Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
Sarah's key
2008
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find It' section below.
Find It
Map It
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Julia Jarmond (Female), Journalist, Married, Mother, American, Moved to Paris when she was 20; married an arrogant, unfaithful man; has an 11-year-old daughter; writes for an American magazine; covering the 60th anniversary of the Paris deportations to Auschwitz; discovers an intriguing family history tied to an apartment she was thinking of moving into
Genre
Fiction
Historical
Topics
Jewish families
Journalists
Family histories
Husbands and wives
Family secrets
French history
World War II
Search for truth
Setting
France - Europe
Time Period
2002 -- 21st century
1942 -- 20th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

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 Velodrome 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Velodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tezac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vel' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers-especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive-the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay's 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia's conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah's trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
<p>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.<br> 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.<br> 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.</p>
Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1