Sarah's Key
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Sarah's Key

by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  240,400 ratings  ·  22,539 reviews
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article ab...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Help by Kathryn StockettWater for Elephants by Sara GruenThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Best for Book Clubs
20th out of 3,297 books — 8,647 voters
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
40th out of 3,976 books — 17,220 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sol
It should never be forgotten

By Sol Tetelbaum

Review: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Almost a hundred readers published their reviews on Tatiana de Rosnay’s novel Sarah’s Key. Most of them rated the book in four or five stars, but some of them calling the novel “mediocre” showed a lower rating – three stars. It is necessary to admit that their opinions weren’t unfounded and most critical comments were fair. However, from my standpoint, despite the fair critical comments (I don’t think it is nec...more
Molly
I was intrigued by the plot for this book. A young girl locks her brother in a cupboard at their apartment in Paris before the Police, at the behest of the Nazi's, take away her and her family. They wait for several days in a detention center, in conditions like the Superdome, before being sent to camps in Southern France, and we wonder if she will retrieve her little brother before he dies or starves or hopefully, is rescued. Unfortunately, another storyline involving a two dimensional American...more
Teri
I might have given this book higher marks if I hadn't just finished the infinitely superior The Book Thief. But as it is I'm feeling pretty generous with my 2 stars. The subject matter was intriguing. I didn't realize what had happened with the Jews in France. But the author spent too little time with Sarah and her experience there and too much time with boring, self-absorbed, present day Julia and her sex life. Snore!
Carol
October 2009: re-reading this book again for another book club. I hope I like it better than the 1st time but so far I'm not seeing it. Why would she use a word like "ingurgitating" when you can say "ate"?? That kind of writing irritates me a lot. The true story is heartbreaking, and very interesting, but her writing just doesn't impress me as expressing the true horrors experienced by the deported Jews, or any real feeling for Julia's anger at her husband disdainful treatment of her.


Spring 200...more
Sandi
Aug 26, 2008 Sandi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandi by: First Reads
I finished "Sarah's Key" this morning and I have so many thoughts going through my head about it. I loved the pacing of the story, how it switched between Sarah's story and Julia's story up until the point where the two merged. I loved how the style of Sarah's story was completely different than the style of Julia's story. I loved how both stories made me cry, even though I knew what was coming. I loved how realistically the characters were portrayed. Nobody was all good or all bad, just human w...more
Joy H.
Added 11/8/09.

In _Sarah's Key_ the chapters alternate between the war era and the time sixty years later. We watch as a reporter tries to find out more about what happened during the 1942 round-up of Jewish people in France (known as the "Vel' d’Hiv’ Roundup") (Vélodrome d'Hiver). We also watch the actual round-up as it is happening. The alternating views keep you reading as the suspense builds up.

This is a heartbreaking piece of fiction. It brings home the horror of those Holocaust days and war...more
smetchie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanette
Mar 16, 2009 Jeanette rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Jeanette by: Tyra
3 1/2 stars

This author grew up in France and was never taught at school about the French complicity in rounding up Jews for the Nazis. When she discovered information about the Vel' D'Hiv' roundup, she knew she had to write about it. The book is her tribute to the 4,000 children who were victims of that roundup.
I cried for these little people. They were robbed of their chance at life before it ever really got started. Bad enough that they were killed, but before that, they were left in the Fren...more
Dan Schwent
Reporter Julia Jarmond is investigating the events of 1942, when French authorities rounded up the Jews of the cities and put them in concentration camps, an investigation that uncovers links to her husband's family. But how will her tale intersect with that of the title character, a 10 year old girl separated from her family during the 1942 roundup?

First off, this is not something I would pick for myself. However, in the aftermath of a dinner featuring the best biscuits and gravy I've ever had,...more
Kim
I agree with Katie on this one. I did not enjoy this book. It tells two stories -- one, about a young French girl whose family is rounded up and taken away during the Holocaust, and the other about a modern-day journalist who is tracking down her story. Julia, the contemporary narrator, was self-obsessed, clueless and downright annoying. I couldn't stand her husband, or even her perfect little kid, for that matter. It made it hard to root for them because they were just so unlikeable. The premis...more
Corinne
Let me start off by saying I could not put this book down. I must also say, that this book ripped my heart into tiny pieces and I'm not sure I'll ever be the same. Really. Maybe it's because I'm a mom or maybe I'm just an incredibly sensitive person. But I now have images in my brain that will never leave.

