From Chapters Indigo:”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.”
Sarah’s Key is a heartbreaking story centered around a difficult time in history. Sarah and her family are arrested during the Vel’ D’Hiv’ roundup in Paris. All were taken except for her little brother whom she hid in a cupboard in their apartment. Thinking that they’d only be gone for a little while, Sarah locked him in and left with the key. Among the story of Sarah, we also follow journalist Julia Jarmond who is writing an article on the Vel’ D’Hiv’s 60th Anniversary. Through research, she comes across Sarah and her family, and interest ensues. The novel jumps back and forth between Sarah and Julia, giving a nice balance between the two stories before coming together by the end of the book. I surprisingly knew very little on the Vel’ D’Hiv’ so this story was an eye-opening experience. Tatiana de Rosnay’s writing was captivating. I couldn’t put this book down. It evoked so many emotions; sadness, frustration and hope .. just to name a few, I felt like I was riding a rollercoaster. The characters were so realistic and moving. This is one of my favorite books from 2011. Quite a few months after reading this book and putting it back on my shelf, I still think about it a lot.
Rating – 4/5
Similar Readings – I have Suite Francaise waiting patiently on my shelf to be read. It has a similar premises to this novel and has received numerous great reviews. Has anyone read it? Thoughts and opinions on it?