smetchie's Reviews > Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
187563
's review
Nov 23, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: book-club, depressing, hippies-or-hate-or-lurking
Read in December, 2011

*spoilers!!! Lots of spoilers. Don't read this.*

disclaimer: This is a review of the book, Sarah's Key, and not the Holocaust. (I give the Holocaust negative infinity stars, if you were wondering.)


Fuck you Sarah's Key, you manipulative sonofabitching asshole. How dare you make me feel like this at Christmas?! Dead baby brother in a cupboard?! Really?! Gassing the parents at Auschwitz wasn't enough? I don’t give a goddamn what you throw at me for the rest of the story. I WILL NOT CRY AFTER THAT BULLSHIT. I know that’s all you want and you’re not going to get it!* Not from me.

None of the miserable crap in this story would even happen! Here's Sarah and her little brother as the police are banging on the door and taking the whole family away for being Jewish:
"She grabbed him, but he wriggled out of her grasp and slithered into the long, deep cupboard hidden in the surface of the wall of their bedroom. The one they played hide-and-seek in. They hid there all the time, locked themselves in, and it was like their own little house. Maman and Papa knew about it, but they always pretended they didn't."

Do they make cupboards that lock from the inside? No.
If you’ve got two kids who like to play in a cupboard with a lock, do you let them play in it with the key so they can lock each other in? No. You unlock it and hide the key. Duh.
If the police come for you and you want to protect your brother, even if you think you’re coming back in the morning, do you lock your brother in there for the night? No. No one would do that. Not even a 10-year-old. You'd just close him in. If the police try to open a cupboard to look inside and it's locked, they're going to make you unlock it.
In times of extreme fear does a 4-year-old kid decide to stay in a cupboard instead of going with their parents? No.
** see comments for revisions I should make to the two preceding paragraphs based on a fact I missed while skimming like the barbaric, hell-bound skimmer that I am. **

Then on top of all that we're supposed to believe that a new family moves into the apartment right after the old family leaves and no one smells the rotting child in the cupboard?!?! Have you ever had a mouse die under your refrigerator? A raccoon die under your porch? Right. But lets just assume that the family doesn't smell it. Maybe they don't have noses! They would still probably pick the lock so they could USE THE CUPBOARD in their goddamn new apartment!!! The whole premise of the whole plot is just one flaw after another. And then that terrible poem at the end! WHY?!?!

Not to mention the half-assed chick-lit nitwit character I couldn’t care less about. Fucking Julia. I wish she would die in a locked cupboard. She takes up most of the book with her idiotic pregnancy and her arrogant French husband. (How refreshing! An arrogant Frenchman! Where on earth did the author come up with that?!?)

Ok. Ok. Obviously this book made me really really mad and I gave it two stars, which is kind of weird! But here's why: The Sarah part of the story was really quite good. I learned about the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup, which is interesting and upsetting and I'd never even heard of. It made me feel awful and guilty and pissed off, but it made me FEEL. And that's something.







*I shed one small tear at the very end totally against my will, DAMMIT! When she named the baby Sarah, even though I saw it coming a mile away and I hated her anyway so why do I care?!?! URRGH!!! (I hated Julia, not the baby. I'm sure the baby was sweet.)
88 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Sarah's Key.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

02/03/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 64) (64 new)


Stina Can't wait until you're finished.


smetchie Neither can I.


Stina Stellar review, Smetch.


message 4: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal Wow. I didn't even know that you wrote reviews, smetch.

May I suggest that you suspend disbelief when Nazis are involved in a story? They're like magical unicorns. That gore people to death. In front of loved ones. And gloat about it.


smetchie Esteban wrote: "Wow. I didn't even know that you wrote reviews, smetch."

I don't.


message 6: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal But...? The evidence? Up there?


Emily lol! I felt strongly about not crying simply because I felt manipulated! I see I wasn't the only one. The only good thing I could say about the book was opening up the history on French involvement in rounding up Jews.


smetchie Yeah Emily!! I hate being manipulated like that!!


Lois I did not feel manipulated by Michel's plight and death. I feel that it served an important role in the story. Sarah was only trying to help save her brother and he died because of the French police & Nazis. NOT because of Sarah. I think the Michel plot point was there to highlight the decisions many Jewish families faced in trying to save someone or survive.

I did not get the whole Julia abortion angle though.


