Sarah's Key: A Novel by Tatiana De RosnaySarah's Key: A Novel by Tatiana De Rosnaysticker-burst

Sarah's Key: A Novel

byTatiana De Rosnay

Paperback | September 30, 2008

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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.
Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

TATIANA DE ROSNAY is the author of more than ten novels, including the New York Times bestselling novel Sarah's Key, an international sensation with over 9 million copies sold in forty-two countries worldwide that has now been made into a major film. Tatiana lives with her husband and two children in Paris.
Title:Sarah's Key: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.2 × 5.58 × 0.91 inPublished:September 30, 2008Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312370849

ISBN - 13:9780312370848

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from I would read it again A powerful book that is perfect for a Book Club! Tragic, but well written.
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! It was a very informative and emotional novel but I really loved this one! I still kept this book up to now!
Date published: 2018-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful Read This is a powerful novel about the Vel'd'Hiv in Paris in 1942. The story is of a little girl, her escape from the prison camp, the death of her family and more. Paralleling her story in 2002, you have Julia Jarmond, an American journalist living in Paris. She has been asked to research an article commemorating Vel'd'Hiv's 60 anniversary. It becomes her obsession and a powerful fork in the road that changes her life in more ways than one.
Date published: 2018-06-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Book This book is over all a good book, perfect for a book club. Some parts though are VERY tough to read. I loved the short chapters and the back and forth between 2 story lines.
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read... This is a novel that you will read more than once! Each time you read it, you will still empathize with the actual characters. Without question, the story, though tragic, is written beautifully.
Date published: 2018-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of the most memorable books I've ever read Sarah's Key is one of those books you don't forget and probably don't read again... simply because it is so emotional and beautiful, your heart can barely take it. This is the only book I have read which literally at one moment in the book, made my heart stop. Beautiful story but heart-wrenching
Date published: 2018-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking This book will break your heart and remind you of the losses too many suffered during the war. A must read for all.
Date published: 2018-04-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Loved it Thid book is the type of book you read over and over again. Loved it!
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful Must Read! This book not only shows what happened in the past but also what was happening in the present, which gave a whole new perspective. I found the story to be emotionally devastating (in a good way) but also incredibly insightful. I got chills during many parts of the book. I found myself wanting to know more about Vel' D'Hiv' as the book carried on and even after I finished!
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Premise. Poor Execution. This book starts out really strong, I read the first 150 pages really quickly. Well quickly for me, I'm a terribly slow reader. However, by the middle of the book the cliffhanger was answered, so the remainder of the book seemed a waste. I didn't care about the characters the author was discussing and wanted to hear more about Sarah. This book had so much potential but didn't hold my interest the whole way though. However, the writing is excellent which would make me pick up another book by this author again.
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A definite must-read Just like many WW2 books, this novel is incredibly heart-wrenching and I have gone back to read it time and time again. A definite must-read
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story This book is quite moving and truly pulls at your heart strings. A perfect book for my commute into work, left me emotionally attached.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simply beautiful An easy read that pulls at your heart strings. Thoroughly enjoyed how the author sheds light on the Vel' d'Hiv roundup - a significant part of the Holocaust that could easily go unnoticed. Overall, a great novel!
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful story This story really tugged at my heart. Pain, suffering, family, things coming full circle.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A real let down I read this book before I heard any of the hype (which is kind of backwards, I know). I didn't like it. Which is why I was so surprised to see and hear such rave reviews later in the year. I honestly don't get the hype and it's not worth buying.
Date published: 2017-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well thought out This book was touching and well thought out. It was a page turner and perfect for the beach!
Date published: 2017-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A story to touch your heart.. I am a big fan of World War novels. Whether they are fiction or true stories. This book was a series of sad and heartwarming events of a young girl just trying to get by and back to her brother. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars... literally one of my most favourite books
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful A beautiful novel about a dark part of the history of Paris, the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup in 1942, as discovered by a journalist 60 years later, when she is asked to write an article about it. She discovers the story of Sarah, a young girl who was arrested with her parents, but had managed to hide her little brother in a hidden cupboard, and her quest to keep her promise and come back to save him.
Date published: 2017-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this! This is a powerful book! Once you start you can't put it down.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read I have so many thoughts going through my head about it. I loved the pacing of the story, how it switched between Sarah's story and Julia's story up until the point where the two merged.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So sad This book was extremely heart wrenching, even by Holocaust book standards. The juxtaposition between the past and present day was very well done.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I loved this story and how emotional it made me. A great read!
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It's okay I was excited before reading this, but wasn't much of a fan on Julia's life in the story and the half end was okay.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Historical Fiction This novel is an excellent historical fiction work. I love the flash backs and flash forwards within the novel. These effective shifts kept me interested as a reader. I really enjoyed finding out about the lives of the characters. I also enjoy that the novel focuses on many real life struggles and themes.
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book Really liked this story. Another disturbing aspect of World War II and the suffering of Jewish people.
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good Tatiana de Rosnay is a good writer. sad but worth reading.
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So interesting Such an interesting subject. This book was well researched and written beautifully. The story made me cry.
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read this book! It's true that no one ever talks about this part of WW2. An interesting and sad read.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from GREAT BOOK! I absolutely loved the book and the interesting history that is not often talked about. It made me want to delve deeper into the complications of second generation holocaust survivors. Worth the read.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting I had to read this book for school and I didn't think I'd like it, but I loved it. It's very interesting and heartbreaking but also confusing to follow sometimes with the switching back and forth of perspectives. Overall it's a novel I'd probably read again
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Great story going between the past and the present.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from love the story I loved the story...its one of the only books I read in school and set out to buy my own copy
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A light read for historical fiction lovers This book has some fabulous premise building, but ultimately takes the quick and easy route out of each scenario. It does not do any justice to any actual atrocities of the war, but instead offers a light read flying bee line just above the depth of the times.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sarah I enjoyed the storyline of Sarah, but did not care much for the story of the journalist. The story of Sarah was captivating, and that is what kept me reading until the end.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Holocaust Overshadowed by Silly Drama Really interesting subject matter turned into sick obsession for a sad, middle-aged American woman living in Paris. The first half of the book switches back and forth between the story of Sarah, a ten year old girl dealing with the horrors of the second world war; and Julia Jarmond, a self-absorbed journalist dealing with a failing marriage and an unwanted pregnancy. I would have preferred just to read about Sarah. Julia is so pathetic it's sickening. She discovers the links between her family and Sarah's and adopts the sadness in a very selfish and self-deprecating way. A very deppressing read that causes the tragedy of the Holocaust to be overshadowed by the modern woman's silly and self-induced drama.
