Genre: Historical fiction
Journalist Julia Jarmond is assigned to write an article about the Vel' d'Div' roundup which happened in Paris in July 1942. This was the day when Sarah, a ten year old girl, was brutally arrested along with her family by the French police. As Julia researches this topic, she begins to uncover this girl's life and a trail of long-hidden family secrets.
My friend recommended Sarah's Key to me and let me borrow it. She said it almost made her cry, and after reading I can understand why! This book is tragic, devastating, and disturbing. But it's also very beautiful and is sure to never be forgotten.
The first thing I noticed when I started reading was how nice and smooth de Rosnay's writing is. Her sentences are very well crafted and filled with imagery that allows you to feel like you're there in Paris. De Rosnay has a true talent of conveying the characters' emotions with such ease. Writing-wise, this book was a sheer delight to read.
Let's talk about the plot. And what a plot it was! Sarah's Key is based on the real events that happened in Paris in 1942, but the specific characters are obviously works of fiction. Sarah is only a little girl when her family is abducted by the french police. She locks her little brother in their "secret hideout", which is essentially a cupboard. Sarah says that she will return later to free him, and is constantly trying to escape to fulfill her promise. As the readers we are thrown back and forth into the present day and 1942 to experience Sarah's ordeal and to discover the details of her story along with Julia, the journalist. This book is very well presented and tied together in the end to my satisfaction.
I read this book in less than a day and felt like I literally couldn't stop myself - I wanted to discover Sarah's story and the details of her family as soon as I could. This is an addicting and very potent book that will evoke many emotions in you without a doubt. Be prepared to cry, scream, laugh, and get lost in Sarah's Key.
Recommendation: Honestly, I think this book would suit almost any reader. The next time you're out, find this book, take it home, sit in a comfy chair, and be prepared to not get up until you've finished the last page.