My husband teases me because he says I'm always reading books that make me cry. I told him that some stories are just too powerful; it's impossible not to have a visceral reaction. Sarah's Key is so immensely moving that I am still affected by the story, more than two months after finishing the book.
I don't like to give much away when I review a book, especially if I didn't know the story ahead of time. But, I'll give you a basic premise- Sarah and her brother live with their family in Paris during World War Two. They are Jewish and the story follows Sarah throughout the war. We learn about Sarah's family through an American reporter living in present-day Paris. While I typically get frustrated when stories flip back and forth from past to present, I appreciated de Rosnay's use of this technique here. Sarah's story is so heavy that readers need the breaks provided by Modern Paris. At the same time, it's fascinating to learn about the context in which today's Paris looks back upon the Paris of 1940. It's obvious that memory can be manipulated.
In my last post, I mentioned that the characters in good books stay with you long after the final page. After reading her story, I've chosen to lay Sarah to rest in my mind. I needed to say a proper goodbye to her because her story is so moving. At the same time, I carry with me the knowledge that Sarah represents so many real people who suffered during the war. I can only be grateful that de Rosnay created such a moving tribute to the victims.