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What a story! A great addition to any library.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Be prepared for tears and anger Great story. It gets slow in the middle while I was anxious to move forward. The ending resolution was expected but so sad. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking story Very good story weaving the present and the past to reveal secrets untold.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My poor heart What a great novel!!! I couldn't put this book down. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that the very end all of the loose ends are tied up and I found it hard to believe how much out of her way she went to get answers
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome! One of my favorite books of all time. Loved the story so much that I watched the movie in French with English subtitles.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good read A real heartbreaker. I sobbed when I read it - but would do it again.
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love love love! Wow what an amazing story...i read this over 5 years ago and I still remember it like I read it yesterday. This one really gets to your heart.
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read This book is written extremely well. It paints a very clear picture and tells a story that needs to be told. I recommend this to everyone, you will not regret it.
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaker Everyone should read this book, never forget...
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beuatifully Written A great story with very real emotions and wonderful prose. The back and fourth between the two timelines was very well done, not confusing as it often can be.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A nice surprise I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It kept my interest as its not something I typically read. I may have even shed a tear
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Story I am fascinated by this time in history and enjoyed how this book tied it into the present. Really enjoyed this and have passed it on to many others.
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Premise Really good premise, fair writing.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just ok This book was a gift, It was a fast and easy read, but also quite forgettable.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sarah's Key A heart wrenching and beautiful story. It was hard to put down!
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Could not put this down This book had come recommended to me several years ago yet I only just read it and am so glad that I did! The format, while not unique, allowed for two very different insights to a particular point in history that is unfamiliar (to me, anyway) yet fascinating. I've read many books - factual and historical fiction - about life during WWII, and this story centered around the roundup of Jewish people in Paris was one I knew nothing about. The tale is cleverly woven back and forth between 1942 and early the early 2000, allowing the reader to see both the moment in time and the aftermath of its effects.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Two different stories This story is simultaneously a beautiful and tragic story about a young girl trying to survive after the French roundup and a story about a whiny journalist whose story was irrelevant. Should have focused on the Holocaust story, but it ends about 2/3 of the way through the book, and then it is just about this inane American who I could not get on board with!
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Got this book for Christmas and once I started to read it I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I read this book months ago and I'm still thinking about it!
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful, heart-wrenching story This book put me in emotional turmoil - but it was oh so worth it. Great story.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my Fav books!! What an amazing book! I will highly recommend it to everyone.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Books like this that take you back in time and have you experience real life events will always be in my top favourites list. From start to finish it was an incredible read.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating I read this in French (Elle s'appelait Sarah) for an assignment. I love the story and how it's slowly unraveled. If anyone thinks this book is poorly written, perhaps it's because it was originally written in French?
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Emotional Read Good story about the heart break of war. Filled with suspense and sad to read at times.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Great storyline and definitely hard to put down! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sarah's Key The first half of this book is very emotional and highlights the struggle that families went through at the time. The second half disregards the story of Sarah and her family and focuses on Julia and her relationships. All and all I was left disappointed with the book as a whole.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this! Real page turner. Extremely hard to put down.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Touching story Emotional book about a family separated by war and a young girls struggle to get back to her brother. Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Emotional A sad story which tugs at the heartstrings. From the very onset of the story, readers are emotionally drawn in and quickly committed to finishing reading to find out what happens. What I didn't like about the book it that it begins being about Sarah however, I felt toward the last half of the book the focus shifted a bit and the story started becoming more about Julia and her obsession with finding out the truth. Regardless, still a good read.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible read. This book is a real page turner and hard to put down. Its an incredible story, and very well written. I will probably read it again!
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sarah's Key I love history, so my mom bought this book for me. I truly enjoyed it. I personally liked the writing style (I don't know what some people are thinking of it) and I appreciated the story fully. I wish we could have seen more of Sarah's perspective towards the end instead of it petering out after she finds her brother (even though that is her main objective in the story), but it was delightful.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Memories I read this when I was about 14 years old, and I remember absolutely loving it.
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great loved this book, wanted to read it in one sitting
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good book great book. was a hard book to put down, made you want to read it til the end to see what happens
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definitely worth the read! One of those books that you can't put down; reading through the two stories makes you realize that Sarah is not the only one, and that there is so much history to learn! PS: this book was also made into a movie. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Tragic Tale This book unfortunately does not live up to other great WWII stories such as "The Book Thief" or "All the Light We Cannot See". Although this story is rich in historical information on the 1942 Round-Up, I found it's significance washed over by the simultaneous story of Juila. A sad story that tugs on the heartstrings. I liked how the majority was a page turner but the last third felt difficult to read and too strange. I see a lot of resemblence between Sarah and Julia but I too felt that perhaps the past was dug into a little too far. (Julia's story went from curiousity to obsession to drama that ruined the book for me - I wanted to learn more about Sarah). I personally felt quite depressed after reading this but thankful I learned of a tragic event in France's history. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I couldn't put this book down. Well written by telling the story from past to present. Extremely detailed and a very emotional read.
