Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
Published: 2008 (first published 2007)
Challenges: 2012 TBR Pile, 2012 Historical Fiction
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Description: 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. (via Goodreads.com)
Thoughts: Really enjoyed this read as it introduced something that I hadn't even heard about until I sat down and read this book. Overall the book was good, but it wasn't really something that took me by storm in that when I finished, I felt that the plot was a little contrived, at least towards the end of the book. Its not that it was a bad book; its just that it seemed a little too formulaic by the end. Basically to say that for the first 3/4 of the book, it was quite an intriguing read and made me want to read more on the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, of which I could basically find nothing on the subject between the two public libraries that I frequent. While it wasn't a formulaic romance book, it kinda felt it was a bit formulaic in terms of what woman's fiction has become, in that the main character's life seems to fall apart as she starts to research Sarah and her family.
The writing was clear and the author's tone seemed to carry throughout seamlessly throughout and was consistent, even though it seemed to be a bit cliched, especially towards the end. The characters were well-developed and I started to care about them as the story moved on and felt like they were a part of me and wanted to believe that they were real people, even though I knew that weren't. Another thing that I liked about the book is that it made me think and, like I said earlier, made me think about an event I hadn't even heard about previous to reading this book and also made me want to visit the various monuments that commemorate this "event" in the Paris. Despite the fact that it was extremely readable, it wasn't something that was too hard to put down. Maybe it was the subject matter of the book that made it a book that made it something that not that hard to put down and let the book just simmer. And when I picked the book back up (about a week and a half later...), it wasn't too hard to get back into the book and its story. In otherwords, it was something that didn't exactly require that much energy to read the book.
Bottom line: Overall, the book was very well developed, especially in regards to the 1942 storyline, which was the most intriguing of the two storylines in the book and quite honestly, I wished that the author would have continued the 1942 storyline for at least a little longer, but I suppose that with the story continuing on through the present day, it makes better sense. I would recommend this book to those that enjoy reading fiction about World War II and also historical fiction and also somebody who would like a little something meatier to read while on a vacation. I would also recommend this book to book clubs.
Pages for 2012: 7429
If you have read this book, what did you think about this book? Anything about this book that piqued your interest about the event discussed in this book?
I based this review and its subsequent rating on the book rubric provided by Mandy at Adventures in Borkdom