Shelby Cohen I really don't understand what you mean by manipulated. When you read a sad book, it might make you feel that way. Why does that mean you are being manipulated?


smetchie Shelby wrote: "I really don't understand what you mean by manipulated. When you read a sad book, it might make you feel that way. Why does that mean you are being manipulated?"

I've definitely read plenty of sad books without feeling manipulated. But as I was reading Sarah's Key, I had this overwhelming feeling that the author had set out to make me cry. That she was more focused on pulling out tears than telling the story. That's different than a book that makes me feel sad because the story touches me. This book would have been plenty sad. The author didn't need to use what I felt were lots of little tricks to twist my heart up. Does that make any sense?


message 12: by Danielle (new)

Danielle



message 13: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal


smetchie I agree completely!


message 15: by Karen (new)

Karen Legg All this and more horror has happened in mankind's history and will undoubtedly happen again. We need to WAKE UP...that is what the purpose of this book is...wake up, be alert to the signs and don't allow it to happen again!


smetchie Well the part that actually happened...Yes. Horrible and more horrible. I hope we do wake up, Karen.


Heather Fuck you for spoiling the book.


message 18: by Ama (new)

Ama Major Best review ever, on any book, period.


smetchie Ama wrote: "Best review ever, on any book, period."

THANKS!


smetchie Heather wrote: "Fuck you for spoiling the book."

:)


Allison Tuttle smh


Kathryn Here here. I agree entirely with your sentiments.


smetchie Thanks Kathryn!


Gabby Kuperman Smetchie, you're hilarious. That said, I disagree with a lot of your points. But I did just notice where it said the kids locked themselves in the cupboard and you're right that it probably wouldn't have been possible. She obviously locks him from the outside and the editors must have missed that. Naming her daughter Sarah was obvious as soon as she says she doesn't want to find out the sex of the baby. It's like getting a gift wrapped present but you know what's in it. I still loved the book. I also learned a lot. They never taught us about the Vel d'Hiv roundup in school. Crazy that it's still not talked about much. I recommend the book though. Sarah's story was better but I think Julie's story juxtaposed against Sarah's was a good touch.


smetchie Thanks Gabby! I'll admit that I was in a pretty negative place when I read this. :)


Kristine Monroe Beverley The part u mention about not noticing the smell of a rotting body, the new tenants did. They said "I had noticed a strong, bad smell and my father thought there was something wrong with the drains and we were expecting the plumbers that week".


smetchie It's been a while since I read it so I can't be sure but my impression was that it either seemed to take too long to notice or it didn't seem they made enough of a fuss. I mean, if a body were rotting in your cupboard the smell would be so intense you could hardly stand to be in the apartment.


message 28: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika Every time I read this review I love it more.


smetchie I love you Erika.


message 30: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Three sentences in, you ruin the story. maybe you should flag it as a spoiler??


smetchie But...but...the first sentence says "****spoiler alert***" Why didn't you stop there? Why did you read all the way to the third sentence if you didn't want to know what happens?

You sneak peeks at the ending of a book and then hate yourself for it, don't you? One of THOSE people. Probably raid the closet looking for your xmas presents too!


message 32: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika Obviously you're a horrible person. First you spoil the book now you leave Christ out of Christmas.


Sarah Also just fyi, you seem really fixated on the cupboard but clearly you didn't actually pay attention to what you were reading, did you just skim huge parts of the book? It's mentioned *multiple* times that's it's a hidden cupboard (you even quote that it's a hidden cupboard!!) and that the lock is hidden behind a light switch panel... Therefore the police/new tenants didn't know it was there, how do you expect police to search or tenants to use a cupboard they don't know exists?


smetchie Normally I ignore anything following "just fyi" outside of a professional context because it's just going to be something snotty. Everyone knows that. But I'm going to make an exception because I like your sunglasses and I appreciate that my review inspired you to comment.

So:
I knew the cupboard was hidden but I must have missed that the lock was hidden behind a light switch panel. I AM an unabashed skimmer.

Based on this new Information provided For me (by You), I should revise my rant thusly:

"Do they make cupboards that lock from the inside? No.
If you’ve got two kids who like to play in a cupboard with a lock, do you let them play in it with the key so they can lock each other in? No. You unlock it and hide the key. Duh.
If the police come for you and you want to protect your brother, even if you think you’re coming back in the morning, do you lock your brother in there for the night? No. No one would do that. Not even a 10-year-old. You'd just close him in. If the police try to open a cupboard to look inside and it's locked, they're going to make you unlock it.
In times of extreme fear does a 4-year-old kid decide to stay in a cupboard instead of going with their parents? No.

