- Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
- Published: September 2008
- ISBN-10: 0312370849
- ISBN-13: 9780312370848
- Format: Paperback
- Copyright: 2007
- Subject: FICT-GENERAL
Pivotal to this novel is the key in ten-year-old Sarah's pocket. It opens the cupboard in which she has hidden her younger brother from the French police, who are rounding up Jews in Paris. It is July 16, 1942, and Sarah, along with her parents and hundreds more people, are brought to the stadium Vlodrome d'Hiver, where they spend several days without food or water before being sent to French camps en route to Auschwitz. Arriving at the camp Beaune-la-Rolande, Sarah is separated from her parents and manages to escape. Nearby farmers not only protect but eventually adopt her. In alternating chapters, we read of American-born journalist Julia Jarmond, who's working on a magazine story about the ";;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;Vel'd'Hiv";;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; roundup on its 60th anniversary. Because the grandparents of Julia's husband moved into the apartment once owned by Sarah's family, we learn what Sarah discovers when she finally returns ten years later with the key—knowledge so traumatic that it changes Julia's life forever. This debut by French-born de Rosnay has been translated into 15 languages and will surely be an international best seller. Masterly and compelling, it is not something that readers will quickly forget. Highly recommended.—Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH
[Page 78]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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The key to lifeGrabbing a baguette, a bouquet of flowers, a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower from a stroll down the narrow Parisian streets, perhaps a quick cup of coffee from that darling little café on the corner a typical Parisian sultry summer day add a pinch of French Jews being rounded up by the policemen and you have the perfect ingredients to create those horrific days in July 1942 when ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬13,152 families were destroyed. This was the roundup of that entire bore the yellow star stitched to their clothing distinguishing them from the rest of society. These people were then forced in to the Vel’d’HIV, where they awaited their pre-determined deportation to Beaune-la-Roland and then Auschwitz, for permanent extermination. This horrendous setting was the backdrop to Sarah’s Key; a story that juxtaposed the past and present together with the only link between them seeming to be an apartment on the Rue de Santionge. The lives that were affected by this connection of a shared living space never met until one story came careening into another when a dire familial secret was finally allowed to be verbalized by those who had witnessed the tragedy. “Silence like a cancer grows” crooned Simon and Garfunkel, no words ring truer than in this work of historical fiction. I will not give many details away as it will diminish the impact of initially reading the novel. Highly recommended for everyone to read whether you are a history buff or just someone looking for a compelling read, one of the best books I have ever read. After reading this book though I do suggest of the viewing of the French film that came out this past summer (2011) as seeing the events described in the novel unfold before your eyes holds more meaning than words written on a page and human emotions can register numerous emotions that cannot be evoked from a novel .