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Sarah's Key Hardcover – Jun 12 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (June 12 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312370830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312370831
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #494,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. De Rosnay's U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay's 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia's conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah's trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“This is a remarkable historical novel, a book which brings to light a disturbing and deliberately hidden aspect of French behavior towards Jews during World War II. Like Sophie's Choice, it's a book that impresses itself upon one's heart and soul forever.” ―Naomi Ragen, author of The Saturday Wife and The Covenant

“Sarah's Key unlocks the star crossed, heart thumping story of an American journalist in Paris and the 60-year-old secret that could destroy her marriage. This book will stay on your mind long after it's back on the shelf.” ―Risa Miller, author of Welcome to Heavenly Heights

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Five stars are not nearly sufficient to describe this most compelling read. By times, the story is so heart-rendering that one simply must put the book down and take a break. It is the story of a young girl, Sarah, and her family during the "French Roundup" of the Jewish people living in France during World War II. As the chapters unfold, a modern-day couple enter the scene and there is a second story to be told.

Apart from the plot and well-developed characters, an additional plus to the book is the short chapters. Written as a reflection on Sarah's childhood trials and tribulations, the chapters alternate from war time years of the early 40's to modern day. The alternate modern day chapters give a pleasant break to the attrocities committed during war time. Sarah's childhood and imprisonment in a concentration camp, the brother she left behind, and the loss of her parents are very painful parts of the book to read. The author has a unique writing style; the reader cannot help but feel all the emotion and chaos as if one was "living the reality" of this horrendous period in time.

The knowledge gained from "Sarah's Key" is that no matter how challenging our world is today, (yes, war still goes on and it is not a perfect world,) we should appreciate the freedom we do have and cherish each day. May there never be another holocaust, and may we learn to respect each other's values, religions, cultures and lifestyles so the world may live in peace and harmony. This book is most highly recommended. Also recommended is "Those Who Save Us" by Jenna Blum.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the sort of book that makes an up and coming author think: "wow, I just need to find an obscure and terrible part of history and make up some really crappy drama and fake romance and get published!". Two story lines that meet at a predictable and poor taste conclusion. I bought this because I participated in a book club, and it is the benchmark book by which the other terrible novels were measured. "Hey guys, at least we aren't reading Sarah's Key again!".
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Format: Paperback
I couldn't wait to start reading this book as I had heard so many great reviews from friends and colleagues. It was such a disappointment. The historical story of Sarah is interesting. Learning about the devastating conditions and extreme cruelty that occurred during the Vel d'Hiv round up was an education and eye-opener. However, the modern day tale of the journalist researching the events in July, 1942, was a complete waste of pages. As someone else mentioned, it's written like a bad romance novel. This book would be so much better if the author had stuck to telling Sarah's story and left out the rest. I struggled to finish the book once Sarah's story was told.
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Format: Paperback
The book's historical story line was very interesting of the treatment of French Jews during the Holocaust. I enjoyed this part very much and often had a hard time reading how horrible the French police were at rounding up victims. As someone who has studied the Holocaust extensively I was shocked to discover that I knew nothing of Veladrome in France and what happened during the Holocaust. This part of the novel was well researched and constructed and it was interesting to see it through the eyes of a child. However, the "modern" story line of the main character was rather dull, predicable and cliche. It was step above a Danielle Steel novel. This part was rather disappointing and held little interest to me.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely adored reading this book. The book delves into a black time in Parisian history that while I am well versed in history I had no idea happened. I was actually left questioning why this topic isn't covered in school. I had an absolutely amazing Comp Civ teacher in school who pushed the boundaries on what he taught his students, but yet this was not included in our learning. His theory was that it was his responsibility to teach us as much about the past injustices inflicted on innocent people that history wouldn't repeat itself.

Not only does this book tell a dark story, it also tells a story of hope. Those who risked their lives to do everything they could to make the lives of these Jewish children should be an inspiration to us all.

One piece of advise, make sure that you have an extended block of time available to sit down at read Sarah's key, because if you're like me you'll read the entire novel in one sitting, and then head to the computer to read more.
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Format: Paperback
Amazon has never steered me wrong when it comes to great books... and Sarah's key is no exception. I have been moved to tears on numerous occasions while reading this book. It is unbeliveably powerful, haunting, and at the same time has such joyful moments they also bring a tear to your eyes. You feel so strongly for Sarah and her poor unfortunate little brother. These characters come alive with each page. I had not known of the Vel d'hiv previously and now that I do I want to go to Paris and find the plaques. This awful tradgey should be talked about and remembered so something like this doesn't happen again. I know Sarah and her family is fictious, however what they endured is accurately portrayed in this novel. It is coming up to the 70th anniversary of the Vel d'hiv roundup. Everyone should read this book and remember.
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