Thursday, January 5, 2012
Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay
Barnes & Noble
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.
I couldn't go to bed until I finished this amazing book.
I knew nothing of the Vel d'Hiv Roundup until I read de Rosnay's work. I am horrified and disgusted and sick to my stomach. I can't get the thought of little Michel alone in the cupboard out of my head. And how they found him weeks later? Simply horrendous. I want to run upstairs and hold on to my kids for dear life.
I cried throughout the book. Both Sarah's and Julia's stories are heartbreaking. Sarah's for obvious reasons. Julia's because her husband is a major douchebag. I have no idea how she stayed married to him for as long as she did.
I highly recommend this for anyone who is interested in historical fiction.