Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Review: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's KeyTitle: Sarah's Key

Author: Tatiana de Rosnay

Pages: 293

Source: Library

Rating: 9/10

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

First Sentence: "The girl was the first to hear the loud pounding on the door."

Summary (From back of book):

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten-year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard -- their secret hiding place -- and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released

Sixty years later: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future.

My Two Cents:

I have been *trying* to read this book for months, ever since I tossed it into my Amazon cart while shopping for the library. When it came in, I was reading another book, so it made the rounds of several people. Then, I read about 50 pages one Saturday morning and was hooked, but someone came in requesting the book. So, it's taken me until now to read it.

Until reading this book, I had no idea there were roundups in Paris during World War II. It makes sense, seeing as France was Nazi-occupied for part of the war. But, it was still a shock to learn that people really were taken from their homes by French police, sent to French camps, and then taken by train directly to Auschwitz and killed. Horrifying.

I liked Julia as a character well enough, but there were some times when I had wished she would have woken up sooner and changed her home situation. Some of the things she put up with just annoyed me, and kind of set me against her character.

Sarah, though, is one of the most memorable characters I've ever met in fiction. She begins the book as a regular 10-year-old girl, but the horrors that she sees and the things she's forced to come to terms with change her permanently. While there probably wasn't a child during the roundup who was in her exact situation, there likely were several children who had their innocence destroyed by their own countrymen.

This is an incredibly powerful book. I usually try to stagger my reading of books, switching back and forth between two books I'm reading, but I couldn't put this one down. I finished more than half the book in about an hour on a train ride. This is one book you'll never forget.


Aths said...

Glad you loved this book! I am also 'trying' to read this book since ages ago.. so I really can't wait to finally get to it!

Jenners said...

I think this is the book my mom has been trying to get me to read ... but she didn't do as good a "sales job" as you!

Jess said...

Read this one and enjoyed it -- glad you did too!

Brenna said...

I always pick up this book at the bookstore and never talk myself into buying it. Next time I will! Thanks for the review.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Julia was not always the most likable character. In the end I actually felt as thought I was left hanging. The way the book ended I actually turned the page expecting more. Then I backtracked a few pages to see what I had missed to make me not see this as the end.

I liked the story line of Sarah the most and learning of the 1942 roundups. (Some of this you can see in the movie Freedom Fighters too which was awesome!)

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