Skip to main content

Book Review: Sarah's Key: A Novel by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key: A Novel by Tatiana de Rosnay alternates between two characters who are experiencing the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup in France in very different ways. First is Sarah, a Jewish child living in France during World War II, who is arrested along with her parents during the roundup. To save her younger brother, she locks him in a hidden cupboard, taking the key with her, figuring she'll be back shortly to let him out. Second is Julia Jarmond, a journalist living in France in 2002, who stumbles upon Sarah's story while writing an article about the 60th anniversary of the roundup. She becomes determined to find out what happened to Sarah, and how their lives are connected.

I read Sarah's Key over a year ago, but it's a novel that has stuck with me and probably always will. This was a difficult read due to the subject matter, especially as a mother of a 4 year old boy (at the time I read it). But it was definitely worth it. It's a very fast read that pulls you in so you don't want to put it down. For the first half, I found I was rushing through the sections taking place in 2002 so I could get back to see what happened next in 1942. But in the end, the more modern-day story held my attention.

I've seen this novel described as "haunting" and I think this is the perfect word for it. The story is disturbing enough that I consciously block parts of it from my mind. To read about the suffering these children experienced is heart-wrenching. However, I would still highly recommend this book. It is a compelling book about a very important, but not well-known historical event. I had never read about the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup before. Hearing about France's involvement in the roundup of thousands of Jews, particularly the children who were taken during this time, was awful but enlightening as well.

My Rating: 4/5

Reading group guide and discussion questions for Sarah's Key: A Novel

This review was written based on a copy of Sarah's Key that I purchased.


  1. Great review! I received this book from my book blogger Secret Santa and am looking forward to reading it. I didn't know that part of the story took place in modern times. That's cool. Glad to hear it was such a great and memorable read.


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

April Reading Review

Where exactly did April go? I swear it was just the middle of March and now it's May. Once again, I'm going to provide a quick review of each of the books I read last month. For the last two weeks of the month, I participated in the Spring Into Horror Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. The only rule was that you had to read at least one book that was horror, thriller, etc. I read one book that qualified. With the exception of the first book in my list, the books I mention below were read during the readathon

My book club's May selection was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I had started reading this nonfiction book about the author's work representing men, women and children who were on death row in March but finished the book in April. This is an eye-opening story that everyone at my book club discussion agreed should be required reading for law schools and police officers and even legislators who are making the laws related to judgements. I learned to…