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Sarah's Key

Tatiana de Rosnay

St. Martin's Griffin

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Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel' d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Tatiana de Rosnay offers a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround the painful episode in that country's history.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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SARAH'S KEY (Chapter 1)

Paris, July 1942

 

The girl was the first to hear the loud pounding on the door. Her room was closest to the entrance of the apartment. At first, dazed with sleep, she thought it was her father, coming up from his hiding place in the cellar. He'd forgotten his keys, and was impatient because nobody had heard his first, timid knock. But then came the voices, strong and brutal in the silence of the night. Nothing to do with her father. "Police! Open up! Now!"

The pounding took up again, louder. It echoed to the marrow of her bones. Her younger brother,

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  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

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    Tatiana de Rosnay speaks about Sarah's Key for Jewish Book Council.

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    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Tatiana de Rosnay's extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel Sarah's Key, narrated by Polly Stone. Tatiana de Rosnay offers a brilliantly subtle portrait of France under occupation in this compelling historical novel.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Sarah's Key

"A wonderful book." --Joy Behar, The View 

“This is the shocking, profoundly moving and morally challenging story...  It will haunt you, it will help to complete you… nothing short of miraculous.”  -Augusten Burroughs
 
“Just when you thought you might have read about every horror of the Holocaust, a book will come along and shine a fierce light upon yet another haunting wrong.  SARAH'S KEY is such a novel.  In remarkably unsparing, unsentimental prose... through a lens so personal and intimate, it will make you cry--and remember.” -Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us
 
"A haunting, riveting novel... This book grabs your heart in the opening chapter, and its scenes and characters stay with you long after you finish." --Publishers Weekly, a PW 2008 Staff Pick
 
“Masterly and compelling, it is not something that readers will quickly forget. Highly recommended.”-Library Journal, Starred Review

“Exceptional, emotional, and compelling…” – Sacramento Bee

“A powerful novel… Tatiana de Rosnay has captured the insane world of the Holocaust and the efforts of the few good people who stood up against it in this work of fiction more effectively than has been done in many scholarly studies. It is a book that makes us sensitive to how much evil occurred and also to how much willingness to do good also existed in that world.” --Rabbi Jack Riemer, South Florida Jewish Journal
 
“A remarkable novel written with eloquence and empathy.” -Paula Fox, author of Borrowed Finery
 
"A story of hearts broken, first by the past, then by family secrets, and the truth that begins to repair the pieces. A beautiful novel." -Linda Francis Lee, bestselling author of The Ex-Debutante
 
“SARAH’S KEY unlocks the star crossed, heart thumping story of an American journalist in Paris and the 60-year-old secret that could destroy her marriage.  This book will stay on your mind long after it's back on the shelf.” –Risa Miller, author of Welcome to Heavenly Heights
 
“This is a remarkable historical novel... it's a book that impresses itself upon one's heart and soul forever.” –Naomi Ragen, author of The Saturday Wife
 
"Sarah's Key is told from both the perspective of an 10-year-old girl whose family is rounded up during the Vel D'Hiv in France in 1942 and an American who presently lives in Paris. The heartbreak is real, the love is true, and the need to find out how their two lives are connected made this one of my absolute favorites!" -Sarah Galvin, The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, NY
 
"Just read Sarah's Key and LOVED IT... SUCH FUN TO DISCOVER A TREASURE.  THANKS FOR EVERYTHING." -Diane Garrett, Diane's Books of Greenwich
 
"I was overwhelmed by a novel that I had missed when it first came our way--Sarah's Key.  It is a page-turner about World War II, the Holocaust and contemporary Paris.  I couldn't put it down."  -Roberta, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court (Front Line, Newsletter)
 
 “Just as gripping as The Diary of Anne Frank and Schindler’s List.” -Ginny Thompson, Book Club Member
 
 “Sarah’s Key is the most compelling, gripping novel I’ve read in a long time.  Loved everything about it.” -Audrey Raclaw, Book Club Member
 
“An incredible story, beautifully written.  Could not put it down.” -Georgia Kelly, Book Club Member
 
“I will remember this story…..I enjoyed the characters and learned something about this period that was not a popular tale.” -Barb Toslosky, Book Club Member
 
“Wonderfully written.  Kept me on the edge of my seat every moment.  An emotional journey.  One of my favorite novels.  Up there with the best- If walls could talk.  An outstanding personalization of the horrors of the hococaust.” -Charlotte Hanebuth, Book Club Member
 
 “A beautifully written, poignant novel based on a shameful period in French history.  A must read for all lovers of historical fiction.” -Barbara Mix, Book Club Member
 
 “Totally excellent book.  Read it in one day.  The book made me aware of the French round up.  I would like to know if Julia and William got involved.” -Kathleen McCann, Book Club Member
 
 “Wonderfully written page turner.  Such an interesting and mysterious story!” -Sue Sneary, Book Club Member
 
 “Tatiana’s ability to get me into the ‘head’ of her characters is phenomenal.  I had such empathy for Julia and Sarah.” -Kathleen Voight, Book Club Member
 
 “The book is beautifully written – two stories that intersect in a Paris apartment.  Sarah’s love of her brother filled her life with guilt, overshadowing her life with sadness.” -Beth Carpenter, Book Club Member
 
 “Wonderfully written one woman’s quest for the truth.” -Carol Adams, Book Club Member

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Tatiana de Rosnay

  • TATIANA DE ROSNAY was born in the suburbs of Paris and is of English, French and Russian descent.  She is the author of nine French novels.  She also writes for French ELLE, and is a literary critic for Psychologies magazine. Tatiana de Rosnay is married and has two children.  SARAH'S KEY is her first novel written in her mother tongue, English.
  • Tatiana de Rosnay
    Tatiana de Rosnay

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Sarah's Key

Tatiana de Rosnay

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St. Martin's Griffin

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