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Synopsis

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.
Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

Book Reviews

Sarah's Key
Average rating
4.2 / 5
An important part of history to be told.
January 16th, 2016
At only 293 pages, I flew through this story. It was a real page turner in that I just had to find out what happened to Sarah. The dual time periods carried the mystery of Sarah and her family throughout the book. It was as interesting for me to read of how Julia uncovered the mystery through her research as it was from Sarah’s point of view. Although I admit I was a little bit disappointed that this dual time period didn’t carry on throughout the entire book. I had some trouble relating to Julia and the decisions she made. Her character was very troubled, but I did sympathize with her and the course her life was taking. Overall I thought Sarah’s Key was a solid read with a story that needs to be told. I would recommend it to people who are interested in learning about the holocaust, especially with a Paris setting. This would also make for a great book club choice, as it will open a lot of opportunities for discussion.
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1 review
Unredeemed by Subject Matter
January 14th, 2016
It feels somehow morally wrong to hate a book that's about the Holocaust. With this book, even that can't stop me. I was pulled into the story of Sarah's Key at its beginning, because there's so much story there. And so much potential. But then, when you're taken away from Sarah's dramatic opening (a good one--I freely concede that) and all you're left with is characters that are thinly-written and clichéd (I can just imagine DeRosnay planning her story: "Oh, how about this: I'll make my main character a reporter, so she can dig up all this information on the Vel d'Hiv and that way I can work it into the story seamlessly") and a husband that you never are given any indication that there was anything good and decent in him that would allow you to believe that she could have once loved him enough to marry him. Plus a ridiculously coincidental connection between the two women that stretches credibility well beyond the snapping point. Add to that already miserable mess of literary pottage the insertion of researched bits on what happened, to satisfy the demanding historical requirement. All of this done with an obviousness that's painful to slog through. Most telling (and ultimately condemning, to my mind), is that if you were to check out the list of books she recommends, they are (hey, wouldja look at that!) written by the same people who'd offered such glowing tribute to the book on its cover. Oh. I've always believed that it is part of the reader's bargain with the writer that they follow the arc of the story from beginning to end, in the ordered way the writer sets it out. It is also a critical part of the writer's bargain that they write a good story. I figured DeRosnay broke her part of the deal, so I felt quite within my rights to break mine. Because all I really wanted to know was if the little boy was okay.
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1 review
SARAH'S Key
December 2nd, 2015
0ne of the best book that I read and reread. IT GETS YOU IN RIGHT A WAY AND YOU WONT BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Sarah's Key
October 12th, 2015
I could not put the book down. It saddened me and captivated me right from the start. It inspired me to research and question the Vel d`Hiv roundup and the role of the French police.
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1 review
A good read
September 26th, 2015
I thought it might be another story of how horrible Jews were treated during the war. It is not. Story is about love..
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1 review
Sarahs key
April 14th, 2015
Good read, very interesting to learn about Frances involvement in the second world war from this point of view. Well written and an emotional read.
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1 review
True to history of the times
March 12th, 2015
The situations in this book could actually have happened. The times were so incredibly confused and dangerous. I think this story gives a flavour of what people endured.
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1 review
Good
January 7th, 2015
Amazing,interesting and will keep you thinking. Makes it feel like your in the story. Not recommended for kids.
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1 review
Sarah's Key
November 14th, 2014
Very well written and a very moving story. Helps one to understand just how difficult life was for many families during World War II.
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1 review
Endearing and sad story
November 12th, 2014
I've read a lot of books about the holocaust. From Anne Frank to The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, but this story is truly different and yet it still perfectly portrays the struggles and devastation that Jews in France went through. It goes back and forth between a family that now lives in the same apartment when a family was taken a night in July. And the quest of the now apartment owner to find out what happened. I loved this book, and will read it again eventually. Great great story.
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1 review
Heartbreaking tale
November 11th, 2014
This story was recommended to me by a coworker.It was a fast read that was well-written. Definitely have Kleenex on hand when you're reading!
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1 review
Almost great
November 1st, 2014
Parts of this novel moved me to tears, but other parts didn’t feel quite right. I can’t put my finger on why, but all I can say is that they were like really well-done veneer. Nevertheless, this book stands out from other ones set during the Holocaust. It’s about four thousand forgotten children and France’s culpability in the Jewish round-ups. It’s educating, engaging, and—no real surprise—heartbreaking.
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1 review
July 19th, 2014
This author weaves a tale of drama and beauty which keeps you turn-paging late into the night. Characters and setting mixed in with history keeps me coming back for more from her.
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1 review
Sarahs key
June 17th, 2014
Loved this book. Will look for more from this author
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1 review
Not bad
April 29th, 2014
not as good as some of the books I've read on this subjec, but still not a bad read.
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1 review
Sarah's Key
March 5th, 2014
Excellent read from start to end.
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1 review
Sarah's Key
February 28th, 2014
Very touching and personal. It is about hope, faith and love in struggling moments.
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1 review
Sarahs key
February 15th, 2014
I received this as a gift. Thoroughly enjoyed it! I cried with the family. Through those difficult war years. What a good story. I couldn't put it down.
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1 review
February 9th, 2014
Quite enjoyed the book. At times the descriptions of places were as if you were there. Maybe a little "girly romance" in places that took away from the history aspect. over all a quick and easy read
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1 review
Beautifully told
February 5th, 2014
A moving tale of a time and events that must never be forgotten.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
This book was recommended to me by a friend. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. Intriguing, heartbreaking and shocking. Highly recommended!
