Sarah’s Key by Tatian De Rosnay
St. Martin’s Press, 2007
304 pgs, 4 stars
SUMMARY: In Sarah’s Key, an American journalist, Julia, comes across a shameful, seldom talked about history. The city of love hides an ugly scar. In 1942, Paris police arrested and rounded up thousands of Jews—including children—and held them at the Vélodrome d’Hiver outside the city in horrible conditions for days. These Jews were later transported to Auschwitz. This may not seem like a HUGE deal. I mean, it was WWII this was happening all over Europe, right? Well, no. France was unoccupied, meaning that Germany had no real influence there. Thus, the French (NOT the Nazis) are entirely culpable for the rounding up of the Jews at the Vélodrome d’Hiver, which is why the story is taboo in France.
Sarah, a young Jewish girl, and her family were swept up in tragedy. Sarah lock’s her little brother in the cupboard when the police come to take them away, keeping the key and promising she will return for him. We alternated between Sarah’s story and Julia’s journey to figure out what happened to Sarah. Where is she now? Is she alive?
FASHION: Sarah’s Key is set in PARIS. So, obv you’re wearing COCO by Chanel (maybe the most famous Frenchwoman ever, especially in fashion). A beret that matches the cover is a must, especially with a messy side braid that says, “Long hair, don’t care if everyone gets upset when I try to dig into what happened here in 1942. I’m American, and I’m going to figure it out and make you all feel crappy about it.”
The vintage boots show that you’re tough AND fashionable; you can take on any challenge (esp. a journalistic one)! You’re so invested in Sarah’s story that you’ll trample all over her offspring’s life without a second thought, because you’re entitled to know what happened to her. For goodness sake, don’t you know her better than anyone?! You even keep Sarah’s Key around your neck and close to your heart.
Don’t forget to cultivate a blank look tinged with despair over the tragedy. But don that whimsical sundress that promises forgiveness for past wrongs (plus, this is the city of love!), because in the end everyone screws up, and we are all responsible for one terrible thing or another. Oh, and it might get cold, so you should wear a sweater. Stripes are pretty French, right? :)