2022 Book Review: Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

A Historical Fiction, 2007 by St Martin’s Press, 294 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Similar to a lot of other things out there. The WWII historical fiction, throwing in relationships in turmoil, possibly dealing with abortion … it’s all things I’ve read recently. Even setting a story in France, which I hadn’t seen much of, I’ve now seen a lot. This makes them run together a little, which can be a problem. 
  • This one is told in two timelines, then and now. The now timeline follows Julia and, in my opinion, took way too many detours for my tastes. I felt like those sections were a bit rambling and took up too much time. 
  • Unanswered questions. Without spoiling, I can’t really say what they are, but other reviewers have brought it up. It has to do with the smell of decomposing bodies and how unrealistic it is to think one could miss that. That’s all I’m saying. 

What I Did Like:

  • Sarah’s chapters were well written and interesting. The Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup is not something I’ve read a lot about in books so I liked having that lesson. 
  • Speaking of lessons, this book leans heavily on the idea that it is important to remember the past. There are characters in this one who do their best to bury things and keep them buried. This book is entirely about learning why it’s better to unearth those things. For that alone, this book is worth the read. 
  • There is a difference between the two voices. Sarah and Julia’s chapters have distinct differences, which is important in a multi-POV story. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Historical fiction fans, specifically those who devour stories about WWII. This one tells the important history of the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, which you won’t find detailed in many books. 

My Rating: 3 stars

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