Friday, December 12, 2008

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Title: Sarah's Key
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
ISBN: 9780312370848
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin/2007
Pages: 293/Trade Paperback

Sarah's Key too interested me via the blogging world. The publicist of the book was kind enough to send me a copy of it. I am very glad I requested and received this book. This book opened up facts I had not known before. That the French police being responsible for rounding up thousands of Jews in Paris and sending them to Auschwitz to die. Those included more than 4000 children between the age of 2 to 12. Those children were citizens of France. But it did not matter a fig for the police. And the people too turned a blind eye. It seems that France has kept it well hidden from the world.

It is July 1942, Paris. Sarah is a ten year old girl, who is taken away from her home along with her parents, in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, she hides her 4 year old brother in a cubboard which is not visible. She promises to come back for him. Her parents are taken away from her and unknown to her, sent to their death.

After 60 years, Julia Jarmond, an American journalist settled in Paris investigates the roundup. She stumbles upon certain secrets which almost rips apart her life. But she knows she has to find out what happened to Sarah Starzynski. And she keeps doing it no matter what. The past and present run in parallel. It keeps the reader rivetted till the end. It stays in mind long after reading the book. We cry with Sarah, for Sarah. We need to know what happened to her. Where did she go? Did she survive at all?

I am glad that I read it. I am glad I got to know about the French connection. It is fiction but it is totally based on facts. And this has made me look up more material on that period of time. What I want to know why did the French keep it all hidden? Even now not much is known about it.

As it is said in the book. Remember. Never forget.

Such books should be read by ALL of us.


ibeeeg said...

Glad you liked this book as much as you did. I found this book to be an excellent read. It was a read that struck me to my core. I agree with you, this is one of those books that should be read by all.

Ceska said...

I was loving this book, especially the sections about Sarah and how Julia discovered her story. Unfortunately, a little more than half-way through, when the story told from Sarah's perspective abrutly ended, the book fell flat. While I didn't find Julia's character as unsympathetic or whiny as some other reviewers did, I found the writing to be gratuitously syrupy, maudlin and draggy. I couldn't put the book down during for the first 150 pages, but then couldn't wait for it to end. All in all, I would recommend the book to anyone who appreciates reading historical portrayals through personal accounts and is not familiar with the horrendous wrenching of Parisian Jews from their homes in 1942 and the complicity of the French police with the Nazis.