July 1942 marked a dark period in the history of France where thousands of Jewish families were rounded up and forcibly kept in the Velodrome d'Hiver. Sarah's Key is the story of 2 families tied to this horrible time in an unusual way. Sarah is the main focus of the holocaust story and Julia is the main focus of a modern day story. The stories are told in a parallel fashion: one chapter Sarah, one chapter Julia. About half way through Sarah's story stops and Julia is the focus. It is an interesting way to unravel a story and Tatiana wrote it extremely well.
The story starts with Sarah's family being rounded up by French policemen. Her mother, her brother, and Sarah stay in their upstairs apartment and the father hides in the cellar at night in case a round up like this happens as he heard rumors it may happen at any moment. When the policemen come in looking for Jews, Sarah has her 4 year old brother, Michel, hide in a cupboard in their play room. She promises Michel she will come back and let him out after the police leave. Sarah had no idea she would be led away with her parents to the Velodrome d'Hiver then on to internment and concentration camps. What happens to Michel?
Julia is an American living in Paris with her husband, Bertrand, and child, Zoe. Julia writes for an American magazine about Paris. Her editor assigns her an article about the roundup as the 60th anniversary is coming up. Julia gets caught up in her research and is determined to find out more about Sarah and what happened to her brother. She also unravels many family secrets of Bertrand's family
Both sides were written so well. You feel the emotions that each character feels. There were predictable parts but it wasn't disappointing. There were several shocking moments that had me hanging on and not able to stop reading. I was sincerely hoping the end of this story would be different but it still ended really well. This makes a great lazy weekend read! I also read in several places that this is being made into a movie. I would definitely go see it!
Below, an interview with the author.