Paperback, 293 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by St. Martin's Pressmore details...
Original title: Sarah's Key
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.
Let me start by saying that this book was selected randomly while browsing the aisles at the book store. The book description captured my attention as I have a keen interest in books that take place during war time, particularly relating to the holocaust. At the time I had never heard of it and was unaware of its popularity. This book was purchased to motivate me to work out as I was only allowing myself to read it while on the treadmill. Needless to say I that I couldn't put the book down and therefore burned a lot of calories as I finished the book in one day! I absolutely loved this book, although I say that with some hesitation considering the subject matter of this novel. I liked how the book alternated between the present day with Julia's story and blended it with Sarah's journey in 1942. I also enjoyed that it used a real historical event to use as the basis for Sarah's story. This was an easy read despite it's subject matter and it brought me to tears at moments which to me is a sign of a good story and let's be honest, a little therapeutic. Since reading this, the book has made the rounds in my family, traveling to my mother, sister and even my 12 year old niece. I hear that this has been made in to a movie that will be released later this year. I'm still debating if I will go see it as the movie rarely ever lives up to the book. I can't think of one......
Terri gave me this book to read after she finished and loved it. Unlike her, I curled up in a chair at the lake to begin reading it. I try to convince myself that I burnt just as many calories as her but who am I kidding! I found it to be a very quick read and finished it in no time. Terri called me and asked me what I thought of it and I told her I hated it! Having said that I had to explain that I thoroughly enjoyed it but hated the events that happened in it. The only thing I can say that best describes how I felt was that I loved and hated it at the same time. This is a book that you have to read to fully understand. I couldn't agree more with Terri's review above.