Sarah's Key

By Tatiana De Rosnay,

Book cover of Sarah's Key

Book description

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is 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:…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Sarah's Key as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Sarah’s Key keeps us hoping in spite of ourselves—and despite the terrible odds facing a Jewish family in Paris, 1942. When the police come knocking one night, ten-year-old Sarah has no idea that her family is being rounded up for transport to an internment camp. She locks her little brother in a closet to save him, certain she’ll return the next day. That fateful choice will echo from WWII into the present, where the apartment’s new occupant uncovers long-ago choices and secrets in her own family. For me, though, the real question isn’t whether Sarah can rescue her brother. It’s…

Stirring edge-of-your-seat emotions, Sarah’s Key is a dual-plotted historical fiction book set in both 1942 and the current day. Although the two protagonists are decades apart, their stories collide in a deeply moving way. Sarah is a young Jewish girl trying to escape capture and the horrors of war. Julia is a modern-day writer searching for a story... a story that changes her life in a profound way when she learns about Sarah.

Tatiana de Rosnay’s writing is vivid and haunting… with an unforgettable moment when Sarah turns the key. 

This is such a fascinating, gripping, poignant but above all emotional story linking two families together with WWII as the binding factor. Informative, but most of all so incredibly moving, I cried my eyes out of both sadness and beauty. Because the story is linked to present-day life through an existing apartment in Paris, the story feels very close to us. A true page-turner and book that will leave an impression forever. I could certainly identify with the main character doing all the journalistic research, stressing the importance of WWII.

From Sophie's list on World War II heroines.

This is the book that made me fall in love with dual timeline novels. It is about Julia, a present-day journalist investigating the roundup of Jewish families in Paris in 1942, and Sarah, a little girl in that roundup who is sent with her family to a concentration camp – except for her little brother whom she locks in a secret cupboard. The more Julia learns about Sarah, the more the reader comes to see how their stories are intertwined. As a result, Julia’s life will never be the same. 

If you want a good cry, this book is for…

From Kelli's list on dual timelines.

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