"Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay is a touching portrayal of one of the darkest incidents in French history, the July 16, 1942 roundup of Parisian Jews by the French police for their eventual transport to the Auschwitz death camp. The story is told by alternating the first person narrative of Sarah Starzynski, a young girl taken from her family in the roundup, and Julia Jarmond a journalist assigned to do a story on the incident some sixty years later. When the French police come for the family, Sarah locks her brother in a closet to protect him, thinking they will be back within a short time. As weeks pass, Sarah's mission is to survive and return home to save her brother. This is a great book. It sheds light on an event that so many people wanted to forget and cannot be found in many school history books. France would rather forget it had happened.
Sarah and her parents were taken to the Vélodrome d'Hiver where they and thousands of other Jewish French citizens, were locked into a stadium-like building with almost no food or water, and no toilet facilities. Many people died. Sarah is then separated from her her parents and placed in a concentration camp. She manages to escape the camp determined to get back to Paris to release her little brother from the hidden wardrobe before it was too late to save him.
Sixty years later, Julia Jarmond, an American journalist married to a Parisian, learns about the Vél d'Hiv for the first time and is shocked to learn how the event has been forgotten. She is even more shocked when she finds a link between her husband’s and Sarah's family. She is determined to find Sarah so that she can tell the entire story.
I couldn't put this book down. Other books like "Sarah's Key" are "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak and "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky.
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