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Book Review – Sarah’s Key

April 12, 2012

Board member Alice King read Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. While we do not regularly stock this title, it is available through In Other Words via special order!

I really wanted to like this book. I picked it for my book club (as it was my turn). I did it the old fashioned way of googling “book club books”. This book was on multiple top ten lists and garnered positive reviews from book clubs galore. The story had so many things I love: France, tragedy, perseverance, marginalization, and a woman who is struggling to make meaning in her own life. Like I said, I really wanted to like this book.

Despite the overall interest of the story, and the richness of the history, the writing left something to be desired. I found Ms. De Rosnay to be a tedious writer and she didn’t draw me in the way I had hoped. I witnessed the primary character going through pointless motions just to create a plot line that was tired and predictable. I often wanted to move on to the next page thinking “just get on with it already. I know what you’re going to do.”

The redeeming quality of this book is the heartbreaking story of the World War II Jewish family who exemplified the injustice of the Vel’ d’Hiv, all told from the perspective of a ten year old girl. It was a story I hadn’t heard before and one I was surprised had not been told. Although I would not read it again, I cannot say that this book is not worth reading.

Alice King

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One Comment leave one →
  1. gjnctf permalink
    June 18, 2013 5:54 am

    I’m currently reading the book and I must say while I don’t think is terrible it does not live up to is hype. I did not care at all for Julia’s story at all and felt zero sympathy towards her. I did, however, like Sarah’s story and was not shock to learn that the French police and the de facto Vicky government collaborated with the Nazis. France like many European countries has a long and dark history of anti-antisemitism.


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