Sarah's Key takes place in France - switching between the modern day and the early days of World War II. I really like books like this, and I think the author did a fine job of transitioning us...more
Annalisa
3.5 stars. A little predictable and melodramatic for a subject that doesn't need anyone playing with your emotions, but still a solid read. It was interesting learning about the French police involvement in the round up of Jews in what was the first deportation of women and children. I was left with not only a sadness for all those families torn from their lives and torn apart, but also for the lost culture and religion for the survivors. Children hidden and raised as Christian children, childre...more
Lisa Vegan
Aug 25, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who enjoy holocaust literature, historical fiction novels, well crafted novels
I wasn’t sure how the back and forth chapters between one girl in 1942 and a different woman in 2002 were going to work for me, but this story is so well told.

I thought I’d be interested in the 1942 story but wasn’t sure how much I’d become involved with the 2002 story, but much to my relief I enjoyed both stories, although I did think Sarah’s 1942 story was slightly stronger than Julia’s 2002 story. However, I do think my favorite character might be Zoe from the 2002 story.

Reading this was chil...more
Hara
Two horrible situations form the premise of this novel. The first is the factual story of the French roundup of the Jews during World War II, which took place in Paris under the auspices of the French Police. It was the French Police, not the Nazis, who dragged French Jews from their homes, separated parents from children, and sent them on to their deaths, all of which was witnessed by French citizens who did little to stop these horrific events. Because so few people are aware of this chapter o...more
Grace
This is one of those books with an interesting idea that was executed very poorly. It's always disappointing to read books like this because I can't help but think with every wrong turn, every cringe worthy sentence that this could have been so much better in a capable writer's hands.

First off, as I said, it's a very interesting idea. The basic story of Sarah is intriguing and the story of the Vel' d'Hiv' children should be read. However, de Rosnay just doesn't pull it off. She simply is not a...more
Angie
I struggled whether to give this a two-star rating rather than a three. I enjoyed reading it, but I didn't read it very thoroughly. I would find myself really blazing through some sentences so that I could discover where the plot was headed (what happened to the boy locked in the cupboard when the rest of his family was dragged off?). The book needed better characterization---I didn't really CARE about the main character (an American journalist who lives in Paris in the current day). The idea of...more
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tea Jovanović
Knjiga koja govori o istinitom dogadjaju koji se zbio tokom Drugog svetskog rata u Parizu, o kome se kod nas malo zna... Kada su Francuzi pokupili Jevreje, zatvorili ih na velodrom i poslali ih u konc. logor... Potresno, prosvetljujuće i guta se u dahu... Kod nas je objavljena pod naslovom Sarin ključ...
Cheryl
Four hundred and fifty French policemen in Occupied France, obeying the demands of the Nazis, arrested 10,000 Jewish men, women, and children on July 16, 1942 and brought them to the Velodrome d'Hiver stadium. This would begin the process of their extermination.

Who can unlock the soul of Frenchmen who facilitated the emptying of Jewish homes, denied them food, water and sanitation in the Velodrome for days, drove the buses and trains that delivered them to a nearby internment camp, separated mot...more
Sharon
This was a fantastic read from start to finish and I really LOVED IT.
In 1942, thousands of Jewish children, men and women were herded into a stadium in Paris the Vel' d'Hiv by the French police. Here people were given hardly any water or food for days as a result many died and some actually committed suicide.
So when the police come to take Sarah's family her four year old brother Michael hides in a secret cupboard. Sarah locks him in and tells him she promises she'll be back for him later.

Julia...more
Amy
If I'm going to read hundreds of pages past the horrifying situation set up at the beginning of this book, the writing's going to need to be more than sub-par. Telling me that characters are interesting and complex instead of self-indulgent and one-dimensional doesn't make it so.

Don't tell me you actually drove me away from a Holocaust book, de Rosnay. That's pretty hard to do.

File under "Life's too short to read this book," please.
Sara


This book is breaking my heart, but I can't put it down. It is definitely one that will stick with me for a very long time.
Connie
From the first page to the end I was mesmerized. The two stories intertwined in a believable way as journalist, Julia, learns about the horrific "round up" of French Jews during the war. Something I knew nothing about and can see why it is a dark stain in the history of France. de Rosnay must have done a lot of research but she tells the true facts through the story of Sarah, a 10 year old who is captured and loses her whole family....then all traces of her just dissolve. She makes this awful e...more
Jen
Sep 14, 2009 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those needing a good cry and some boots made for walking
A few years ago my man came home from work and tried to refuse to tell me a story he came across while editing criminal justice materials and websites. Well. Of course I played Delilah to his Samson, begging him every which way to tell me his secret. Finally, he did. Here is the story.

