Keri's Reviews > Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
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Oct 18, 11


I have read a lot of books in my time, but I this has certainly been one of the most touching stories that I have read. This is a book that grabs at your heart and won't let go. It gives you valuable insight into what people who were involved in the Jewish roundup during WWII went through, from a unique "firshand" perspective. This book is a work of fiction, but is based upon historical facts and gives a vivid description of the time period and the Vel' d'Hiv roundup.

July 1942 marked a dark period in the history of France where thousands of Jewish families were rounded up and kept in the Velodrome d'Hiver for days with little to no food, no toilet facilities, no medical facilities, and horrible conditions. They were then sent off to transit camps in France such as Drancy, before being packed off to Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp. What is so unnerving about this whole incident is that the rounding up and mobilisation of Jews for deportation was done by the French authorities, a fact that is known by very few.


This book centers on two different character's, Julia and Sarah's, perspectives. Sarah is a young girl who was captured in the roundup and after leaving her little brother behind desperately tries to return to save him. Julia is a novelist who lives in Paris who discovers that Sarah and her family lived in an apartment that her family owns and sets out to discover Sarah's story. In the process she discovers that delving into the past can change not only your entire life, but the lives of others as well. This focuses on Julia's search for the truth, and for happiness in life.


Sarah's Key is a book that certainly makes you realize how lucky so many of us are. It gives you a very emotional, first-hand perspective into that time in history and makes you feel as if you are actually there. This is a very poignant and touching story that is most certainly worth a read. I personally would recommend it to anyone, especially those who have any interest in World War II and the Holocaust.
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