10 August 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Julia Jarmond is an American journalist living in Paris with her French husband and their eleven-year-old daughter, Zoe.  Throughout her research for a journalistic piece about the 60th anniversary of the roundups of Jews by the French police during World War II, Julia discovers the story of Sarah Starzinski.  Sarah was 10 years old in 1942, at a time when the yellow star on her chest didn't hold much meaning to her until she and her family were forced into camps outside of Paris because of it.  As Sarah's story unfolds, Julia becomes entrenched in its many folds, and discovers more connections between Sarah's life and her own than she ever expected.  Sarah changes Julia's life tremendously, and Julia ensures that Sarah's story will never be forgotten.

I'd recommend this story for older high school and adult readers, along side Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.  While each story has it's own unique appeal, matched by different atmospheres, character attitudes, and foundation for the events that  make up the world of the two books, they each have some similar traits.  In particular, both novels are told from dual perspectives: one is the voice of an American transplant now staying in contemporary Paris; the other a young girl living in Paris during a tumultuous period in history.  And both stories are told beautifully through audio.  *I still think I like Revolution better than Sarah's Key, and I was only intrigued enough to read Sarah's Key after seeing the interesting movie previews, but I'm glad that I allowed myself the opportunity to share in in both Andi's and Julia's worlds -- both for their similarities and their differences.

Reviewed by kate the librarian.


  1. I know it sounds cliche but i couldn't wait to finish whatever I was doing to get back to this book. I never heard about the roundup and got pulled right into the pages and lived every minute of the story. Well written and a great story line, can't wait for the movie.

  2. A beautifully written novel. The ugliness that creates the main plot for this book juxtaposed with the beauty of the world the author creates is astounding. I found myself unable to put it down, and when I did have to put it down I found myself thinking about it constantly.


What do you think?