Date published: 2016-08-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Watch "The Round Up" Instead of Reading This Book To start, Julia is one of the most self-absorbed, oblivious, arrogant, moronic, and all together one of the least likable protagonists i have ever encountered. She is childish and rarely thinks of the consequences of her actions, which often negatively impacts those around her, especially her daughter. Julia's story is bland, and pointless, dry and slow often to the point of being painful, and the "twists" and "emotionally charged" scenes in her narrative are often clunky, cliche, and heavy handed in their execution. Sarah's narrative is little more then your standard historical fiction, a decent enough story that has brought a covered up piece of history to the general public's awareness. That said, Sarah is never given the chance to complete her own narrative, and Julia's "investigation" being both intrusive and often offensive in her lack of empathy and understanding. While apparently the story was intended as a cautionary tale of antisemitism, the book instead shows a white woman speaking over a Jewish woman and going against the Jewish woman's wishes, falling into the same oppressive commentary it apparently tried to mitigate and is frankly offensive to the victims of the Holocaust and their families.
Date published: 2016-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I read this book about a year ago and I loved it.
Date published: 2016-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Book I enjoyed this book, parts were heartbreaking a good read overall.
Date published: 2015-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I enjoyed this book ver much. I couldn't put it down and only took me three days to read.
Date published: 2014-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Find!! I enjoyed this book so much, I could hardly put it down.  I found myself reading it every spare minute I had.
Date published: 2014-03-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from More Sarah, Less Julia please. I really enjoyed this read. Well almost. For the most part, I really enjoyed how the Tezacs and Sarah’s family are intertwined from past to present. The writing in the book is excellent and the plot itself is compelling enough to keep you engaged and reading until you finish. It may not be a very well known particular incident in Holocaust history and definitely worth looking into for more information - I myself didn’t know much about it until I read the book. The perspective switches from Sarah to Julia. Naturally, Sarah’s story is much more interesting and compelling. You feel for her situation and her poor brother and can only think of the worst possible scenarios for her. I admired her for her determination and strength for a girl her age. It was such a great story to read and I loved it when I reached the sections featuring Sarah. I wish I could say the same for Julia though. I didn’t care too much except for when it linked her family with Sarah’s. However the parts with Julia’s marital issues with her family? not my sort of thing and wasn’t much to my liking. I mean, okay good for her for standing up to her decisions and whatnot, but it wasn’t as interesting. Plus, towards the ending, Julia became whiny and her story just dragged too much. I was rather hoping for more about Sarah and what she did in greater detail after the war. Overall, worth a try. I didn’t try the movie and don’t think I want to. I think once of Julia is enough for me. :) 
Date published: 2013-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bittersweet story A little girl reluctantly leaves her little brother locked up in a secret hiding place when the police come to take her and her parents away. Does she make it back in time to let him out? The legacy of this event will come to affect several generations. A story that is so compelling, I had to stay up late to finish it. I had never heard of the Vel D'Hiv roundup in Paris in 1942, and so was completely fascinated with this novel which moves from the past to the present with every chapter.
Date published: 2013-06-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Educating read Initially when I started reading this book I was looking forward to catching yet another glimpse into the history of WWII, what I did not expect was that I would learn so much about France's involvement in the Nazi takeover. Not only doe this fictional story grip your heart, but the core history of the book is in fact, truth. The Vel' D'hiv's history prompted me to actually do some of my own research. Thoroughly enjoyed the book, though the ending was a little disappointing.
Date published: 2013-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fabulous - touching - hard to read at times A glimpse at one survivors story. Troubling at times, funny and moving at other times, this was a book I will recommend to many.
Date published: 2012-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! Though it was a fiction through the characters you know in reality there are so many who can relate to this story. So moving and touching, absolutely enjoyed reading this novel, how two completely different worlds can join together.
Date published: 2012-06-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ending Wasn't Memorable Throughout the beginning and middle of the book, I thought it was so captivating and educating. However, I feel like the author could have been more creative throughout the end of the novel. It almost seemed rushed; the ideas came together to simply wrap up the story. Nonetheless, it was a good read!
Date published: 2012-06-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good read, but not great The first thing that struck me about Sarah's Key was how beautifully the words flowed. The second was how contrived many of the characters felt. Perhaps due to this second revelation, I did not follow the same emotional journey as the protagonist of this story (although I appreciate the author's attempt to bring me along). The novel deserves a mature audience; as a 22 year old, I lost interest around half way through the book. All in all, Sarah's Key is a good read, but not great.
Date published: 2012-06-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Worth a Read I really enjoyed this book when I started it but I found I grew less interested near the end. I was so involved in the life of Sarah and her story told from her perspective. It was so interesting and I really liked how the story kept switching back and forth between perspectives and past and present. Once the story was based solely in present day I found it a little tedious and boring. I enjoyed the book as a whole, I would have just preferred it to go more the way it did in the beginning. Good book overall and it is certainly worth a read.
Date published: 2012-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read Could not put this book down! Amazing story about how two families lives connect and how one little girl's story during the Holocaust changes many lives forever. A life-changing story that pulled at my heartstrings.
Date published: 2012-04-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great In 1942 in Paris a ten year old girl, Sarah is rounded up with her parents by the French police and taken to Vel’ d’Hiv’. Before she leaves she locks her little brother in a cupboard thinking she will be back soon to release him. In a parallel story Julia Jarmond is asked to write a story about the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup for the 60th anniversary. She is determined to follow Sarah's footsteps. Switching between the two stories the book tells us of Sarah's trials and ordeals and the horror of being a Jew in occupied France. Julia meanwhile, feels Sarah's anguish as she pursues her story and finds out how closely intertwined it is with her in-laws' story. Julia starts to question her own marriage and life. I did not really empathize with Julia and found while Zoe her daughter seemed to be so mature it was almost unreal. I did not know about the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup but I did know about how the French do not want to discuss any of their 'ugly' part in WWII. Interestingly, I recently picked up A Thread of Grace By Mary Doria Russell which is about Jews in occupied Italy and how they were hidden. Two authors, similiar subjects and completely different treatments. As much as the French were shown to be brutal the Italians are shown to have some sympathy. *****SPOILER***** I would never have continued living in an apartment where the body of a little boy had been found. I may not have had the courage to stand up to the brutality and even might have overlooked how I got the apartment but to continue to live there. UGH!!! One never knows until one is in that situation how one will react. I could always hope I would stand up and be counted.
