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Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key

Written by Tatiana de Rosnay

Narrated by Polly Stone


Sarah's Key

Written by Tatiana de Rosnay

Narrated by Polly Stone

ratings:
4/5 (411 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 12, 2008
ISBN:
9781427207562
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Publisher:
Released:
Dec 12, 2008
ISBN:
9781427207562
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Tatiana de Rosnay is the author of eleven novels, including the New York Times bestselling novel Sarah’s Key, an international bestselling sensation with over two million copies sold in thirty-five countries worldwide. Together with Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer, and Stieg Larsson, she was named one of the top ten fiction writers in Europe in 2009. Tatiana lives with her husband and two children in Paris. Visit her online at www.tatianaderosnay.com


Reviews

What people think about Sarah's Key

4.0
411 ratings / 396 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    This is one of my favorite stories of all time. The gripping story of a family’s struggle during the war. The heartbreak of loss and the hopes for a new life. I recommend this book all the time!
  • (4/5)
    The first time I heard about this story I saw the movie a few years ago. I didn't put two and two together that the movie was made from the book. I think this book is a must read for everyone. There are so many different sides to what happened during World War II and this is yet another side. Every time I read a story about what happened to the Jews it just tears a little bit of my heart away. This story is about Julia an American journalist living in Paris who stumbles upon the story of Sarah Starzynski and what happened to her family during the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup on July 16, 1942. I remember this being a very powerful movie and it is a very powerful book. If you want to learn more about World War II and what happened during that time in France, pick up this book, you won't be disappointed and it will haunt you for a very long time.
  • (5/5)
    Two stories are told told in short, alternating chapters. The first takes place during the two-day Vel' d' Hiv', a Nazi-directed roundup of Jews by French police, surely one of the most shameful moments in French history. Over 13,000 Jews, including 4000 children, were arrested in July, 1942, and kept for days with little food or water and no sanitation, about 7500 of them in an enclosed stadium, before first the men, then the women, were taken to Auschwitz. The children, children of all ages, were kept for some days more and then transported to Auschwitz for immediate gassing. One child's story is told, that of Sarah, a 10-year old girl whose 4-year old brother locks himself in their apartment's hidden closet when the police break in. Sarah takes the key with her and promises to return for him. The second story is of a modern-day American journalist, long settled in Paris, who discovers her in-laws' apartment was taken over by her husband's family only weeks after the arrests. She becomes obsessed with finding out who the family was and if anyone survived. Her discoveries result in dreadful memories unburied and family histories revealed, and they change the lives around her forever.I had several strong reactions to this story. First, the descriptions of the stadium, of the agony of the families being separated and the children being torn from their parents with no explanation or any promise of resolution, was heartbreaking and immediate because of what's been going on at the southern border in the U.S. The details bring alive the monstrous situation certain of our political leaders seem to think is business as usual and with which they are little concerned. No, hopefully the kids our government have arrested will not be executed, but spiritually and mentally the damage is horrifying and likely to come back to haunt us. I hesitate to compare our current leaders with the Nazis (wannabes, maybe), but in this instance the similarity is pretty clear.The other thing that bothered me was the author's descriptions of the French character. If she is correct, it's rather shocking to American sensibilities. If not, it's quite a gross exaggeration. If someone who has read the book and knows France ever comments on this I'd be very interested. The book sort of winds down too long before the final page, but the first three-quarters make for a stunning page-turner.
  • (4/5)
    This is a moving and compelling book about a dark period in French history when, in July 1942, over 10 000 French Jews were rounded up and kept inhumanly in Paris' Valodrome d'Hiver before being sent to their deaths at Auschwitz.

    The story is told through the eyes of two females. One being ten-year-old Sarah who, along with her parents, are arrested and sent to the Valodrome, and middle-aged Julia Jarmond, an American writer living in Paris, who has been asked to write an article on the events of 1942 as the 60th anniversary of Vel'd'Hiv approaches.

    Most of the book alternates between the lives of Sarah and Julia, and I was disappointed when Sarah's story stopped as I found hers to be far more powerful when compared to the modern, personal problems that Julia faces in her daily life. Throughout the story long-kept secrets are gradually revealed as the reader discovers not only how the lives of Sarah and Julia are intertwined, but how the events of 1942 changed two families forever.

    My one regret is that I didn't read this book before seeing the movie. As usual the book is so much better, but unfortunately, thanks to the movie, I knew what was going to happen throughout the story so it lost some of its impact for me. However, still a great read.
  • (4/5)
    This novel kept me riveted right from the start. I had never heard of the horrible event in Paris during the war, around which the story is structured. I enjoyed the two voices, one in the past and the other in the present, telling their own stories in alternating chapters. I was disappointed when that ended about ¾ of the way through. I would have preferred to have heard Sarah’s own narrative continue. Some of the action seemed to be a little contrived and I sometimes felt as if the same points just kept getting hammered at me, but maybe that was the point. All in all, though, this was a fascinating, well-told story that will stay with me for some time.
  • (5/5)
    good story. her personal life story less interesting.