Sarah’s Key

I needed a book for travelling and Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (published by St. Martin’s Griffin) has been on the best seller’s list for ages so I thought I should give it a try. I finished the entire book, and was only gone for 4 days. The book swings between the past and the present, each chapter alternating in time. It’s the story of the Velodrome d’Hiver in Paris where, on July 16, 1942, thousands of Jewish families were locked up for ages before being sent off to Auschwitz. We follow the steps of the Starzynski family throughout their interment. That’s the past part of the story. Fast forwarding to present day Paris, Julia Jarmond works for a magazine that is doing an article on the 60th anniversary of this horrific event, and she becomes obsessed with knowing what happened to 10 year old Sarah Starzynski. The story is riveting, but I would have liked more than a single chapter in each era. Some chapters were only a couple of pages long which I though wasn’t enough time to get thoroughly emersed in the time frame. Also, I could have done without the added story of Julia’s love life – I wasn’t the least bit interested in her troubles with her husband and I felt that part of the plot detracted from the intensity and seriousness of the book. But all in all, I really enjoyed it. The characters are well written, and very interesting. Add it to your list.

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