Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

Despite the sadness of the story, I had a hard time putting down Sarah's Key, which focuses on the Vel d'Hiv roundup in 1942 in Paris.

Around 12,884 Jews were arrested and imprisioned in the VĂ©lodrome d'hiver - an indoor track -- for five days before being sent to camps in France. Utlimately, they were sent to Auschwitz.
According to Wikipedia, The roundup accounted for more than a quarter of the 42,000 Jews sent from France to Auschwitz in 1942, of whom only 811 came home at the end of the war.
Sarah's Key centers around two women - Sarah, whose family was taken in the roundup and Julia, an American living in Paris decades after the war.

When the novel starts, Sarah locks her four-year-old brother, Michel, in a secret cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that they'll only be gone for a few hours.

The book alternates between Sarah's story and Julia's. Julia becomes drawn to Sarah's tale after being assigned to write a story about the roundup's 60th anniversary.

I usually don't like it when books flash back and forth like Sarah's Key does, However, in this instance I felt like it helped break up the unrelenting sadness of Sarah's tale. I thought this was an interesting look at love, redemption, secrets and forgiveness.

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