Date published: 2012-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oustanding! Couldn't put the book down! Such passion and character this book has! The sister in the book goes through such trials and tribulations to find and possibly save her little brother! I cried through parts of the book-could feel the characters pain!
Date published: 2012-02-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow This book was quite remarkable.. It made me want to cry and infuriate me at times as well. It really brought alot of emotion out and ask Why ? Why? and Why?. I was thoroughly impressed with this book. Fantatstic!!
Date published: 2012-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing read!! Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay, is a book that I was to read for my January book club, though I hadn’t intended on reading it when I did, or finishing it in such a short time. You see, my husband plays hockey Sunday mornings and, on occasion, I’ll go with him if we’re planning to go somewhere else afterwards. Let me just say that without my morning coffee, I’m not quite all “there” in the morning, so when we went to leave I must have grabbed the first book on my nightstand without paying much attention. I was reading Secret Daughter at this time and had intended on continuing to read it at hockey, so when I whipped out Sarah’s Key, I was confused for about 5 minutes, until I realized that my bookmark wasn’t missing: I had grabbed the wrong book. Oops. After giving myself heck for not taking the correct book, I settled into what I brought and was then kicking myself for owning this book for such a long time and not reading it until now. Sarah’s Key tells two stories: one is the story of Sarah, a Jewish girl, during the days of the Holocaust, who made the decision to lock her brother in a cupboard when the French police came to take her family away, telling herself that she’ll come back to get him. The other is the story of Julia, an American in Paris, a journalist who is writing a story about this particular time in history. The story is told, at first, from each perspective, ultimately merging partway through the book. I thought it was a fantastic read and found myself hooked from the first chapter. I have read books on the Holocaust in the past and whenever I do, I find myself wanting to read more. I was entranced by Sarah’s story and wanted to hear more from her, long after her part of the story came to an end. I appreciated Julia’s point of view, but it was nothing compared to Sarah’s. de Rosnay paints a picture of the wartime and it was hard not to get completely absorbed by both stories with their well-painted characters and landscapes. While I appreciated Julia’s story, I found myself intrigued mostly when she was relaying information about Sarah’s story, though, as a character, I didn’t really like her character. I thought she acted like a doormat in her relationship and I couldn’t find myself relating to her. She didn’t have the strength that Sarah had during her story and I had hoped she would find the strength by the end of the novel, but she never did. I also thought that, at times, things came a little too easy to Julia with her research. People, places, and events needed little to no research and some of her acquaintances seemed too coincidental. Though, I did find myself guessing what would happen throughout the novel, only to find that my original instincts were constantly being thwarted. The writing is simple and the prose easy to read, and the message about never forgetting is a powerful one. If you enjoy reading books about history (though de Rosnay is clear to say that this is not an intentional book about the history of the Vel d’Hiv), or want a quick, engrossing read, give Sarah’s Key a try. I found myself wanting to read more about the events, as well as learning more about the history of my own country.
Date published: 2012-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great! The sadness, the fight, the struggles, the passion. This novel has all this and more. You feel the pain of Sarah, you feel the fight of Julia. It's as if you are there in France experiencing what Sarah is experiencing. A very well written novel, and must read!
Date published: 2012-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I did not want it to end!
Date published: 2012-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book! I read this book in one day. I sat at the cottage and read, I went for a walk and couldn't wait to get back to read, I had company over and couldn't wait until I could crawl back into bed and read. It was a page turner to say the least. I truly enjoyed this of writing, this is a must read. From past to present and back, it keeps you thinking, it reminds you of the horror of the past and of just how lucky we are to live in North America in 2012.
Date published: 2012-01-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good but not great After reading all of the reviews I had high expectations for this book but unfortunately, it fell short for me. It was good, certainly an interesting page turner that kept me engrossed but not as compelling as I expected.
Date published: 2011-12-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Read I enjoyed this book for sure! Though it is an easy read, it does pull on your heart strings... Sarah is what keeps you going in it. But I agree with others who have reviewed this book, that I liked how it kept coming back to Julia. I have recommended it to others, and they also have enjoyed it. Its worth the read
Date published: 2011-12-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from First half great, second half drags! I was so excited when I started reading this book. The first half of it is so spectacular, I just couldn't put it down. But then it takes a bad turn and I just found it dull and predictable. I won't ruin the story line for you, but just be prepared that it does not sustain it's momentum throughout the whole book.
Date published: 2011-12-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Kind of disappointed! I enjoyed this book, but not as much as most of the reviews I've read. I felt that the story of Sarah, the Holocaust, the experience of the French family who sheltered Sarah, the French police who participated and the French public who condoned got overshadowed at times by Julia's pain about her failing marriage, etc. There is a huge important story here, and it wasn't really about Julia.
Date published: 2011-12-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Without questions one of the best books I've read This was definitely a quick read and a book that was passed around my family - enjoyed by all! I loved how the book went back and forth from the war era to the "present" almost 60 years later. The alternate views were page turners - for me. To be honest I even caught myself skipping a chapter so I could continue reading about Sarah's experience because the suspense was killing me!
Date published: 2011-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Total page turner... I was pulled in from the first page! Tatiana's writing style has a natural, easy flow. Her descriptions of character and setting made for a vivid, clear picture in my mind. Will definitely read more of Tatiana's writing.
Date published: 2011-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from couldnt put it down! this book was amazing! loved every minute of it. i think i only put it down for breakfast lunch and dinner
Date published: 2011-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy read but so sad.... I read a lot of reviews on this book and it has always intrigued me. Unfortunately I was always in the middle of another book. I got into this right after I finished The Help (awesome book). My bf's mom recommended it. Very easy read and the pages flow from one another easily. Switches narrators from Sarah and Julia. At first it bothered me, bc the chapters are short and I wanted to keep reading the same narrator and it would go back to the other narrator. Eventually I got use to it and started becoming emotional to the 2 characters. Good book, but reader beware it is a very sad book. I am not emotional person, but this book made me really sad afterwards. I was thinking about both characters for the next few hours. A highly recommended read to anyone who would like an easy read but a solid story.
