Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

On the back cover:
"Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten-year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard- their secret hiding place- and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.

Sixty years later: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future."

First of all, I thought the story was well written, aside from the poor choice for language throughout. I have read much worse but still prefer to not have cussing in the books I read.

With that said; I love that Sarah's Key is written about a subject that most would like to bury under a rug. Either they lived through it and want to forget or they know nothing about it at all. We all need to be reminded of the past...good or bad.

Sarah's adventures are exciting and heartbreaking. Here is an excerpt to show what I think is exciting: "With Rachel, she had made up her mind. They were going to escape...The grass tickled her nose. It smelled delicious. She wanted to bury her face in it and breathe in the green, tangy scent. She saw that Rachel had already reached the gap and was gingerly pushing her head through it.
Suddenly the girl heard heavy thuds on the grass. Her heart stopped. She looked up to a huge shape looming over her. A policeman. He dragged her up by the frayed collar of her blouse, shook her. She felt herself go limp with terror."

Heartbreaking: "The policemen fell upon them like a swarm of large, dark birds. They dragged the women to one side of the camp, the children to the other. Even the tiniest children were separated from their mothers. The girl watched it all, as if she was in another world. She heard the screams, the yells, she saw the women hurling themselves to the ground, their hands pulling at their children's clothes, Their children's hair. She watched the policemen raise their truncheons and bludgeon the women's heads, their faces."

Every other chapter speaks of Sarah and Julia throughout the book. That makes it an easy read. Julia, to me, was not endearing. Not absolutely believable. I got to know tid bits of her life but didn't completely get to know her. Sarah, on the other hand, was both endearing and believable.

I teared up a couple of times but they didn't spill over until the very last page.

I give Sarah's key three stars.


Heather said...

Nice review! I've never heard of this book, but it sounds interesting. I know what you mean, though, about language in books that just doesn't need to be there. Makes me sad. I keep reminding myself that I'm not like the rest of the world and not everyone is as sensitive to swearing as I am, but it doesn't help much. =]

Mandi Tucker Slack said...

I don't like swearing in books either. It really detracts from a great story.The story, however, sounds great. I like books that tug at your heart ").

Jillian said...

I'd rather read a fantasy so I can escape reality. If I feel the need for a good cry, but all my sock match at the end of my laundry day, I'll give this one a try! ;)