Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sarah's Key by Tatiana Rosnay

Before reading this novel, I knew little about the efforts of the French government to round up and deport Jews from Paris; reading this fictional account was a chilling reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust. As modern-day protagonist Julia unravels the sad tale of Sarah, a ten year old Jewish girl taken from Paris during the Vel' d'Div', she also unravels the story of her French husband and his family. Working through unexpected life changes (including her husband's infidelity) and struggling still for acceptance as an American living in Paris, it is Julia's work to discover Sarah's story that gives her focus and meaning.

This is a beautifully written account of a tragic and horrifying incident in French history. Sarah's story is heart-wrenching and though it is always harder to drum up sympathy for Julia in light of that backdrop, both characters are richly drawn. The story unwinds in a logically messy fashion, but the end of the book seemed contrived which is why I didn't give it five stars. All in all, a wonderful read!

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