Teri's Reviews > Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
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's review
Feb 28, 2009

it was ok
Read in March, 2009

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!
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Reading Progress

02/28/2009 page 1
02/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by Ginia (last edited Mar 04, 2009 09:35AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ginia Yes the parts with Sarah were way more interesting. Did you read some of the reviews on the cover? Gushy Balderdash! She probably paid them to write something good about her book. It felt like to me that this French author thought her readers wouldn't remember that her MC was pregnant so she had to mention it almost every other page... 'she had white wine, and I had an apple juice, because of the baby'. Duh, we get it. Anyway, I didn't fell like writing my own review... so I'll just comment on yours.

Teri They always manage to find someone to give them a good review! I agree about the pregnancy thing, blah, blah, blah, she was such a whiner.

Sheryl Well, I'm #13 on the list for Book Thief at the library so I don't suppose I'll see it before I go.

Teri I was #25 before Virginia saved me. I told you it was good!

message 5: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Boyd Interesting that you have read both the Book Thief and Sarah's Keys. For book club we just finished The Book Thief and now reading Sarah's Keys. We haven't met yet for discussion, but will be interesting to see what the group thought and how they might compare the two.

message 6: by Sol (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sol Dear Teri,

I am Sol Tetelbaum. I have read your review and some thoughts came into my mind. Some time ago, I have written a review for Sarah's Keys and have been receiving a lot of emails and comments. Some of them are similar to your review. My review and comments can be easily found in GoodReads. I am sending one of these comments and my reply. I would be very glad to know what do you think.
Thank you very much.

Comment from Sylvie about my review on Tatiana de Rosnay book Sarah’s Key

If I may add to your comment ...

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 on our own ground). 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. I cannot believe that women are still writing stupid stories where women are portrayed as too emotionally involved, not able to think properly … always the same dilemmas (abortion, work, cheating) … that part I would give a big 2 on a generous day.
All I could think was: How can you be so disconnected with the horror of the Holocaust as to send your heroin on a selfish voyage of informing a guy about something that may not even be aware of anything… I am quite surprised since Mme de Rosnay is a literary critic for Psychologies magazine!!! And I am not talking about the 11 years old kid that talks to her mother like she is a grown up person … I don’t know. Maybe there is something that I haven’t understood from what the author was trying to convey.
message 2: by Sol

My reply

Dear Sylvie,

Thank you for your comment.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you in many things. BUT one thing in this book so valuable that it overweighed all weaknesses in the book. I mean the author’s civil position and her civil courage.
Over 60 years the French government and some other author’s co-citizens preferred to hush up the fact of their country’s participation in Holocaust, or at least didn’t want to speak about this. Tatiana de Rosnay had a lot of guts to speak out. I am from former Soviet Union and I know how much courage was necessary to do it.
It is extremely dangerous position to forget these tragic facts. Nevertheless, even today, some people are trying to forget Holocaust, Soviet governmental anti-Semitism, Armenian massacre; some people deny it, some are reluctant to hear about it. A bitter pill needs sweetening otherwise not many want to buy bitter stuff.
Let me tell you a fact I know from the first hand. Recently I have published a part of my memoir book The Door Slammed In Ladispoli where I devoted several chapters to the Soviet anti-Semitism. Many people highly praised the manuscript. In vain, I was trying to find a traditional publisher. One big Jewish publisher has written to me; “We have been giving careful consideration to your book and have received a generally encouraging report from our academic reader. However, we are concerned about likely sales…” Finally, I published it by myself... I wouldn’t wish the same for Mme de Rosnay.
Before Sarah’s Key, Tatiana de Rosnay has published 14 (!) books in French. Sarah’s Key was the first her book that has been published in English (and you probably guessed, why). Due to this courageous author, now millions of people from many countries know what happened in France in 1942. It was a reminder against deadly amnesia.
What about weaknesses of the book, Tatiana de Rosnay is a good talented writer, and I am sure she will take into consideration all critical comments...
It is nice to have such thoughtful readers like you.

Thank you
Sol Tetelbaum

Clau de I also read the book thief before this book, but I really, absolutely, totally loved it. The stories are similar but the overlapping of future and present was pretty neat. :)

Rachel Funny thing, I just finished The Book Thief and went right into this book, too! I'm a little more than halfway right now, but I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about Sarah's Key yet. It's very interesting to learn about the Vel' d'Hiv as I knew nothing of it.

Jessica Rios My review about this book is almost exactly like yours!! So weird! And I wonder why so many of us read this right after The Book Thief??? Very strange!

Candace Hinnergardt Totally agree. On all levels. The Book Thief was amazing!!! and this book was underwelming and I don't car about anyone's sex life to be honest even in a book.

Alyssa C Thought Sarah's key was a good story but the book thief was AMAZING!

message 12: by Lot (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lot I couldn't have worded it better myself. I really didn't care the slightest for Julia.

Elisa LOL, I completely agree!

message 14: by Sandra (new)

Sandra While I haven't read this, perhaps try reading All the Light They Cannot See. Talk about a comparison to The Book Thief! I'm not far in it and it's so hard not to stop and listen to Death narrating.

message 15: by Sandra (new)

Sandra While I haven't read this, perhaps try reading All the Light They Cannot See. Talk about a comparison to The Book Thief! I'm not far in it and it's so hard not to stop and listen to Death narrating.

Patsyatackgmail.Com I agree with the part about boring sex in books, and The BookThief was a hundred times better. Anyone want to talk about "Night"?

message 17: by Janine (new)

Janine I agree. I felt the story had finished at around the middle. The story of the Julia was boring

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