The Book of Lost Names
The Book of Lost Names
When I first started writing reviews and newsletters for my blog last year, one of my first newsletters was from Kristin Harmel’s “The Book of Lost Names,” and about several of her books being optioned for Hollywood the link for that is here https://booknotions.com/book-of-lost-names/. We now fast forward to a year later. The book arrived on the day it was released since it was pre-ordered. I finished reading the book on Thursday. Although the characters were fictional, I liked the fact that it was based off of a lesser known part of history about those in the resistance that would forge fake identities to help Jewish children escape Nazi occupied France.
Eva Traube is the main female character. I like the fact that at first she isn’t sure she wants to get involved in forging but then eventually changes her mind. In 2005 she is a friendly 86 year old librarian. Eva has great courage despite her fears and insecurities.
Remy is a fellow resistance fighter. Remy is a fighter he is handsome if a bit cocky. Him and Eva have great chemistry despite trying to fight their feelings for each other.
Pere Clement is my favorite Priest. If by some unfortunate chance we have a war similar to World War II someone like this character would be someone I would confide in. He’s a gentle soul and isn’t afraid to pay the consequences if he was by chance caught due to his devout faith and love in God.
Joseph is a friend of Eva’s who we find out is in the resistance. He goes under a different name and the rest of the resistance doesn’t know his real name is Joseph. It is a bit suspicious. It gives the reader a feeling that something isn’t right….
Geneviève is a fellow forger that comes later in the book. Geneviève and Eva become fast friends. Geneviève is friendly. The poor woman also falls in love with Joseph who it would seem is using her and has some sort of feeling (or lust) for Eva.
Otto Kuhn is the kind German librarian who finds The Book of Lost Names that Eva once had in her possession sixty years before. He apologizes for what his people did and feels responsible. Eva reminds him though he is only responsible for what he did or what he failed to do.
Pros and Cons
I enjoyed that once again we are reading about lesser known parts of history. I like most of the characters. The book was definitely a page turner. I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. The book had its slow parts but eventually it did pick up. I did enjoy reading the war time parts though sometimes I wish we did see a little bit more of Eva’s life after the war and how she had to cope after everything that happened. I also wished we read about Eva telling her son about her past instead of telling him over the phone at Otto’s library. I also wasn’t too crazy about Eva’s mother. I understand her husband was taken from her and she wants Eva to remain devout to her Jewish religion and marry a Jewish man and not Remy, a Catholic one, but it became annoying since Eva’s mom did that constantly. The ending was cute even if it seemed almost too good to be true. For the flaws this book had though, it was definitely an improvement from Kristin Harmel’s previous book, “The Winemakers Wife.” I recommend this book for any die hard Kristin Harmel fans, for fans of historical fiction especially World War II.