Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sarah's Key: Tatiana De Rosnay

Sarah’s Key is a novel of historical fiction originally published in June 2007 by St. Martin’s Press which has sold millions of copies worldwide. A film of the same name premiered in July 2011 starring Kirsten Scott Thomas. The beginning of the story is set in Paris during the Nazi Occupation of World War II and events revolve around the Vel d’Hiv Roundup of French people of Jewish descent by the French government in July 1942. Sarah Starzynski is a ten year native Parisian girl of Jewish heritage who is taken with her parents to the Velodrome d’Hiver, an indoor stadium used for sporting events. Before Sarah is captured, she locks her four year old brother, Michel, in a hidden cabinet and promises to return later that day. As the plot unfolds, the reader is taken to the present day where investigative journalist, Julia Jormand is given an assignment to write a story on the anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv Roundup. Julia is an American woman married to a Frenchman and ironically, they are to move into a family flat with ties to the plight of Sarah and her incarceration. Ms. Jormand becomes immersed in the story of the horrific conditions suffered by the Jewish families at Vel d’Hiv. Suspense builds as she begins to dig deeper into this relatively unknown historical event and its relationship to the family of her husband, Bertrand Tezac. She is appalled to learn that the families were kept in the stadium for days without water, food, or proper sanitary conditions and most ended up in the death grip of Auschwitz. As the graphic scenes of 1942 unfold, young Sarah is desperate to return to her apartment at Rue de Saintonge and rescue her younger brother. The two story lines evolve into one as Julie Jormand and her family become involved with searching for what became of young Sarah Starzynski. The author takes readers through Paris, New York, and Italy with vivid the descriptions of a native. The storytelling is haunting and gripping. I was unable to stop reading and felt at one with the emotions of protagonist, Julia. This book is one that readers will find difficult to put down until they have found the final clues to the mystery of Sarah’s key. Finally, this book will leave you with a need to search for more books on this difficult subject so that we may never forget the atrocities of this time dark time in history.

No comments:

Post a Comment