Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Questers -- Sep5tember 13, 2023

The Questers met in September to discuss The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel. Primarily set during World War II, the novel follows Eva, a brilliant young forger in occupied France, as she struggles to keep her mother safe while also working for the resistance. She is responsible for forging documents to help Jewish children escape into Switzerland. This is a deeply emotional book, as the characters feel the weight of humanity's lack of civility bearing down on them.

When Eva begins giving the children their new names and backgrounds, she fears she is erasing their identities. With her partner in forgery Remy, they concoct a code in a book to preserve the original names of the children they are saving. Eva and Remy are then left to wonder if they have, in the effort to save these identities, lost their own. 

The novel is full of intrigue, religion, romance, betrayal, and history. The Questers thought it to be a very thought provoking read, with half the discussion focusing on whether such an atrocity could take place today and how we would react if faced with the same dilemmas as the characters in the book. Would we betray our neighbors? Would we save ourselves? Would we be brave enough to risk our lives for children we never knew or would know again? 

The novel received a 4.1 out of 5 star rating.


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