Monday, June 20, 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

iconiconSarah's Key is the second full book I've read for free, thanks to my Nook's Read In-Store feature.  Despite some of the complaints I've heard, I've had almost no problems with this feature on my Nook, and enjoy this capability very much.

Sarah's Key has been on my wish list for ages, but I decided to read it in-store when a friend of mine mentioned that she'd just finished it.  She said she liked it, but that it was sad — and I did find myself tearing up at multiple points throughout the story.  But it was also an incredibly moving book.

The novel is about the roundup of Jewish families in Paris in 1942.  A little girl named Sarah, who has been led to believe that nothing bad is going to happen and they will only be gone temporarily, locks her brother in a hidden cupboard with the intention of coming back to let him out.  Sarah's story alternates with a modern-day American journalist who has been living in Paris with her French husband for years.  She starts researching the Vel' d'Hiv (the roundup) and comes across Sarah's story.

The author does a beautiful job of weaving the two stories together — Sarah's desperate attempts to get back to her brother, with Julia's quest to find out what happened to Sarah.  Although you, as the reader, are pretty certain what happened to Sarah's brother, the alternating chapters and the skillful storytelling maintain an almost painful level of tension.  Sometimes my hour of reading in-store was up at a crucial moment, and it was agonizing to have to wait until the next time we visited Barnes & Noble!

It's a beautiful novel, but do have a box of tissues handy while you read!

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