Friday, June 22, 2012

Title: Sarah's Key
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
Genre: historical fiction

I watched the movie before I read the book (I usually read the book first) and I enjoyed both immensely. The two plot lines in Sarah's Key revolve around a little known piece of French history: the V'el D'Hiv roundup. In July of 1942, the French government, by order of the Nazis, rounded up French Jews and sent them to "work camps" in the French countryside. Once at the work camps the men were separated from their families. A few months later the women and children were separated and the women sent to Auschwitz. Unfortunately, the rest is history. These true events are unknown here in America and even unknown to the younger generations in France- the older generation is ashamed that they allowed this tragedy to happen.

In alternating chapters we read about Sarah's family being rounded up and sent to the camp. The other chapters take place in modern-day Paris where Julia Jarmond is remodeling an apartment with her husband. Julia is a transplanted American journalist who is assigned to write about the 60th anniversary of the V'el D'Hiv roundup. Her research and interviews eventually confirm that the apartment her family is remodeling has connections to this tragic day in French history.

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