Sarah’s Key

Sarah's KeySarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A lovely book about a woman’s obsession with the Jewish family forced from their home in the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup. And the girl, Sarah, who survived and whose life story became entwined with her husband’s family in Paris. As she puts together the pieces of this shattered woman’s life, her own marriage is falling apart. Family secrets uncovered have the power both to hurt and to heal… This book is also a tribute to the 76,000 Jews deported from France to the death camps. Zakhor, Al Tichkah. Remember. Never forget.


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.