Sunday, September 19, 2010
Synopsis from Amazon:
De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome 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 Tézac, 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 Vél' 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.
This was another book that I sitting on my shelf for quite awhile and just never got around to reading. As you can probably tell, my favorite genre is historical fiction. Coincidentally, I have collected a big collection of holocaust literature. Sarah's Key was a different take on the holocaust. It is about the roundup of Jews in Paris. I had never heard about this event before I read the book. The author discusses this a bit in the book, how today, not a lot of people know about the event, and the French are very sensitive about it. I have read a lot of good, even great books recently, but this was one of those rare books that I could not put down. I love it when a book makes me feel like this one did. I really felt for the characters, especially Sarah who tries to save her brother. After I finished reading, I kept thinking about the book and characters. That to me is one of the tests of a truly great book. I loved the writing style and how the story was told. I have to say that this is one of the best Holocaust books I have read.