Monday, October 18, 2010

Sarah's Key

I hesitate sometimes to read any more Holocaust books.  They are so emotionally draining, and I'm not sure I want to hear it again.  But this book, Sarah's Key, adds yet another aspect to this story that I had previously not explored.  The story is about Sarah, a young child that was part of the Vel' d'Hiv' when the French police in 1942, under orders from Germany, rounded up all the Jews in Paris, and kept them under horrid conditions for six days in the Velodrome.  They were then shipped to work camps, and children were separated from their parents.  They all ended up in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

There is a contemporary story to go along with Sarah's story that makes the book much easier to read.  Julia, the narrator, is a reporter for a French newspaper and an American.  Her French husband is remodeling his grandmother's house for them to move into.  Julia, while on assignment to write about the Vel'd'Hiv', finds out that a Jewish family lived in this house prior to this event.

The two stories weave together, and it is gripping.  The author, Tatiana de Rosnay, deals with complex emotions in an effective way.  There is anguish and heartbreak.  Many people's lives are changed because of this story -- and lives in the contemporary story are still affected.  The overall message, which is easily understood, is that these events cannot be forgotten.  This book will be a hard one to forget too.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Sarah's Key :) It was really sad but I think it was well written. I loved the way the story was told. Tatiana de Rosnay has another book (I think it's either out now or it's gonna be out soon..) that takes place in France again :) I need to read that!

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