Sunday, May 30, 2010

World War 11 historical fiction

I am reading an historical fiction titled Sarah's Key by Tatiana deRosnay, a writer from Paris, France. Listen to an excerpt here. It's our book club selection.

The story is about the rounding up of Jewish families by French police officers in France in 1942. The narrators of the story are a little Jewish girl named Sarah, who was living in Paris in 1942, and an American writer named Julia Jarmond, living in Paris with her French husband and daughter in 2002. The story goes back and forth from 2002 to 1942.

I am on page 57 and one of the interesting facts about this historical event is that the French are embarassed by the role of the French police in detaining Jews particularly children born in France and sending them to their death in German camps. The French want to forget it ever happened. An essential part of the plot is that Sarah locked her brother in a cupboard so that he could be saved before she and her family were frogmarched to the Vel’d’Hiv’. Sarah has the key to the cupboard and at this point where I have reached in the story, she does not know how to escape and get back to the apartment to free him.

Interestingly, I read this interview with the writer and she made it quite clear that her Julia character is not based on her own life.

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