YA Reviews: Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key
By: Tatiana de Rosnay
Ppaerback, 293 pages
Published in 2007

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting French families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard-their secret hiding place-and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.
Sixty Years Later: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future.

No words can do this book justice.

As it is mentioned in the description above, this book was about the Jewish deportations that occurred in the early 1940s (a bit before and during WWII), particularly in France (yes, FRANCE!). It introduced us (the readers) to Sarah, a Jewish girl who gets arrested along with her parents by the French police and locks her little brother in a cupboard in order to prevent him from getting arrested as well. Sarah's story parallels with Julia's: a journalist in early 2002 who is assigned to research Vel' d'Hiv (the roundup of Jews, including Sarah, in Paris). 

Can we just talk about how this book, a WWII Holocaust-related book, takes place in France? That piece of information alone brings an entirely different insight and atmosphere to the book. Rosnay breaks the norm and talks about deportations that happened in a country that you would never think of when talking about the deportations of the Jewish. I know for a fact that I would have never thought of France as one of the main countries who also deported them by THEIR OWN PEOPLE, NOT the Nazis. This book gave me soooo much information on Vel' d'Hiv that when I went online to look it up for more information, I already knew more than half of the information displayed!

The way the author was able to balance the two time periods in the story and the way she brought the stories of two different people was absolutely brilliant. I found myself turning the pages at a fast pace because the story was constant suspense. "What's going to happen next? Where is this heading? What is she going to do???"

The story leaves you with constant additions of information that all leads up to this big conclusion in the end. I admired Julia's character very much. Her 15-year marriage is slowly falling apart and she has to deal with many problems, yet she kept going headstrong in dealing with many situations at once and went on this journey to figure out what is most important to her and what she feels is right. And Sarah... her story and what she goes through is heart-wrecking... no words can describe, and if I tried, I might end up spoiling the book. 

I have just found out today that this amazing book is a movie. I hope to watch it and see how it compares with the book. Until then, go get your copy of Sarah's Key as soon as you can because I without a doubt recommend this book.


  1. Wow, from the blurb itself is more than enough to pique my interest, it is rare for me to read a book that relates to the element of religion, I am not well exposed to the 1940's era, love your review! It sounds like a book that will just leave a massive impact on the readers' minds. Thank you for sharing!

    Natasha @ Dreamland Teenage Fantasy

    1. The book isn't too immersed into religion, so that shouldn't be a problem if you are reluctant to read the book because of that. When it comes to the 1940s and WWII, stories face the threat of blending in with other stories. It can start to get challenging to create a unique story that really stands out, and in my opinion this author was able to accomplish that. As I mentioned in my review: I totally recommend it! Rosnay has a few other books she has written that I love as well. I'll probably end up posting another review or two for some of those ;). Thank you, Natasha!!


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