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Kristin Harmel

Forfatter af The Book of Lost Names

28+ Værker 5,620 Medlemmer 285 Anmeldelser 3 Favorited

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Includes the name: Kristin Harmel

Image credit: Kristin Harmel

Værker af Kristin Harmel

Associated Works

Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories (2011) — Bidragyder — 325 eksemplarer
Grey's Anatomy 101: Seattle Grace, Unauthorized (2007) — Bidragyder — 23 eksemplarer

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20th century
Orlando, Florida, USA



Overall, a very thought-provoking book. The first half was engaging with captivating events and characters. The second half was more predictable, with story beats that I do not want to spoil. Still, the denouement was satisfying in the end.
Juliette was a pitiable and broken character. Once loving and settled, she becomes mean and unhinged. Although I tried, it wasn't until the end of the book that I could find empathy for her. Elise seemed a little flat as well. She was obsessive in her art, but it would have been more interesting for the reader to be in her mind as she created her art instead of just reading about how the completed work made her aware of her obsession.
Lucie seemed underdeveloped until the final chapters as well. What did she remember? Did she have flashbacks? What was she thinking as she created her paintings?
So, 4 stars for the story... lacking a little depth that could have made it an even better book.

Quotes I loved:
"Whatever we give up is worth it in the end if we give those pieces to someone who loves us back just as fiercely. " p. 16
" The universe always leads you to exactly where you're meant to b, for though it may be endless, there is a place for all of us." p. 17

"...you must keep moving forward, however difficult the road may be. You must live, and one day, you will realize that the future lies ahead of you, and it is time to let the past go. " p. 207

"The mind plays tricks on us, and sometimes we recast the past in the way we need to see it in order to live with ourselves." p. 324

"Even if life transforms us, we are all who we are at our core, our whole lives through." p. 327

"...no matter how many days we spend living the lives we are told are ours, it turns out that we are only ever ourselves." p. 354

"Under these stars, fate will guide you home." p. 359
… (mere)
Chrissylou62 | 23 andre anmeldelser | Apr 11, 2024 |
The Paris Daughter, Krisitin Harmel, author; Madeleine Maby, narrator
Once again, I have read a book about the Holocaust and discovered that there is no end to the brutality of war or to learning one more fact about it. The violence comes from enemies and friends, because when bombs are dropped, they destroy indiscriminately. This is a different kind of book about the Holocaust, however, because this book is more about the effect of war on the psyche, on the community, on life after the war, on ordinary citizens, not only Jews or gays or those Hitler deemed unfit, not only about those who were arrested and brutalized. It is about the impossible path forward for so many survivors. It is about how one lives during a time of such barbarism, helping the vulnerable and giving to others or taking shamefully, abusing and stealing from the vulnerable and targeted who are helpless.
In Paris, two expats from America become such good friends, they become substitutes for family. Their daughters, born close to each other, also grow very close, and by the time they are about three, they are almost clones of each other. When war breaks out in Europe, these two women face impossible choices, as does their close friend Ruth Levy. In times of war, in order to survive, and ensure the survival of others, great sacrifices are called for and made by many. Sometimes, those choices have unintended consequences. Loss, and the grief that comes with it, can cause devastating changes to one’s approach to life.
Elise LeClair and Juliette Foulon, have two different kinds of marriages. Juliette’s husband Paul is devoted to his wife and family, and then to their bookstore, La Librairie des Rêves, the bookshop of dreams. Elise’s husband, a renowned artist, is devoted to his art, his politics and underground work, and then to his family and wife. In short, he is, first and foremost, devoted to himself. His underground work is commendable, but to save those people involved, he compromises others, perhaps selfishly. No one really knows the motivation of desperate people during times of war. They are all forced to make impossible choices.
Ruth Levy was a friend of both expats. She, a Jewish woman who had escaped from Germany, was more and more threatened in Paris and forced to make the impossible decision of saving her children by relinquishing them to strangers. She knew that she might not survive the war, but desperately wanted to save her children. Elise and Juliette could not understand how a mother could willingly give up a child, but they promise to help. Soon, however, Elise was forced to make the same terrible decision, and Juliette agreed to take Mathilde and care for her, along with her other children. Lucy, Alphonse and Claude were her surviving children, having lost a daughter, Antoinette, when she was only days old. She, therefore, understood the profound loss of a child. Her daughter Lucy always played with Mathilde anyway, and the women had promised to make profound sacrifices for each other, if need be. Suddenly, it needed to be.
Errant bombs fall in war, devastation, destruction and death follow, often the innocent suffer unduly and unfairly. Juliette’s bookstore is bombed, and horror visited her family. She took the surviving child to New York. After the war, mothers return. Ruth Levy searches for her children and they search for her. Elise returns and searches for Mathilde. She discovers that the bookstore is gone, along with her child. During the war, the man who managed her husband Olivier’s paintings had promised to protect her apartment and her belongings. When she returned, her apartment was there, but her belongings were gone.
The novel explores not only the impossible choices mothers are forced to make, but also the choices heroes and heroines and those more unscrupulous consider and choose. It explores the devastating effects of the war on the path forward that is impossible for some. Some memories cannot be discarded or erased; some survivors cannot overcome their survivor’s guilt or their refusal to believe that everything they loved is gone. They remain mired in the mud of the past.
The author relies on parts of history that are real, like the bombing of the Renault factory and the resulting mistakes made by the allies as they tried to defeat Hitler, the mistakes made by pilots as they missed their targets, the tragic results in Brooklyn, New York, when a plane veered off course. The author has threaded the parts of this story together with historic moments, but sometimes, the novel required the suspension of disbelief as it descended into a bit of melodrama.
… (mere)
thewanderingjew | 23 andre anmeldelser | Apr 4, 2024 |
Elise LeClaire and her husband, Olivier are artists. Olivier is quite famous in France. In 1939, as war breaks out in Europe Olivier becomes involved with the Communist party and later the resistance. Elisa is worried about Olivier's activities for herself and her young daughter, Mathilde. As war in France becomes inevitable, Olivier does not return home. Elise soon learns that he was arrested and claimed his wife, was aware of his associates. Elise did not agree with Olivier's activities and knows nothing. She knows she must leave Paris, but taking her young daughter is a risk. She arranges for her daughter to stay with friends who own a bookstore in Paris. Elise leaves the city telling her daughter she will return for her. Several years pass and Elise returns to the bookstore once France is liberated. Where the bookstore stood is a pile of rubble. Elise must find her daughter and her friends.… (mere)
dara85 | 23 andre anmeldelser | Mar 28, 2024 |
Like many other people who responded, I was very disappointed by the stiffness of the characters and the lack of nuance in general.
asendor | 82 andre anmeldelser | Feb 15, 2024 |



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