Sarah's Key by Tatiana do RosnayHistorical Fiction/Drama
This is one of those books that grabs you by the collar and adamantly insists that you shall have neither rest or slumber nor converse until you read every last tragic word. So, unable to resist, I complied. Happily.
This is the story of a reporter, mildly unhappy with her current life in Paris with a charming Parisian husband and precocious daughter. When she is assigned to write a story for an upcoming memorial event, though, her future unravels when she delves too deeply into the past of her husband's family. Short summary, but I don't want to give any detail away. It's one of those books where the plot leads you through it like the witch passing out candy bits to Hansel and Gretel in a dark forest.
There is everything to love about this book and about this story. First, the history and historical characters brought to life. While I like to consider myself something of an armchair historian, I had never heard of the historical event discussed in the book, the Vel d'Hiv round-up of Jewish family in France for deportation to extermination camps. I love to read about World War II and Holocaust stories (that isn't as dismal as it sounds) and this book was unlike any I had read about this topic before. I also loved the main characters. Pure genius to tell one side of the story through the eyes of a child affected by the tragedy. It made the writing so much more intense and personal. I also really liked the other main character, the reported researching the story who goes through something of a mid-life crisis.
This was my first book by this author and I can't wait to go and see what else she has written!