A woman, a mother, went away on a trip and left her diapered baby in the crib. Just left. No food. No sitter. No anything. Just left. I can't say "just left" enough. For seven days.

And that, right there, is why...more
Sylvie
Based on the historical part of the novel, I would certainly give a 4.5 if not a 5 ... As a Canadian not Jewish, I feel ignorant about the Holocaust or any war facts (our country went to war but its people never lived a war). I was actually listening to the book (commuting to work) in the weeks that followed my return from Germany where I had visited Dachau. Tears came up while listening...
Unfortunately, the parallel story was SO bad that it took away from the emotion. Specially the second part...more
Jen
Sarah's Key starts out by oscillating chapters between Julia Jarmond in France 2002 and a nameless young girl in France 1942. Julia is an American who has been living in France for the past 25 years. She works for an English-language publication and has been assigned to write an article about the anniversary of the great roundup at the Velodrome d'Hiver (Vel' d'Hiv'). The nameless young girl is the daughter of Jews living in France, and her family is arrested during Vel' d'Hiv'. The reader knows...more
Dave
Sep 25, 2013 Dave rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
This story is in two parts; one about a Jewish girl who escapes from going to Auschwitz concentration camp and the second is the story of a present day journalist named Julia investigating the history of the girl.

Julia's story is like chewing tough meat. Listening to this immature, superficial, self absorbed woman rattle on about her failing marriage, her unwanted pregnancy (by her husband), and life in general is enough to make you want to take a healthy dose of rat poison. It sounded much like...more
Diane Chamberlain
I find myself wishing, as I often do, that goodreads allowed half stars. I loved this book. The reason for four instead of five stars has to do with the current day story, which simply can't compete with the historical story. I completely sympathize with de Rosnay, however. My work in progress has a similar problem. I'm telling alternating, linked, storylines and one is simply more gripping than the other. I'm revising it to try to even them out, but I know, by virtue of what happens in each thr...more
Toki
I loved the idea of this book and Sarah's chapters were great but I pretty much skimmed over Julia's chapters after about 4 of them. Once Sarah's chapters were over (which happened much too soon) I skipped whole pages because I just didn't care. Julia's chapters ruined what could have been a great story. Maybe if I were a middle aged woman, I would have loved this book...?

Carolyn
This book consists of two stories intertwined: a fictional account of Sarah, a young Jewish girl who escaped a French internment camp for Jews rounded up on July 16, 1942 in Paris, and the story of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist living in Paris, who uncovers the mysterious and tragic story of Sarah.

The story of Sarah is compelling and powerful. The shameful Velodrome d'Hiver round-up, conducted by the French police of the Vichy government, was denied and hidden by the French for decades....more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What was the hype? 30 378 Jul 06, 2014 05:05PM  
I don't know.. 6 125 Jun 09, 2014 06:39AM  
Sarah's Key Book Review 19 943 Mar 26, 2014 08:58AM  
  • Mudbound
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • My Enemy's Cradle
  • The True Story of Hansel and Gretel
  • The Sandcastle Girls
  • My Name is Mary Sutter
  • Tallgrass
  • Secret Daughter
  • Left Neglected
  • The Invisible Bridge
  • The Kitchen House
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
  • The Lost Wife
  • The Yellow House
  • The Dry Grass of August
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • Someone Knows My Name
  • Those Who Save Us
305400
My new book The Other Story (A l'Encre Russe in French) will be published in the USA by Saint Martin's Press on April 15 2014.


Follow me on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/tatianaderosnay

My website :

http://www.tatianaderosnay.com/

Facebook page :
http://www.facebook.com/tatianaderosnay



TATIANA DE ROSNAY was born in the suburbs of Paris and is of English, French and Russian descent. She is the author o...more
More about Tatiana de Rosnay...
A Secret Kept The House I Loved The Other Story Het appartement Moka

Share This Book

“When would he realize that it wasn't his infidelity I couldn't bear, but his cowardice?” 90 likes
“You get attached to places, you know. Like people, I suppose.” 68 likes
More quotes…