Sarah's Key

by Tatiana de Rosnay | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780312370848 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingAceofHeartswing of Mississauga, Ontario Canada on 5/1/2011
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, May 01, 2011
Amazon Editorial 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.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Reading now!

Journal Entry 3 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Monday, July 11, 2011
Sarah, a ten year old girl, lives in Paris with her parents and brother when in 1942, French police come knocking on their door. Sarah hides her brother in a cupboard and locks him in so that the police can't take him, thinking she'll be back within the day to let him out. However Sarah doesn't know that the French Police are rounding up Jewish families and taking them to the Velodrome d'Hiver with over 10,000 others.

A stain on French history, sixty years later, Julia Jarmond is asked to write a piece on the roundup for her newspaper. An American living in Paris, Julia didn't know about this, but finds herself much closer to this piece of history than she knows. The apartment that she is moving in to with her husband and child is the one where Sarah lived and locked her brother in the cupboard.

This book switches between Sarah's narrative and Julia's narrative. Sarah's narrative is much more honest but more painful and sad. She tells her story that starts as a naive child but very quickly learns about what her parents have hidden from her and why she is being taken from home.

It's pretty easy to see where the story is going to go, but it's an interesting journey to get there. I found it simply written but got in to the novel quite quickly. About 2/3rds the way through the novel, Sarah's narrative stopped and I think it would have added a special touch to the novel to have one last chapter with the final part of her story at the end of the novel. After I had finished, I looked up the Vel d'Hiv and read about the history of this horrific event. I had never heard about it in the past and felt that this novel was a perfect way to bring this event to light.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Saturday, July 16, 2011
This book is back with me!

Journal Entry 5 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 29, 2012
In 1942 in Paris a ten year old girl, Sarah is rounded up with her parents by the French police and taken to Vel’ d’Hiv’. Before she leaves she locks her little brother in a cupboard thinking she will be back soon to release him.

In a parallel story Julia Jarmond is asked to write a story about the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup for the 60th anniversary. She is determined to follow Sarah's footsteps.

Switching between the two stories the book tells us of Sarah's trials and ordeals and the horror of being a Jew in occupied France. Julia meanwhile, feels Sarah's anguish as she pursues her story and finds out how closely intertwined it is with her in-laws' story. Julia starts to question her own marriage and life. I did not really empathize with Julia and found while Zoe her daughter seemed to be so mature it was almost unreal.

I did not know about the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup but I did know about how the French do not want to discuss any of their 'ugly' part in WWII. Interestingly, I recently picked up A Thread of Grace By Mary Doria Russell which is about Jews in occupied Italy and how they were hidden. Two authors, similiar subjects and completely different treatments. As much as the French were shown to be brutal the Italians are shown to have some sympathy.

*****SPOILER*****

I would never have continued living in an apartment where the body of a little boy had been found. I may not have had the courage to stand up to the brutality and even might have overlooked how I got the apartment but to continue to live there. UGH!!!
One never knows until one is in that situation how one will react. I could always hope I would stand up and be counted.

Journal Entry 6 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, January 16, 2013
mailed to Nimrodiel who won this in the Debut swap

Journal Entry 7 by wingnimrodielwing at Evanston, Illinois USA on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
This got here safely!

Journal Entry 8 by wingnimrodielwing at Evanston, Illinois USA on Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I read this a couple months back and absolutely loved it. I found it a heartbreakingly sad story.

However, the transitions between timelines were a bit jarring and the end when they finally met felt a little rushed.

Journal Entry 9 by wingnimrodielwing at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois USA on Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (7/23/2013 UTC) at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

This was left in a bookcrossing bag on one of the South Boeing Gallery's Monroe street entrance landscaping signs (cement wall).

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