Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key is another book club selection. I'll be honest and say, had it not be chosen, I wouldn't chose it on my own. I had a really hard time getting into it.

Sarah's Key is two stories that merge. The first is the story of Sarah. A 10-year old girl who is brutally arrested, along with her family, by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv roundup, July 1942. She hides her brother in a locked cupboard and promises to come back for him.

The second story is of Julia, an American journalist living in Paris in 2002. She's asked to write an article on Vel' d'Hiv. She comes across Sarah's story, and here they merge.

Sarah's story is heartbreaking. And utterly depressing. And this is where I struggled. It's a wonderful book, however I have serious issues with depressing books. If you can get through your sobs and reach about page 130, then you'll be ok.

I wasn't fond of Julia. But I appreciate how her story was a break from my bawling. I found Julia to be self-obsessed, clueless and annoying. While I love how the stories merged and she learns about Sarah, she didn't think about the impact of anyone but herself. She wanted to track Sarah down, and share Sarah's story. It was not up to her to do that. 

I majored in history and am embarrassed to say I knew very little about the Paris roundup. And for this lesson, I am grateful.  


Mama Zen said...

It does sound really depressing.

April said...

I also have a problem with depressing books! I can stand a little bit of heartache, but too much just turns me off! That's why I didn't like A Thousand Splendid Suns, the second book by the author of The Kite Runner.