Friday, January 17, 2014
Bookworm: Sarah's Key
If you were to come to my house and look at my book shelves you would see that I don't tend to read books that are about serious topics, like WWII. On my own, I would have never read Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay but a good friend of mine recommended it to me. And boy am I glad she did.
Sarah's Key is a novel with two main characters, Sarah and Julia. Sarah is a 10 year old girl in 1942 living in Paris who is arrested with her family in the Vel d'Hiv roundup in Paris. Thinking that she would be home the next day from the arrest, Sarah locks her little brother in a hidden cupboard in her home telling him they will be back to free him soon. We then follow Sarah through the heartbreaking experiences of Vel d'Hiv, being separaed from her parents and then sent to concentration camps.
Julia on the other hand, is a woman living in Paris in 2002 who is told by her editor to write about the Vel d'Hiv round up as it is the 60th anniversary of the horrifying event. Taking the story with the seriousness and respect that it deserves, she investigates what actually happened and eventually learns of Sarah. She becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Sarah and ends up finding out that Sarah's story links up to hers.
As you can tell, this is a pretty heavy book. It took me the entire summer to read this book because I could only handle it in small doses. I found it subject matter so depressing and heart wrenching at times that I had to take breaks from it. That being said, the closer I got to the end of the book the more the story hooked me and I could read more of it in one sitting. You really start to feel the pain that both Sarah and Julia experience throughout the story because of Tatiana's impeccable writing. Whenever I was done reading the book for the day I would just go and hug Matt for as long as he would let me.
Would I recommend it to you? Yes, yes and yes. I had never heard of the Vel d'Hiv round ups and what happened to the Jewish children during WWII and although it is heart breaking, I feel that their story deserves to be heard. I feel like the best way to show respect to those men, women, boys and girls is to never forget what happened to them.
I always find books about our history fascinating. Have you read any similar to this? Would you recommend them? If so, leave a comment below, I'd love to read them.