"Centering on a lesser-known facet of American history, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN is a gripping novel of history, art, and the power of love. Kristin Harmel’s work is always riveting but her storytelling reaches new heights with a tale that is layered, complex, and satisfying to the last page."

– bestselling author Michelle Gable on WHEN WE MEET AGAIN

"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

“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

“Kristin Harmel...[is] one of my favorite authors!”
 

– bestselling author Melissa Senate on THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING

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