Date published: 2011-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really, really gripping and a good read! This is the first book I have read by this author. I like her writing style - just the right balance between descriptive and narrative content. This book grabbed me from the very first page and I couldn't - and didn't want to - put it down. A shocking storyline, and the author manages to completely drawn the reader in. This book stayed with me long after I finished reading it.
Date published: 2011-09-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from down in a day and a half! must read This book had me reading until it ended. It was a great story enlaced with a tragic historical event that I really had no clue about! i loved the punctuation and sentence structures, made the book really easy to read and read and read more. I did find it a bit repetitive and predictable at times, but i would still recommend this little book.
Date published: 2011-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Prepare to stay up reading Almost impossible to put down. Weaves history and present day and makes historical facts come alive. Difficult to read about the round-up of the French Jewish community particularly from the perspective of a child.
Date published: 2011-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Broke my Hearth (In a good way) I cannot recommend this book enough - well written, touching, poignant, and while sad, it is hopeful. Excellent read.
Date published: 2011-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An emotionally touching and chilling book Could not put it down...the late nights were worth it....chills and warms the soul.
Date published: 2011-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Couldnt put it down. Very good book.
Date published: 2011-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gives you chills Sarah, a ten year old girl, lives in Paris with her parents and brother when in 1942, French police come knocking on their door. Sarah hides her brother in a cupboard and locks him in so that the police can't take him, thinking she'll be back within the day to let him out. However Sarah doesn't know that the French Police are rounding up Jewish families and taking them to the Velodrome d'Hiver with over 10,000 others. A stain on French history, sixty years later, Julia Jarmond is asked to write a piece on the roundup for her newspaper. An American living in Paris, Julia didn't know about this, but finds herself much closer to this piece of history than she knows. The apartment that she is moving in to with her husband and child is the one where Sarah lived and locked her brother in the cupboard. This book switches between Sarah's narrative and Julia's narrative. Sarah's narrative is much more honest but more painful and sad. She tells her story that starts as a naive child but very quickly learns about what her parents have hidden from her and why she is being taken from home. It's pretty easy to see where the story is going to go, but it's an interesting journey to get there. I found it simply written but got in to the novel quite quickly. About 2/3rds the way through the novel, Sarah's narrative stopped and I think it would have added a special touch to the novel to have one last chapter with the final part of her story at the end of the novel. After I had finished, I looked up the Vel d'Hiv and read about the history of this horrific event. I had never heard about it in the past and felt that this novel was a perfect way to bring this event to light.
Date published: 2011-08-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Emotional read Subject matter is difficult to read about to begin with, but having the narrative from a little girl just made it more difficult in my opinion. Great historical facts tied in to the story. I found it to be half of a great book since the author changes up her pattern halfway through the book.
Date published: 2011-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing! I loved this book, I read it in a day and a half, staying up late and everything! Very hard book to put down and I found that I was always wanting to read more to see what was going to happen next...I couldn't wait!
Date published: 2011-07-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Emotional Read Set between the two different times - 1942 and 2002- is an interesting way to write about the Paris Roundup. Some parts I found predictable, but still a very enjoyable book. It was difficult to read about some of the horrific events, especially the treatment of children.
Date published: 2011-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heartbreaking and unforgettable i love this story and was very touched by it, especially being close with my little brother, i spent a lot of time fighting tears as i was reading but it is worth the sadness in the end. i hope the upcoming movie does this book justice (most movies never do), i am excited to see it. this story brings you into the midst of the turmoil of the war, it places you right there beside the characters and you will find it very difficult to put the book down until resolution is found. and then, you will find it even harder to forget.
Date published: 2011-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page turner A wonderful read from cover to cover. Even made me shed a tear...I never cry!
Date published: 2011-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put this book down! It has been a long time since I had read a book in one day. A book that draws you in so much you don't want the book to end. Sarah's Key was that book. Must read you will not be disappointed.
Date published: 2011-06-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Touching There was so much going on in this book it was hard to put it down. I love the setup from chapter to chapter alternating between the stories. The writing was tremendous, I really could feel Julia's pain and Sarah's pain. The smells, the sounds were very well described. This book inspired me to learn more about the roundup and to have conversations about family. I think I will look for other books by this author.
Date published: 2011-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fabulous story Great book, hard to put down. Info on the French jews that I had not heard before.
Date published: 2011-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good story Well researched and written. The ending was a bit anticlimactic and disappointing, but for the most part the book was good.
Date published: 2011-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't put it down! Started reading this book yesterday and can't put it down. Well-written, heart wrenching story. Haven't had much sleep since picking up this book. Can't wait to finish it!
Date published: 2011-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the best I couldn't put this book down. Very interesting and kept you on your toes right till the very end. I let my sister read it and she stayed up till 2:30am to finish it. Definetely a must to read.
Date published: 2011-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing read This is a great book, based on horrific, historical facts, and one that was hard to put down. I will recommend it to all my friends who love to read.
Date published: 2011-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put It Down I Recommend this to ANYONE who is looking for a read, i finished this book in 3 days becauwse i couldnt put it down (if it wasnt for work am sure i could have done it in a day hehehe) i can not wait! to read more from this author she has the ability to capture you and take you right into her book, i was crying and laughing the whole way thru this book .... 5 stars for Tatiana De Rosnay ... thank you for this book you are truly a gifted writer
Date published: 2011-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sarah's key Sarah's Key is an amazing book! I could not put it down. The author did a great job going back in time and then connecting it to the present.
Date published: 2011-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! Like most other books of Heather's Picks this is a must read.
Date published: 2011-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Never have I picked up a book on a fluke and loved it as much as I do this book. Sarah’s Key was heartbreaking, but beautiful. I learned of things I had never heard of before. And I cried. A lot. Definitely worth the read if you’re in the mood for something a little more heavy.
Date published: 2011-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eye Opener I really liked this book even though it not my usual genre.I found this book to be of great interest.Even though parts of it were disturbing because of the nature of the topic( Holocaust) ,I found myself drawn to the two main characters.I have gone online and researched Vel D'hiv 1942 for more on the subject.It is sad that I am just learning about this now.Those truely were horrible times.