Then on top of all that we're supposed to believe that a new family moves into the apartment right after the old family leaves and no one smells the rotting child in the cupboard?!?! Have you ever had a mouse die under your refrigerator? A raccoon die under your porch? Right. But lets just assume that the family doesn't smell it. Maybe they don't have noses! They would still probably pick the lock so they could USE THE CUPBOARD in their goddamn new apartment!!! The whole premise of the whole plot is just one flaw after another. And then that terrible poem at the end! WHY?!?!"



Kristine Monroe Beverley Good one smetchie. Hahahahaah


smetchie Kristine wrote: "Good one smetchie. Hahahahaah"

xox


message 37: by Scott-robert (new)

Scott-robert Shenkman First of all, I am so sorry that the ultimate tragedy in Jewish history, brought on entirely by 1500 years of Christian hatred in Europe. Without the churches, no Nazis (you really must see a photo of the Catholic and Lutheran making the sign of the cross over Hitler and his buddies to truly appreciate this pope that didn't give a shit and a clergy that actively supported Hitler? No hope for us there. Now I don't know anything about kids being locked in cupboards (I'm it happened in places), but I can tell you that there were children who hid in latrines floating in months of shit and piss just to hide from the bastards. Here's something else the Nazis did: they raped and bayoneted and bayoneted my great-grandmother in front of her children and then shot most of the children in front of her before she died. I know this because a blessed Polish woman grabbed my cousin from the execution ring, hid him in the crowd and then hid him for the duration of the war. I know all of this because he went to Israel in 1946 and we were in contact with him until he died 15 years ago. There is a tree in Israel dedicated to this woman on the Avenue of the Righteous. So few trees compared to the Christian population of Europe. And if you can't picture the death of this one boy, take your pick of another: one million children were murdered during the Holocaust. I believe Jesus had some rather harsh words for those who would harm a child. So reading about the Holocaust darkened your Christmas festivities. Boo-fucking-hoo. No Christmas, No Good Friday, then no Holocaust. BTW I hope you noticed that I found your review offensive to the max that just dripped with utter disinterest towards what happened to us during the Holocaust. You probably want to stay from "Schindler's List". It would probably but a damper on your whole month.


message 38: by smetchie (last edited Jun 16, 2015 07:41AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

smetchie Oh brother. Lighten up. This is a review of a book, not the Holocaust. My disdain was directed at the author's plot devices, which I found idiotic and manipulative. I felt the way she told the story took away from the horror of the situation. I'm dripping with sarcasm and annoyance at the story but not disinterest towards what happened to you during the Holocaust. Have you even read the book? Did you like it? Or did you just see a snarky review of a book about the Holocaust and get your panties in a bunch over it? There are bad books about all kinds of things, you know. A Child Called "It" is the worst book ever written in the history of book-writing. My opinion of that book doesn't mean I'm A-OK with child abuse, silly.

That said, I truly do appreciate you sharing your experiences and those of your family members. How fucking horrible.


message 39: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika Every time you comment on this thread I love you more and more.


smetchie I love you the most, Erika.


smetchie I'm going to add a disclaimer for you, Scott-Robert.


message 42: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal You're a holocaust denier, smetchie?! OMFG!!!


smetchie Oy vey.


message 44: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal Why do you want to kill Jews?! This review is obviously the GR equivalent of the Final Solution! Worse! A continuation! The Final Solution Part 2: Now with More Hate!

Words mean things, smetchie! Stop the persecution!


message 45: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Reading this review & your responses to the comments has made my day. I think I love you.


message 46: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal This review is the Confederate flag of Goodreads! #TakeItDown


message 47: by smetchie (last edited Jun 24, 2015 08:24PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

smetchie I love you too, Kathryn.

Esteban, #okfinewecanhavesexjuststopbotheringmewithyourliberalpoliticsfortheloveofauniversalgod.


message 48: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal The tyrant speaks...

...and every time she does, TEN Jewish kittens die!


message 49: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Yeah. Maybe you don't read the Holocaust book on Christmas...


smetchie Someone picked it for BOOKCLUB at Christmas. What's wrong with people?


« previous 1
back to top