SARAH'S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay

By Tatiana de Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10 year-old lady, is brutally arrested together with her family members via the French police within the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, yet no longer earlier than she locks her more youthful brother in a cabinet within the family's condo, pondering that she's going to be again inside of a couple of hours.

Paris, may perhaps 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s sixtieth anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is requested to write down a piece of writing approximately this black day in France's prior. via her modern research, she stumbles onto a path of long-hidden relations secrets and techniques that attach her to Sarah. Julia unearths herself forced to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that negative time period within the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and past. As she probes into Sarah's prior, she starts off to question her personal position in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her existence.

Tatiana de Rosnay deals us a brilliantly sophisticated, compelling portrait of France below career and divulges the taboos and silence that encompass this painful episode.

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His unshaven chin tickled her ear. He said her name. Where was her brother? She showed him the key. The little brother was safe in their secret cupboard, she whispered, proud of herself. He'd be safe there. Her father's eyes went wide and strange. He grasped her arm. But it's all right, she said, he's going to be all right. It's a deep cupboard, there is enough air in there for him to breathe. And he has water and the flashlight. He'll be fine, Papa. You don't understand, said the father, you don't understand.

She grabbed him, but he wriggled out of her grasp and slithered into the long, deep cupboard hidden in the surface of the wall of their bedroom. The one they played hide-and-seek in. They hid there all the time, locked themselves in, and it was like their own little house. Maman and Papa knew about it, but they always pretended they didn't. They'd call out their names. They'd say with loud, bright voices, "But where did those children go? " And she and her brother would giggle away with glee.

She looked so much like her father, it sometimes made me smile. But not today. I glanced up at the ancient, tall building. Mame's place. Bertrand's grandmother's old apartment. And we were going to live there. We were going to leave the boulevard du Montparnasse, its noisy traffic, incessant ambulances due to three neighboring hospitals, its cafes and restaurants, for this quiet, narrow street on the right bank of the Seine. The Marais was not an arrondissement I was familiar with, although I did admire its ancient, crumbling beauty.

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