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4.4 out of 5 stars121
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 17 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on March 8, 2011
Sarah's Key was something I'd wanted to read in my quest to get away from the dull, boring and always predictable 'romantic suspense'. I was taken straight back to the tragic history of the holocost which held my interest and made me want to read more. Sarah's account was always read with vigor but some of Julia's story lost me a bit in the middle. After skipping over some of Julia's account I was happy to have my interest piqued by both sides by of the end of the story. A pretty good read.
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This is a brilliantly and compelling portrait of occupied France during WW11. The plot follows the Starzinski family after the French police raided their apartment on July 16, 1942 and arrested ten year old Sarah and her parents during the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup. In a parallel plot Julia Jarmond, an American journalist is tasked to write an article to honour the 60th anniversary of this terrible day and the subsequent events that took place.

The story surrounds two time periods and alternates point of views throughout the book. The main story and action takes place in Paris and as the story progresses not only do we discover factual information but we also are on an emotional coaster ride.

Sarah’s story is told from the time of her arrest and intertwines with Julia’s quest to learn about the people that had been corralled at Vel’ d’Hiv during “Operation Spring Breeze”as it was known. Despite being 60 years apart they author excelled in drawing the two eras smoothly together. The roundup and deportation of some 11,000 French Jews to death camps is obviously a touchy subject and the author elegantly shines light by carefully detailing the facts about the true events.

Although a fiction, this is a worthwhile novel that approaches the Holocaust in a different way. In whole Sara’s story is a fast-read with tight and brisk chapters. The prose is fluid and strong and her story is engaging, informative and very emotional. She is a strong and adorable character. On the other hand those of Julia are light more chick-lit style and distract from the importance of the main story. I love Sarah’s part but Julia ruined my experience from the get-go. Her personal story was annoying, very predictable and quite cheesy. Her character is inconsistent and superficial IMO.

Having said this I nevertheless like this novel for its message and its frank look at a nation and people who for so long would not come to grip with its complicity in sending its own citizens to die in Nazi concentration camps.

I will definitely read more books by this author
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on January 15, 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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on December 29, 2011
The historical information about the French involvement in the holocaust was absolutely fascinating. I knew nothing of the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup before and appreciate de Rosnay's thorough research and presentation of detail. The jump between war time and present day was a clever way to present the two plot lines, though I found myself rushing through the Julia chapters in order to return to Sarah's story. I immediately fell in love with the beautifully created character of Sarah, though her story is tragic and heart-wrenching and I looked forward to the eventual joining of the two plot lines. While the writing itself was mediocre, I would recommend the story for its historical value and emotional journey.
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on March 25, 2011
Very well written. The plot is so interesting it is hard to put the book down. You just can't wait to find out what happens next.
The only negative would be that the climax came a little early.
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on October 27, 2011
I enjoyed the authors use of present and past story lines converging together, while at the same time learning of an awful dirty secret in France's history. When I decided to investigate further this event during the world war 2, the actual facts are staggering and sad. This book begins with plenty of Sarah's story, but I found near the end, not enough was made of her story. I did really enjoy the book and thought it was well written. It also led me to reread a classic...Mila 18 by Leon Uris, a truly wonderful read as well.Sarah's KeySarah's Key
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on July 20, 2013
The past and the present were cleverly interwoven to set the stage for researching who Sarah was and the life she led.
It conjured up feelings of sadness, anger, anticipation, and melancholy.
The ending was poignant and was not anticipated.
I felt as if I was living the story and was sorry to see it end.
A very good read.
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on March 28, 2016
I loved this book from the moment I started it. The narrative is simple and easy to read. I could completely relate to the character of Julie and wanted Sarah to have a good life... I was rooting for both characters even though their stories were generations apart.
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on June 21, 2013
Then came the unbelievable ending. Kind of ruined it for me. I thought it was way too unrealistic for me. The first 3/4 I I was excited to read. Many a late night up with this one.
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on September 16, 2013
A heart wrenching story about the Holocaust and it's tragic effect on young children. I sad reminder of the effect racial genocide.
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