Sarah's KeyDe Rosnay,Tatiana
Paris, July 1942. Sarah, a 10 year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door to door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard - their secret hiding place - and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released. Sixty years later, Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, a journalist investigating the round-up. Sarah's Key is an emotionally gripping story of two families forever linked to, and haunted by one of the darkest days in France's past. [Taken from book cover, small font] What's Hot - February 2013
Comments from GroupsThe whole group adored this book and were moved by the suffering of the French children during WW2. Whiritoa 001 Loved the book...We acknowledge the suffering. Promise to tell our children. Christchurch 279 The book was easy to discuss because there were so many aspects to it... A tragic story – well written. Hamilton 026 It was a most compelling read and invoked a good discussion and interest in the movie. Te Pirita 001 Loved it - cried, despaired, learnt. New Plymouth 012 A great book, sad, ugly and it provoked a great deal of anger towards mans inhumanity. The character of Sarah was well drawn and we felt protective of her. Long discussion. Auckland 271
Overall this book was enjoyed by the whole group. The style made it an easy read even though the subject matter was difficult. One member felt it was a bit light. Although we all feel that we have a good knowledge of what happened during World War 2 there are still things to learn. Some members have gone on to read other books by same author.
Our first book unanimously liked by all 12 members. A compelling read. Led us on to sharing other similar book titles that weve read.
So sad, we loved this book and there were no dry eyes at the end of it. How was this possible to happen
All bar one loved this book - even though it was sad and tragic. Most of us were traumatised by the wee boy being left behind and none of us can imagine how she must've felt but weren't surprised she could not live with herself. Also not surprised that she had created a new life and told no-one. A great conversation about all sorts of things and how it was even allowed to happen (fear we thought). Enjoyed the old and the new and it made it quick to read. Lots of emotion for the reader to come to terms with. We all got a little annoyed with the ending and felt it was a bit weak.
Voted the BDS book of the year by our group.
Based as it is on a Jewish child's experience in a Nazi camp during the war, we knew this was not going to be an easy read, and for some of our older members it was just too difficult. 'Sarah's Key' provided a lively discussion amongst the rest of us. None of us had any knowledge of the factual events in France that this story was based on. It was well written and thought-provoking. Helpful to have the chapters from past and present in different type.
Most of us enjoyed reading the book, but the discussion at the meeting was exceptional. Not only did we discuss the book, but also the history of the war, Germany, ANZAC Day, our grandparents, current affairs and the technological revolution etc. Having the questions as a framework really broadened the experience of the book.
We all found the book a heart-breaking read. Despite that, there was learning for us all, particularly the role the French police played in the arrest and murder of the Jewish people in France. A lively discussion to end our year on.
Our group was shocked to learn from this novel that the French police had been implicated in the extermination of Jewish families in 1942. This led to a discussion of the persecution of the Jews over the centuries, and why so much prejudice could have developed. Some really enjoyed the book with its two voices, but others found it a rather contrived story with too many coincidences.
Everyone loved this book! It made us wonder how many more painful histories, like France's Vel d'Hir, lie still hidden, yet to be faced. We really liked the structure, with the short chapters moving back and forth from the 1940s to the present day. Highly recommended!
We all loved the book and found it hard to put down. It is a tear-jerker though!
Those who had seen the film were doubtful about reading the book, but were pleasantly surprised. All members thoroughly enjoyed the book, and its different voices. It flowed well and could be read over a short time period.
The whole group rated this book really highly, and everyone found it gripping. The discussion questions led to a lengthy and in-depth dissection of the themes of the book and the plight of the Jews during the Second World War. We digressed on to personal and family experiences of war and death, and how to find solace after a crisis. It really did lead on to a very open and frank sharing of ideas and emotions.
Everyone enjoyed reading this book, although most found it sad/upsetting. It prompted a lot of discussion on many topics - history, writing style, plot lines, emotional triggers and contemporary events, etc. It is rare for our group to have a book that has everyone wanting to talk about it, and to explore other people's reactions to it as much as this one did.
A great book, loved by all but one. An easy but disturbing read, which was well written and easy to follow. Tragic story. Ending not so great - too twee!