Date published: 2011-03-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Revelation I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read Sarah’s Key. Over the years I made sure that I was informed about the Holocaust; starting with the Diary of Anne Frank, onto Jean-Francois Steiner’s Treblinka and then Night by Elie Wiesel. I was also careful to watch shows that treated the subject with respect and truth; World at War, Schindler’s List and HBO’s 2001 undervalued Conspiracy come to mind. From the first few pages I was soon to realize that I knew nothing about the Vél d’Hiv roundup. As the book unfolds I found Sarah’s journey riveting and the modern day Julia’s story was well intertwined. Unfortunately when de Rosnay drops Sarah’s narrative and let’s the rest of it unfold through Julia’s research the book loses its substance. At that point Sarah’s Key takes on the veneer of a romance novel; the characters and scenes became banal. The last chapter was positively Danielle Steelesque; so much so that when Julia reveals the name of her baby it doesn’t read as poignant but trite. I do recommend the book as the first half is well written and devoid of melodrama; as France is now willing to face and apologize for the Vél d’Hiv this event needs to take it place in our consciousness. Which further reinforces that if de Rosnay had continued to write Sarah’s character into the second half of the book this would have been a truly great novel from beginning to end.
Date published: 2011-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absorbing From the first page to the last, this book was completely absorbing. It was thought provoking and gut wrenching. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2011-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fantastic I absolutely loved reading this book. I was not aware of this time in Parisian history. We always link the Germans to the Jews but not the French to the Jews. It not only tells a dark story,it also tells a story of hope. This book has no slow parts, it's always interesting, always something going on. Excellent read.
Date published: 2011-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING I knew this was going to be a great book just from the first chapter. It moves from regular date to 1942. It is in the perspective of an older woman whose family is somehow tied with a little girl who was captured in the Jewish roundup of the Holocaust. The real term was the roundup Vel’ d’Hiv. I almost cried with every chapter I read. I would definitely recommend this book. It gives you an insight on things people like to forget. Great book!
Date published: 2011-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully haunting This novel touched me to the core. At times I had to stop reading and just absorb and feel the depth of the words and events. So well written ... I can't stop thinking about it.
Date published: 2011-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A deff must read! When i bought this book I was in an airport and just looking for a book that would pass my eight and a half hour flight i wasn't really looking for something speciffic and just grabbed one of the first books I saw. And I am glad I picked this book! I was grabbed by the first few pages. The two stories that are intertwined so well are heart breaking and so real. The characters are also portrayed so well and are for once actually realistic. The author keeps you interested from page one until the end. It is one of those books when you reach the last page your angry and are like "Thats it? thats all there is? I want more!" it is definately neat how she goes from the past to the present and you are definately able to feel the emotions the characters are feeling for they are portrayed so well. and so as I have said before it is a deffinate must read for sure! you will not be dissapointed!
Date published: 2011-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Key To The Heart This book was recommended to me through an online book club. It is a book written about a story of a young girl from World War II. It is a tragic story as it would seem all books written regarding that time are. However, the author has written the story in such an interesting way. She keeps the reader engaged by not just telling the girl's story from the past, but intertwining it with a woman from the future who finds herself obsessed and enaged with the character Sarah. It is exceptional that even now a writer is able to tell a story from a subject and era so well covered in a new light. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to curl up with a book for the evening. It's raw and real.
Date published: 2011-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely captivating! This book was beautifully written and at times heart breaking to read! I found myself praying for a positive outcome as the chain of events unravelled in both time periods. But the story of Sarah and Michael will stay with me and haunt me forever.
Date published: 2011-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Book I enjoyed this book, although I found parts of it difficult to read because of the subject matter not the writing. I liked the writing style and found the story easy to follow. I enjoy historic fiction and I think the author did an excellent job on this novel.
Date published: 2011-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this I really like books that incorporate true/historical events. It was difficult to put this book down and I was reading it whenever I could find a spare minute. You really become involved with Sarah and find yourself keenly interested in what happens to her in her life story.
Date published: 2011-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very thought provoking heart wrenching read i stayed up until the wee hours of the night to finish this book. very well written and engaging. I love how it brings up France's involvement. I was not even aware of. It swings back and forth between eras in a very readable way too, this is not easily accomlished. I can't wait to see the movie later this year when hopefully it comes out here. The fact it is so easy to believe it is 100% true makes it a win to me.
Date published: 2011-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This was my first read of Tataian's books and this one took my breath away. I learned something new from a historical point of view (Paris's participation in WWII) and your heart was touched by the riveting chain of events that the characters experienced. A must read!!
Date published: 2011-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Read This book was very captivating and wonderful to read, I would definitely recommend it!!
Date published: 2010-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book Would recommend this book. Have to say my favourite book that I have ever read. Beautifully told from the different perspectives, different time periods but flowed very well. Characters were well developed and I could picture them, easily. Also enjoyed the historical elements. Again, would recommend to all. 6 Stars!
Date published: 2010-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! With three busy children, it usually takes me two weeks to read a novel - I read this one in two days! I was up early before the kids reading with my morning coffee and stayed up late both nights to finish! I had a hard time putting it down!
Date published: 2010-12-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Started Strong & Petered Out I was really excited about reading this book & it did not disappoint as I started reading. The author captured my imagination right away & I was thoroughly enjoying the book till it got close to the end where I felt it turned into a romance novel. It seemed to lose its integrity & depth. None the less I did enjoy the novel.
Date published: 2010-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting Story I loved this book and could not put it down. This is one of my favorite novels ever and I recommend it to everyone. The story gripped me right from the beginning. I enjoyed how it was written and the author kept me roped in throughout. The only negative for me was at times I thought some parts were a little rushed and wished they were a bit more developed. Overall, this is a haunting story and Sarah and her little brother will probably stay with me forever.
Date published: 2010-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Story Will Stay with Me Forever This was a heartbreaking story. I learned things that I wish I really hadn't learned in this book. The way those poor people were's unbelievable and tragic. This is a great story, which will probably stay with me for the rest of my life.
