I had a lovely long day of reading on Sunday and I finished this novel and Vile Bodies.
Here’s my review of Sarah’s Key.
A friend at work gave this to me to borrow. It has 331 pages and the novel is translated into my native language; Dutch.
“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 about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.”
Based on true events, Sarah’s Key brings a difficult and dark period in the history of France to life.
A very important and to most French people unknown period is told from the viewpoint of a child in 1942 and a woman doing research in 2002.
It shows us how ignorant the French (and most of Western-Europe) were by helping or ignoring and forgetting those four years and their part in it.
The parts told by Sarah were too childlike. It would have been stronger and more haunting if it was told by a third party. Either way, this is a very strong and, sadly, realistic storyline.
Julia however has too much to say. I really don’t care for her husband, her problems or the baby. Those pulled the quality of the story down to an almost chick lit novel. And I must say I HATE CHICK LIT. de Rosnay should have kept Julia as a journalist and nothing more. The whining, the drama and the doubting made me go insane.
An overall very predictable storyline.
The storyline about the Holocaust had so much potential. She could have made me cry, she could have written a book that makes everyone think about their family and their country’s part in the Holocaust. She could have made this a very important book, a book everyone should read.
Instead, de Rosnay gave us this.
What’s your opinion?