Friday, February 4, 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

3 Star

In July 1942, Sarah’s family is arrested in Paris, but not before the ten year old girl manages to sequester her brother away in a secret cupboard in the wall believing she will return in a matter of hours to retrieve him.

In July 2002, Julia Jarmond, is asked to write an article covering Vel D’Hiv’s 60th anniversary.  Through her investigation she uncovers Sarah’s story and discovers a personal connection that compels her forward to learn all she can about the little girl and her brother. Her investigation also leads her to question her own circumstances. 
Lydia - 3 Star

Sarah’s Key has received rave reviews since its publication, and while I liked the story, I didn’t fall in love with it.  The mystery surrounding Sarah intrigued me and reading the story from a child’s eyes was haunting and I’m sure it will stay with me for a long time. Unfortunately, Sarah’s tale wasn’t all that this novel encompassed and I just didn’t find Julia’s story as compelling.

I was much more engrossed in the historical aspect of the novel than the present day tale and wanted to keep reading about Sarah so when her narrative disappeared I was disappointed. I was also more than a little surprised to discover that there was still a chunk of the novel left.

Which leads me to Julie’s story. I didn’t completely dislike her, but I just didn’t love her character. I couldn’t understand her relationship and grew wary about the romantic angle of the story.  Usually I love the romance aspect, but wasn’t sure it was the best fit here.  The only part of her story I enjoyed was her relationship with her father in law.

There was one part near the end that agitated me and I won’t say what it is because it leads to all sorts of spoilers, but there’s a point where Julia is trying to avoid saying something and it became irritating, especially because it was already predictable as I honestly found much of the novel to be.

All in all, I didn’t hate this novel, I just wish I had more to latch onto and had felt more for the characters involved.

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