This engrossing story is set mostly in the past during the 1940s in France and in 2005 where 86 year-old Eva is going to confront her past. Widowed and living in Florida as a semi-retired librarian, she reads an article in The New York Times about a library in Berlin that has a large collection of books that were looted by the Nazis during the war and the effort being undertaken to find the true owners. Eva immediately recognizes the book she had called The Book of Lost Names. Her book.
In 1942, Eva and her mother had to flee Paris after her father was arrested. As Jews, they were no longer safe. They went to a small town in France to hide with the hopes of escaping to Switzerland. Eva soon became an integral part of the resistance using her artist skills creating new identities for Jewish children by forging official documents for them. Working secretly in a church, she takes an old religious text and encodes the pages with the real and new names of the children. Her hope was that one day the children would be able to learn of their true identities. Together with Remy, they made it possible for many children to escape through ingenious forging methods. But the Nazis are about to uncover their operation.
Based on true events, The Book of Lost Names will bring you into the horrors of the war and the dilemma of whether to try to save yourself or try to save others. And as Eva becomes more integrated into the Catholic community that is working to save the lives of Jewish children, is she losing her own Jewish identity as she erases the children’s identities on their records?
This is a beautiful, heartbreaking story of bravery, determination and love. If you too enjoy books of this genre, this one should be at the top of your list. And as with other books that draw from history, be sure to read the Epilogue which details the brave people who inspired this book.
Please pass the Kleenex.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Edelweiss, Gallery Books and Kristin Harmel for an advance copy of this unforgettable book.
5 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: July 21, 2020.
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