There is a lot of fiction out there right now set in the time period of World War II, so standing out can be difficult. The Book of Lost Names is a sweet, brave story in a terrible time. Scroll down to read my book review.
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.
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.
This true story starts in Paris in 1942 and Eva Traube and her parents must escape before being sent off to an internment camp for being Jewish. Eva creates false documents to escape to a small mountain town where she becomes a valuable resource forging documents for adults and children. In the process, she meets Remy, another forger and they work side by side in the library of a church changing the names of children to get them to the Swiss border.
Eva doesn’t want the children to forget who they were even though some of them are so young, they’ll never know. To do this, they devise a system to hide the names in an existing book. The storytelling was wonderful and full of suspense. The relationship between Eva and her mother seemed unfair until you thought about what her mother was going through. There is a terrific love story in this one and even though it is about such a tragic time in history, the author gives you a sense of hope. Well done!