Friday, 15 April 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard – their secret hiding place – and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.
Sixty Years Later: Sarah’s story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future.

The story follows Julia’s investigation of the horrific Velodrome d'Hiver Roundup in Paris 1942. The author effortlessly weaves the present day with the tragic events of the past.
Taken from her home in the middle of the night Sarah manages to innocently lock her brother in the secret cupboard in order to protect him. She is then taken, with her parents and hundreds of other Jewish families, to the Vel’ d’Hiv.

Meanwhile in the present day Paris, journalist Julia Jarmond is assigned to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv-the round up. While doing research for her article, Julia discovers the story of the Starzynski family and soon becomes deeply involved in a quest to find out what happened to Sarah Starzynski and the connections involving her own family. These connections cause Julia to re-evaluate things in her life and her relationship with her husband.

One negative point…Julia’s research into Sarah’s life almost took over her own life. I found he passion she had for researching at the end a bit unbelievable. I also found the ending was quite predictable, but this does not take away from the book. In my opinion the story is about finding out what happened to Sarah.

I definitely lost sleep over this book. Sarah’s key is a remarkable and shocking story. I couldn’t put it down until I discovered what had happened to her. 4/5

Describe it in two words? Tragic and Moving


  1. I like your blog! Nice job! This book disturbed me so much. It was amazing but I couldn't get it out of my head.

  2. Thanks Corinne. I know what you mean. I read this book a few months ago and it still creeps into my head every so often when i'm trying to sleep.

  3. I read the book and watched the film, last month... both were pretty gripping. I think her obsession with Sarah is tied up with different things including her journalistic thrust and a certain frustration with her life in Paris (even before the pregnancy).. just my impressions.I suppose I also enjoyed finding out much more about a period of history my French friends talk little!

  4. Yes you are right; her obsession certainly links in with her frustration with her life in Paris.
    I found the historical aspect fascinating. I studied the Holocaust in school and I never heard about this event.
    I didn't know there was a film of it. I will definitely want to watch it.