Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay -- A Book Review

A New York Times bestseller.

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.
Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

1 comment:

  1. Paris July 1942, Sarah a ten year old Parisian Jew is awaken in the middle of the night by French policemen at the door, in the Vel d‘ Hiver roundup in France during WWII. Sarah not truly understanding what was going on hides her brother Michel in a cupboard and promises to come back for him. She locks the cupboard and puts the key in her dress pocket. Sarah and her parents are taken away to a camp before being transported to Auschwitz Death camp. While at the camp Sarah realizes what is going to happen to her and her parents. When Sarah is separated from her parents she befriend a girl named Rachel and decides to escape from the camp to find her brother. Sarah and Rachel are taken in by a French couple. When Rachel gets very sick the couple has no choice but to call a doctor. The doctor soon calls the French Police who come and take Rachel away while Sarah hides in the basement. Sarah tells the couple about her brother who is waiting for her in a cupboard in her old home. On the morning Sarah leaves to save her brother the couple decides to go along with her and they all head to Paris. When Sarah arrives at her home she finds that a new family has moved in.

    Julia Jarmond a French American journalist is covering the 60 year anniversary of the Vel d’ Hiver and what happen to many Parisian Jew during that time. Julia is married to a jerk and has a daughter. Julia learns that she is pregnant and her husband is having an affair. I think the details of Julia’s troubled marriage could have been left out. So I wont go into more detail about it. It took away from the real story.

    The story goes back and forth in time telling the story of Sarah and Julia. As Julia investigates the Vel d’ Hiver round up she learns of her ties to Sarah. Julia learns from her father in-law that his childhood home, the home Julia is getting ready to move into was where Sarah live and had hid her brother. One afternoon Julia’s father in-law tells her of the day that Sarah came back for her brother, and how that day change his and his fathers lives forever. Her father in-law tells of how his father kept in touch with Sarah and send her money over the years. After hearing the story Julia decides to find Sarah, she traces Sarah to the U.S, and learns that Sarah die years earlier in a car accident but left behind a husband and a son.

    Sarah’s Key is a touching, heart wrenching and emotional tale of a young girl who is determine to save her little brother, who she on the night of a terrible round up locked in a cupboard for safety. If you love stories about kids who in the face of something horrible have the strength to go on for a loved one this is the book for you.

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