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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times best seller

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 New York Times best-selling author of the "epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale" (number one New York Times best-selling author Alyson Noel), The Winemaker’s Wife.

Lina Meisel, a retired librarian in Florida, is reading the newspaper one morning when she freezes. Her eyes lock on a photograph of a book she hasn’t seen in 65 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 Lina remembers well - and the search to reunite people with the texts stolen from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an 18th 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 Stadtbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from - or what the code means. Only Lina 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, Lina was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the shadow of the Alps, 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 Rémi, Lina decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children 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 Rémi disappears.

A gripping, heartfelt 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.

©2020 Kristin Harmel Lietz (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Book of Lost Names

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Another whiney female "heroine"

The premise of the story was interesting and good history-telling, but the fictional characters used to tell it were abysmal. I found Ava really annoying and immature. Her devotion and complete submission to a selfish, bigoted, self-righteous, and profoundly idiotic mother was unbelievable to the extreme. I kept waiting for her to develop a spine. And there were so many holes in the plot that it left me laughing at times. Just when Ava needs to find out what happened to her mother, and she dresses up like a bag lady with a limp, no one stops her and asks to see her papers, even though the Naziis were desperate to get their hands on her. Really??? And the relationship between Ava and Remy was puzzling and unfullfilling to me. The book over all was worth the read, but was basically a good idea only half-executed.

10 people found this helpful

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Main character

I was really annoyed by main character. She was not very bright, and wanted to slap her multiple times.

10 people found this helpful

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The story itself was good.

Not a fan of the writing or the narration but the story was interesting.

6 people found this helpful

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My big mistake was passing over this book to look for a “better” one

I really enjoyed this audible book. Seems to have captured life I. Occupied France. Or Vichy France It appeared to be one and the same. Nothing free about this area of france. Her characters were so real life. Mother daughter dynamics were so true. Even in 2020 as in 1943 occupied France. The bravery of the gentiles to help save lives of Jews was astounding. To their own peril many times I would love to see a movie made of this book. The art of forgery was interesting and so many lived because of this . I laughed and cried the last ten minutes you will too

5 people found this helpful

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Quite predictable

I was not as impressed by this book as others seem to have been. I felt the prose was a bit repetitive (lots of blushing girls), and the storyline was predictable. The background story was intriguing, which was why I downloaded it, but in actuality, the story itself was just “ok” unfortunately. I also thought the narrator should have been coached more on the pronunciation of the French and German words—many were very “off.” I did not love her choice of voices for the characters much either.

2 people found this helpful

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Such great subject matter and then

I loved the plot. I learned about brave men and women. And how thousands of children were smuggled to safety during WWII. But the backdrop couldn’t save this maudlin,repetitive essentially harlequin novel. I felt most of the time I was watching a repeat of Perils of Pauline. A shame. Such potential.

2 people found this helpful

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Holocaust light

This is in the genre of The Nightingale, The German Midwife and We Were the Lucky Ones - all of whom were thoroughly researched, credible and based on real events. While the story is entertaining, you definitely have to suspend your disbelief at all the things the author got wrong. As someone who is fascinated by this time period, this got increasingly more frustrating as the book went on. The writing is wooden and simplistic, and the narration is quite monotone. I cannot recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautuful story

I really enjoyed hearing about the French Resistance and the individuals who helped the Jewish children escape to Switzerland. As forgers Ava and Remmy had a strong tie which lead to a deep love never to be forgotten. The characters were well developed and the story moved along. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys knowing more about the side stories of World War II.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent book!

Absolutely Loved this book. It brought me back to my own mother-in-law and her stories during the war.

1 person found this helpful

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Didn't live the reader

Great story, too many coincidences, but I had a really hard time with this reader.

1 person found this helpful