Date published: 2010-10-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A different book than you might think I picked the book originally because it was Heather's Pick but was a little worried about the topic (Auschwitz) as I have read many stories about that time. It was a terrific spin on a horrific time and it turned out to be a page turner!
Date published: 2010-09-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from You need to read this... If you are interested in reading about the actions of WWII then you should read this. Overall an easy read, quite sad, and a fictional story but a story that needs to be told. I never knew anything about the roundup at the Vel but its another piece of history that needs to be told and brought to light. You will not put this down, you will want to know what happened to Sarah and her brother Michael. Read it, recommend it, remember it. Happy reading :)
Date published: 2010-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eye opening! I am embarrased to confess that I did not know about the Val d'Hiv tragedy in 1942 France. I am saddened by the event but pleased to now know about it. This book gave me a good understanding of the event and did so with an interesting blend of two voices. Much like The Elegance of the Hedgehog, this book demonstrates how reading two perspectives of the same thing can make a book so much more than just a good read.
Date published: 2010-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Novel I would just like to say that Sarah's Key was the best book I have read in a very long time. I finished it in four days and I am still thinking about how it truly touched me emotionally. If you are interested in WWII stories, this will be a great read for you.
Date published: 2010-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This was a great book. Sarah's story will break your heart. Highly recommend it.
Date published: 2010-09-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dull This book had a cheesy Harlequin-ish tone, from beginning to end. Characters lacked dimension, story was predictable. The writing inspired no emotion in me. It had the potential to be a good story, but without solid writing to back it up, it fell flat. It was a Heather's Pick, so I'm glad I kept the receipt. If you have to read it, have the good sense to borrow it from someone.
Date published: 2010-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting I enjoyed reading this book! The characters were all so fantastically sculpted by the author, and it was another good perspective on the Holocaust and how far it reached throughout the world (and throughout time, for that matter), and how many people were affected by it. It's one of those books that you only put it down because you have to, and once you do, you constantly think about the story and when you can get back to reading it.
Date published: 2010-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! This book was awesome. I found it intriguing and really kept my interest. I couldn't wait to get to the end only to find myself wanting more. I really liked the history in it and the characters were done very well.
Date published: 2010-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good read Ok--first off--the subject matter in this book is obviously very sad--but it is beautifully written and informative and shows that there were some people that risked all during the Nazi regime. I felt bad that I had never heard of the thousands of Jews that were killed by French Police during the war under Hitler's orders. I found this book very informative & hard to put down.
Date published: 2010-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great A must read book. It takes place in France about a family that is sent to Germany to the gas chambers. It is a great book about the history behind the Holocaust. I did not know that France played a big part in it. This brave young girl holds the key to her brothers future. A must read.
Date published: 2010-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sad story / outstanding storytelling Innovative way of recounting this important event pertaining to the treatment of Jews in the second world war in and around Paris. Well written and moving.
Date published: 2010-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic I loved the book. I didn't realize that France sent people to the Germans to be executed. It really opens your eyes. A must to read.
Date published: 2010-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Story! This novel was shocking, profound and intense. Although a sad story of Sarah and her family during the roundup by French Police in July of 1942 under order from the German’s, Sarah’s story will move you in ways you never thought possible. At ten-years-of-age, Sarah is taken with her parents because they are Jewish and bussed to the Vel d’Hiv where they stayed under appalling conditions for three or four days. Before leaving their apartment, Sarah locked her 4-year-old brother, Michel, in a cupboard to avoid him being taken by the police. She promised to return to the apartment to get him. From the Vel d’Hiv, Sarah and her parents were taken to an internment camp to await further instructions. Eventually her father was separated from Sarah and her mother and finally her mother was separated from Sarah. Alone and afraid Sarah tried her best to keep her spirits up even though she now realized they were all going to be killed. She meets Rachel and the two of them together, decide to escape under one of the fences and run for their lives. Sixty years later, an American journalist named Julia Jarmond becomes enthralled with Sarah’s story and passionately delves into Sarah’s life and what became of her. You will be shocked and astounded at what Julia discovers. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!
Date published: 2010-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Paris - past and present I really enjoyed and would recommend this book. I liked the writing style, the short chapters, the back/forth between 1942 and the present and the small history lesson imparted. I was sad to have the 1942 story-line end about 2/3 through the book, but was satisfied with the manner in which the story resolved. It was a treasure to have this Parisian story described with reference to streets and neighbourhoods. It made me remember my visits to Paris with great fondness. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read books about places you might want to visit, as a quick, well-paced read, that doesn't challenge but manages to sweep you away.
Date published: 2010-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Total Page-Turner! I Couldn't Put it Down! I absolutely loved this book. I started reading it on a cross-country flight, and when I arrived at my destination (tired and jet-lagged), I still had to stay up all night to finish it! It was so touching and haunting at the same time. I really felt like I was 'there' while reading it, and just couldn't put it down. I laughed, I cried, and when I read the last page, I wished there was more... I have passed the book on to my aunts, who also loved it. Definitely a must-read.
