November 23, 2010

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

I have to admit, many times I avoid holocaust novels, I'm glad I made an exception for Sarah's Key.  De Rosnay tells Sarah's story through an American journalist living in Paris.  Through her research she discovers her family's war-era secrets, and how they effected Sarah.  Her discoveries cause ripples in not only her own family, but Sarah's adopted French family as well as the American family Sarah became part of.

From the Publisher

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.

This is truly a wonderfully written novel, one that make you think and feel.  This would be a great book club read.

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