Review: Sarah's Key

Tatiana de Rosnay has published nine novels. ‘Sarah’s Key’ is her first novel written in English, has been published in 28 countries and film rights have also been sold.

Tatiana works as a journalist for French ELLE and is literary critic for Psychologies Magazine and the Journal du Dimanche. She is married and has two teenagers, Louis and Charlotte. She lives in Paris with her family.

Sarah's Key is an easy read, and it quickly draws you into the story line. I love a good history novel and was not aware of the Vel d'Hiv round up in Paris 1942. This book opens your eyes to some rather unknown events in Holocaust history, it’s hard to put down.

Here’s a review from BN.COM that I was able to relate to: The story of Sarah's love of her brother mixed with events out of her control must give the reader pause to step back and ask ourselves why this could happen, and furthermore, take efforts to never allow it to happen again. Historical fiction places us in the struggles of one little girl and again makes us ponder the woman she may have become. The two storylines, for me, culminated in too-tidy a package. However it did not take away from what I consider the main story. Perhaps a little more character development may have been a better choice. I would have read a few more chapters. It could have added some depth. I would recommend this, however, and also the history behind.

Click here for an interview with The Printed Page

Excerpt of author Q&A, Click here to read the complete interview:

Are Sarah and her family based on people who really existed in 1942? No, Sarah and her family come straight out of my imagination. But my daughter Charlotte, who was 10 years old when I wrote this book, was a major source of inspiration for Sarah. Sarah’s brother’s destiny is also an event I imagined, although I do believe it could have happened in real life.

How long did it you take to write Sarah’s Key? It took me one year to research it, two years to write it, and two years to get it published!

What sort of research did you do to write Sarah’s Key? I read everything I could concerning the round-up. (That book list is at the back of Sarah’s Key in its French version, or on the Sarah’s Key Blog.) I went to Beaune la Rolande and Drancy, several times. And I met Vel d’Hiv survivors, which were unforgettable moments.Type: Fiction, 293 pages, Trade Paperback

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.

“It will make you cry – and remember” – Jenna Blum (NY Times best selling author of ‘Those who save us’)

“Rich in mystery, intrigue, and suspense, Sarah’s Key made me wonder and weep” – The Roanoke Times