Date published: 2010-07-07

Read from the Book

SARAH'S KEY (Chapter 1)Paris, July 1942 The girl was the first to hear the loud pounding on the door. Her room was closest to the entrance of the apartment. At first, dazed with sleep, she thought it was her father, coming up from his hiding place in the cellar. He'd forgotten his keys, and was impatient because nobody had heard his first, timid knock. But then came the voices, strong and brutal in the silence of the night. Nothing to do with her father. "Police! Open up! Now!"The pounding took up again, louder. It echoed to the marrow of her bones. Her younger brother, asleep in the next bed, stirred. "Police! Open up! Open up!" What time was it? She peered through the curtains. It was still dark outside.She was afraid. She remembered the recent, hushed conversations she had overheard, late at night, when her parents thought she was asleep. She had crept up to the living room door and she had listened and watched from a little crack through the panel. Her father's nervous voice. Her mother's anxious face. They spoke their native tongue, which the girl understood, although she was not as fluent as them. Her father had whispered that times ahead would be difficult. That they would have to be brave and very careful. He pronounced strange, unknown words: "camps," "roundup, a big roundup," "early morning arrests," and the girl wondered what all of it meant. Her father had murmured that only the men were in danger, not the women, not the children, and that he would hide in the cellar every night.He had explained to the girl in the morning that it would be safer if he slept downstairs, for a little while. Till "things got safe." What "things," exactly? thought the girl. What was "safe"? When would things be "safe" again? She wanted to find out what he had meant by "camp" and "roundup," but she worried about admitting she had eavesdropped on her parents, several times. So she had not dared ask him."Open up! Police!"Had the police found Papa in the cellar, she asked herself. Was that why they were here, had the police come to take Papa to the places he had mentioned during those hushed midnight talks: the "camps," far away, out of the city?The girl padded fast on silent feet to her mother's room, down the corridor. Her mother awoke the minute she felt a hand on her shoulder."It's the police, Maman," the girl whispered. "They're banging on the door."Her mother swept her legs from under the sheets, brushed her hair out of her eyes. The girl thought she looked tired, old, much older than her thirty years."Have they come to take Papa away?" pleaded the girl, her hands on her mother's arms. "Have they come for him?"The mother did not answer. Again the loud voices down the hallway. The mother swiftly put a dressing gown over her night dress, then took the girl by the hand and went to the door. Her hand was hot and clammy, like a child's, the girl thought."Yes?" the mother said timidly, without opening the latch.A man's voice. He shouted her name."Yes, Monsieur, that is me," she answered. Her accent came out strong, almost harsh."Open up. Immediately. Police."The mother put a hand to her throat and the girl noticed how pale she was. She seemed drained, frozen. As if she could no longer move. The girl had never seen such fear on her mother's face. She felt her mouth go dry with anguish.The men banged again. The mother opened the door with clumsy, trembling fingers. The girl winced, expecting to see green-gray suits.Two men stood there. One was a policeman, wearing his dark blue knee-length cape and a high, round cap. The other man wore a beige raincoat. He had a list in his hand. Once again, he said the woman's name. And the father's name. He spoke perfect French. Then we are safe, thought the girl. If they are French, and not German, we are not in danger. If they are French, they will not harm us.The mother pulled her daughter close to her. The girl could feel the woman's heart beating through her dressing gown. She wanted to push her mother away. She wanted her mother to stand up straight and look at the men boldly, to stop cowering, to prevent her heart from beating like that, like a frightened animal's. She wanted her mother to be brave."My husband is . . . not here," stuttered the mother. "I don't know where he is. I don't know."The man with the beige raincoat shoved his way into the apartment."Hurry up, Madame. You have ten minutes. Pack some clothes. Enough for a couple of days."The mother did not move. She stared at the policeman. He was standing on the landing, his back to the door. He seemed indifferent, bored. She put a hand on his navy sleeve."Monsieur, please--," she began.The policeman turned, brushing her hand away. A hard, blank expression in his eyes."You heard me. You are coming with us. Your daughter, too. Just do as you are told."SARAH'S KEY Copyright © 2007 by Tatiana de Rosnay

Bookclub Guide

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVEPlace des Martyrs Juifs du Vélodrome d'HiverIn this upper-middle-class neighborhood of high-rise apartment buildings and plenty of parks, you won't find anything of Jewish historical interest-except for one monument near the Bir-Hakeim bridge, between the quai de Grenelle and the quai Branly. It was nearby, on the rue Nélaton, that the huge Vélodrome d'Hiver (known then and now as the Vél d'Hiv) was located. An indoor stadium used for six-day bicycle races, concerts, boxing matches, and other events, it was, from 1942 until its demolition in 1958, one of the most infamous places in all Paris.La Grande Rafle was the name given to the main roundup of all the Jews in Paris. Early on the morning of July 16, 1942, the French police, acting under orders from the German Gestapo, wrenched over thirteen thousand Jewish men, women, and children from their beds. Most of the adults were sent directly to the camp at Drancy, while parents with children went to the Vél d'Hiv. And it didn't stop then. For the next two days the French police canvassed the city with buses, picking up Jews and taking them to the stadium.Conditions inside the Vél d'Hiv were horrendous: it was hot, there were no toilet facilities, and there was little food and no place to sleep. For six days amidst mounting panic, the horrified prisoners endured physical indignity while the French police stood by.The place des Martyrs Juifs du Vélodrome d'Hiver was dedicated on July 17, 1994. Each year now a ceremony commemorates the shameful incident. It was here, in 1995, that President Jacques Chirac, who had just been elected to office, officially acknowledging* France's complicity in the murder and deportation of the Jews of Europe. © 2001 Kamins, Toni L. The Complete Jewish Guide to France. New York : St. Martin's Press. * From President Jacques Chirac's address (1995) "These black hours will stain our history for ever and are an injury to our past and our traditions. Yes, the criminal madness of the occupant was supported ('secondée') by the French, by the French state. Fifty-three years ago, on 16 July 1942, 450 policemen and gendarmes, French, under the authority of their leaders, obeyed the demands of the Nazis. That day, in the capital and the Paris region, nearly 10,000 Jewish men, women and children were arrested at home, in the early hours of the morning, and assembled at police stations... France, home of the Enlightenment and the Rights of Man, land of welcome and asylum, France committed that day the irreparable. Breaking its word, it delivered those it protected to their executioners." Text courtesy of Présidence de la République ( French Republic in homage to the victims of racist and anti-Semitic persecution and of crimes against humanitycommitted under the de facto authority of the so-called"government of the French state" 1940-1944never forget

Editorial Reviews

"This is a remarkable historical novel, a book which brings to light a disturbing and deliberately hidden aspect of French behavior towards Jews during World War II. Like Sophie's Choice, it's a book that impresses itself upon one's heart and soul forever." -Naomi Ragen, author of The Saturday Wife and The Covenant"Sarah's Key unlocks the star crossed, heart thumping story of an American journalist in Paris and the 60-year-old secret that could destroy her marriage. This book will stay on your mind long after it's back on the shelf." -Risa Miller, author of Welcome to Heavenly Heights