The Book of Lost Names

Kristin Harmel

4.5 stars!
Thank you to goodreads for my 3rd goodreads giveway win!
World War II was a horrible time in history and it is important to recognize that. I have read so many books set in this time period and every time I learn something new. I simply loved this. I’ve always loved novels that connect the past to the present, and while there are definitely a lot of them set in this time period, this one stood out. 
I appreciated the way that the author made the present voice in the first person while keeping the past in the third person, which I felt made it seem almost like Eva was looking back on her past without detracting from the story. I did feel a bit surprised that there was much more of the book set in the past than the present, but I later felt that it didn’t need more of the present than it had, and I was glad of the opportunity to have more details of Eva’s earlier life. 
I loved the fact that I was able to learn about the important work of forgers! I had read about different parts of the French resistance but most of this had been about passing along messages or occasionally hiding people, so it was interesting to not only have a main character with a more active role, but also be a person who was actively in danger even without being involved in resisting. It is always amazing to me how brave people were even when they knew it could be extremely dangerous for them. Eva’s bravery and resolve to stay and help even when she could have escaped to safety shows her to have a character that even the strongest people sometimes do not. 
I also thought the relationship that Eva had with her mother was very important in terms of the way that she reacted to the work that Eva was doing and what happened to her husband. Even though some may criticize her for the way she acted, ultimately she had just lost her husband and wasn’t sure he was alive, and needed to keep as much of her family together as she could. She was afraid to lose her daughter as well, and also that her daughter was losing the very part of herself that they were being prosecuted for. If they were to be in danger just because they were Jewish, it would make sense that she would want to make sure that her daughter was not “becoming Christian”, which is also what those who were so horrible were saying they were. I do think that it was shown in the end that she really was proud of Eva, and I’m glad that she was.
I really loved Eva’s relationships with Rémy and Geneveive. Even though I know that not very much time was spent on her and Geneveive’s relationship, I could tell that they had grown to care about each other over time, and that Eva did not tell her what she was doing not because she didn’t trust her, but because she didn’t want her to get hurt. Of course Eva’s relationship with Rémy was a very big part of the novel, but I did think there was some problems with the way he originally acted. However, over time I forgave him for it, and while I found the ending of the novel predictable, it still made me smile. 
Overall I found this a very interesting book with a new perspective on this period of history.

Sidenote: I received my copy of this book in October and meant to post this review months ago but completely forgot about it, but I am grateful to the author and publisher for my free copy.

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