Sarah’s Key – book review

Remember my resolution about 50 books this year? Well I finished number one last night with help from my handy led book light. Picked this up in the airport in Minneapolis and it was an interesting first book of the year. I wanted to read it before I see the movie, then I can say “Oh, the book was so much better”, as I like to do.

Sarah's KeySarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was not aware of the round-up at the Vél d’Hiv in France but had read Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky which also told of the heartless actions of the French against their own countryman.

Sarah’s Key tells the story of Sarah a ten-year old girl taken by french police in 1942 and the story of Julia, an american expat living in Paris in 2006. I found it interesting how the alternating story lines came together in the middle. The story of Sarah is a heart wrenching tale and the story of Julia is also sad in a modern way.

I was disappointed with Julia’s cliché French husband which reminded me of the character Henri from Private Benjamin. How can French men maintain this position of incredibly attractive and complete arses? I would have liked more examples and details to support this story line.

The moral of this story seems to be, mind your own business, close your eyes to everything that displeases you and you can continue your life without interruption but if you dig around, stir the pot, open Pandora’s box you will bring sorrow to everyone you know.

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This story kept reminding me of the this poem:

Man was made to mourn: A Dirge
Robert Burns

Many and sharp the num’rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav’n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, –
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

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