Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sarah's Key (Tatiana de Rosnay)

The novel Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay goes back and forth between two different time periods. 

July 1942 in Paris:  A young girl, Sarah, is arrested alongside her family in the Vel d'Hiv roundup.  When they show up at her door, Sarah locks her younger brother in a closet, promising to return to get him.

May 2002 in Paris: Julia, a journalist, is writing an article about the Vel d'Hiv roundup.  As she's doing her research, she finds out that her family history is more connected with the roundup (and more specifically, Sarah) than she previously thought.  She continues to dig deeper into Sarah's story, trying to find out what happened to this girl, her brother, and her family.

I loved how this book went back and forth each chapter between the different time periods - you were reading two different stories that you knew were somehow connected.  You find out more and more information about what happened to Sarah and her family and, as you're reading the novel, really want to know what happened to her in the end.  Where did she end up and what is she doing?  Is she still alive?  What about her family?

Not being a huge history fan, I wasn't sure at first of how I would like the book, but I did enjoy it.  Recently, I also went to see the movie.  It reminded me a lot of the book and the stories that were told in it.  I did find that it was a little harder to handle than the novel was.  It makes it all that much tougher when you visually and graphically see some of the conditions that these people were forced to live in.  It was a good movie that represented the book accurately and definitely shed some light on a not-so-happy part of history. 

I would definitely read another novel by Tatiana de Rosnay and would recommend Sarah's Key.

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