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
One of the most heart wrenching stories I have ever read, this book haunts me. It makes me question how many unknown atrocities wrack our world's history. Sarah's Key is truly a moving tale of sibling love but also of survival and the little told story of French Jews and what they suffered at the hands of Hitler and their own government.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Great read! Couldn't put the book down. You become emotionally connected with the characters in the story.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I loved this book. I read it in one sitting! I liked the main character, Julia, a journalist who discovers the story of Sarah and her key. The characters were believable, real, true to life's reactions. The story told about an area and time of Jewish persecution that I had never known about....in the Val d'Hiv roundup. Good story!
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1 review
Best book I've read in ages!
January 21st, 2014
Loved every page of this one!
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1 review
Sarah's Key
January 16th, 2014
Draws you in to the horrid and painful life of a young girl ripped with her family from their home in Paris during the "Roundup" of Jews in July, 1942, and taken to the camps. Beautifully written but the sadness is always present, as the story of her life unfolds, along with those whose lives were changed forever as a result of what happened to Sarah. I learned so much about a dark time of France's history. "Never forget."
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1 review
January 9th, 2014
Loved this story. The first half had me crying on several different occasions and overall, I felt connected to the characters. I love stories written with some historical backing.
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Great read
December 30th, 2013
Beautifully written! I couldn't put it down.
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1 review
Intense
November 27th, 2013
I was drawn into this book. Read it in one intense session. Well written with interesting storytelling that swings between past and present. Be warned that it is heart-wrenching.
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1 review
November 2nd, 2013
This book was a really great read. Full of tons of emotion very well written. I would highly recommend it.
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1 review
Sarah's Key
October 26th, 2013
Always suspense, what's happening next, could not put it down, love the ending
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1 review
Good read
October 15th, 2013
Had never heard of the Vel d'Hiv but learnt a great deal of fFrance' terrible treatment of the Jews during the Second World War..how terrible that they betrayed their own to ingratiate themselves to monsters like the Germans.
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1 review
Beautiful and powerful story!
October 15th, 2013
I read this book with so much interest: and so well written. What an horrible period in the French history! It's a book we must read and never forget.. Remember and Never Forget!
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
This book was a page turner for me. I find these situations from world war 2 so interesting and heart wrenching. It was a time that I hope we never have to face again. Great book. I like reading books by Tatiana de Rosnay.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
couldn't put it down
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
Moving, well written, very human. You can't help but connect with the characters.
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
October 5th, 2013
Although somewhat predictable this novel is a moving story of Hitler's Holocaust atrocities against innocent French victims and in particular one Jewish family. Set in both modern and WW2 periods, the present narrator, a female journalist, is determined to find out the truth and in so doing develops an understanding of both the time period of the atrocities and her own relationship to these events.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
One of my all time favorites.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
I really enjoyed this book. It was very touching and sometimes I did cry. At times predictable but at times surprising. I have recommended this book to others
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
Good story line and very heart felt. The story of Sarah was my favourite part of the book rather than that was happening "currently".
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
Great book, made me delve further into Vel 'd'Hiv. This was something I had not heard of before. I loved how the two present & past was wove together.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
Beautiful, poignant story. Highly recommend.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
I loved this book....I would highly recommend reading this book.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
I usually like murder mysteries but wanted to read a book out of my comfort zone. I loved this book! It was intriguing and mysterious all in one. Highly recommend it.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
It was an excellent book, one of my favorites!
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
I thought this book was a very heart wrenching story and a must read
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1 review
Sarah's Key
September 22nd, 2013
Great book, but the movie was awful. Worth reading.
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1 review
Sarah's Key
September 20th, 2013
An astonishing read. Gruesome, enlightening, disturbing, memorable. The story will haunt me for life.
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1 review
September 15th, 2013
I loved this book!! It was very well written and I like books that have historical info.
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1 review
Must-read!
August 25th, 2013
A touching and gripping story, very well-written. I highly recommend it.
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1 review
Moving story
July 11th, 2013
Extremely sad book - knowing the story, I did not attempt to see the movie...devastating in parts
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1 review
Sarah's key
June 22nd, 2013
Moving, couldn't put it down till the end
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1 review
Beautifully intertwined...
April 8th, 2013
...though the end dragged out too long. It took away some of the focus. Still, loved it.
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1 review
Sarah's Key
April 2nd, 2013
Thankyou Tatiana de Rosnay for giving us another glimps back into a part of our history that we should NEVER forget and hopefully NEVER repeat
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1 review
Excellent read.
March 18th, 2013
Educationally. A very emotional story, and an easy read. Also it was very well written. I couldn't put the book down.
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1 review
Sara's KEy
March 13th, 2013
I'm happy my friend Denise suggested this book. I felt the pain that Sarah went through and the secret that was kept buried. A nice ending to a good book.
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1 review
Sarah's Key
March 9th, 2013
This is such s touching book. Could not put it down.
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1 review
Sarah's Key
February 6th, 2013
Wow! What a great book. I couldn't put it down.
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1 review
Very revealing!!
January 20th, 2013
Depicts accurately how enemies were everywhere!
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1 review

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