Saturday, May 1, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

A weekly meme hosted by Alipet at That's a Novel Idea

1 Book I read: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

2 Words that describe the book : Jewish persecution

3 Settings where it took place or characters you met:

1. The book is set in Paris, France during two time periods - 1942 and 2002.
2. Sarah - a 10-year-old Jewish girl who with her parents is arrested in the Vel' d'Hiv roundup. Before being taken away she locks her 4-year-old brother in a cupboard to keep him safe assuming she will be back soon to let him out.
3. Julia - a journalist - as the 60th anniversary of the Vel' d'Hiv approaches she is asked to write an article about it. Her investigation leads her to come across connections to her French husband's family and the uncovering of long-hidden secrets.

4. Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

1. I liked the author's writing style and the effortless way she managed to move between the two time periods but.......
2. I didn't like that Sarah's story finished half way through and the last part of the book is more about Julia's marital conflict and her personal issues which is a bit of an anticlimax after what has come before.
3. I like to learn and I had never heard of the Vel' d'Hiv - it's a Holocaust story of which the French are not proud because it was French police who arrested their own countrymen.
4. I liked seeing what was happening through a child's eyes because it gave a different perspective from most stories of this kind.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving this book 4 Stars but really this is based on the first half which is excellent and I don't think it lived up to the expectations I had after reading many glowing reviews.


  1. Still, 4/5 is pretty good. I haven't read it but feel like I have - I've read a lot of reviews for this book!

  2. I agree, the fist half was riveting, but it sure dropped off when the POV switched.

  3. You're so right about Julia's story of her marital conflicts- it detracted from the main story which I was so engrossed in. I had never heard of Vel d'hive either and it rather shocked me. I had no clue this went on in France.

  4. I really loved this book! But now that you mention it, the story did die down a bit when it focused on Julia's life.

  5. I have heard good things about this book.

  6. I really enjoyed this book but was confused by the ending. Seemed like it just suddenly came to a stop.

    I like this cover better than the one on my copy :)

  7. I read this last year, and I am reading it again from my book club this month. I remember really liking it, and being so shocked by the actual history.

  8. I've never read this, but I am very fascinated by it!

  9. It was the history and Sarah's story that I liked best even though it was so awful and for that it's definitely worth reading.

  10. I agree - definitely worth a read for the Sarah section. Julia annoyed me! Nevertheless like to try some of this author's contemporary fiction - she writes in French as well.

  11. I think I might need to start doing this meme. I can't keep track of all of them though!

  12. I have this book on my wishlist, but I have avoided it because it seems so sad. I like historical fiction for the same reason as you, but holocaust and children is something I have stayed away from. I could be over reacting though. I may have to try a sample on the kindle.

  13. My mom read this book recently and told me how much she liked it. We don't always see eye-to-eye on books so I'm happy to get a second opinion on it! ; )