Friday, November 25, 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Published in 2007. 295 pages.
Audiobook read by Polly Stone.

Sarah's Key is a historical fiction novel set in Paris. It alternates between 1942, during the Vel’ d’Hiv’ Round-up of Jews during the Nazi occupation of France, and 2002, during the sixtieth anniversary of the event.

I read Sarah's Key with my long-time book club. Overall, I think the group enjoyed the book. (I know I did!) But I think the consensus was that the historical sections were better than the contemporary ones.

The contemporary sections, however, did emphasize the importance of telling stories from the past. Here are two quotes I particularly liked:

"Oh Father, please," interrupted Laure. "What Julia did was pathetic. Bringing back the past is never a good idea, especially whatever happened during the war. No one wants to be reminded of that, no one wants to think about that."
William, the son of Sarah, said, "Chirac gave a speech. I did not understand it, of course. I looked it up later on the Internet and read the translation. A good speech. Urging people to remember France's responsibility during the Vel'd'Hiv' roundup and what followed. Chirac pronounced the same words my mother had written at the end of her letter. Zakhor, Al Tichkah. Remember. Never forget. In Hebrew."



  1. I read this awhile ago...but I do think the first 2/3rds of the book was significantly more successful than the latter. But one of the most VIVID scenes when she finds her brother -- will never forget it.

  2. Melissa: A lot to remember in this one, I think.

  3. I didn't care for the contemporary story line.