Monday, July 22, 2013

REVIEW: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key  by Tatiana de Rosnay
Published: June 12, 2007 by St. Martin's Press
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

So after finishing with this book I find that I am left with conflicting thoughts and emotions. After taking some time to think it all through I have to admit, I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this book. So please bear with me as this review might just be as flip floppy as I'm feeling.

The first half of the book goes back and forth between two stories in completely different times. In current time, American Julia Jarmond begins her journey by researching the incidents at the Velodrome d’Hiver for her French-American magazine in Paris. A story that would ultimately change her life in more ways than thought possible. Then there is Sarah. A 10 year old French -Jewish girl that, for a small moment,  takes us on her journey living through the Holocaust. Sharing her tale of terror and sorrow for all to shed a tear.

Overall, I think the author created a great story and I love that she was able to do so while still portraying the facts from one of the world’s most historical events. Particularly because this part of the Holocaust is unknown by many, including myself, and is such an important piece of history that everyone should have knowledge of.

As always though, I did have one pet peeve for this book. The author changed the POV from Sarah’s chapter to Julia’s. The latter having a first person POV while the former had a third person POV. I wish they would've been consistently first person so we can have an even better feel for Sarah’s story.

Aside from that, I definitely give this book 2 big thumbs up and recommend it to all who care to read it. 

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