Gina's Reviews > Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
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's review
Jun 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-own-read, historical-fiction, kindle, ww2, cultural-france, holocaust-genocide, death, literature-jewish, 5-00-rating
Read from September 28 to 29, 2011

I thought I knew pretty much about WW2 being that my husband and I both have a passion for learning about this time in history. I was shocked learning about the roundup in France. Shocking not only that it was the French police carrying out orders from the Nazi regime but that they took it even further and rounded up many more children than what was ordered from above. I cannot even write about this story from an unemotional standpoint because of the true events it explores and because it is all so horrific.

To point out a few literary standouts, the first I noticed was the parallel between Sarah's and Julia's personality. They both were being discriminated against. Sarah because she was a Jew and Julia because she was an American. Sarah was alway's asking what is wrong with being a Jew? Why were Jews treated so differently? Could you spot a Jew by their looks? Where they really that different? Julia was constantly the butt of her husband's "American" jokes. People made quick judgements of her because she was an American. Her French friends spoke to her in English even though she had lived in France for most of her life. People made comments to her saying "You must be an American" in a derogitory tone. However Sarah was much braver than Julia. Sarah hated that her mother was so afraid the first night the French police came. She wanted her mother to stand up and be strong. Sarah carried that strong personality with her throughout the book, which helped in many ways. But in the end, it was too hard for Sarah to be brave. Julia on the other hand doesn't stand tall and defend herself when she is the butt of the American jokes. She holds it all inside until she comes to a breaking point and has to decide who she really is.

The author also spends quite a bit of time describing her French characters using stereotypical information about the French. Hold everything in, keep it together, the coldness of the culture, etc... These stereotypes I think are used to help with the story that the French didn't want to unbury the past. They didn't want to remember. These characterizations added to the absolute horror that these people could forget that day in history or even worse that they just didn't want to talk about it or admit it was their police force.

I pretty much read this book straight through. I was so caught up in Julia's search that I just couldn't put the book down. This is probably one of the best books I have read all year. It taught me things I never even knew about, it gave me a several different perspectives of one period in time, and the writing was beautiful. I know I will Remember and Never Forget Sarah's Key.
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34.0% "Very moving book. I can't put it down!"
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Dara S. Hope you enjoy this. I loved it!

Gina It was sooo good! I loved it!

Tamara I absolutely loved this book too! Very sad but so well written.

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