Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay- (1st Post)

After reading the first quarter of Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key, I am absorbed in two different stories within one novel. In every other chapter the book changes perspectives. It switches between a Jewish family’s journey through the roundup in 1942 during Velodrome d’Hiver, and a modern American woman’s association with the Vel’d’Hiv when she is assigned to research the event for the magazine she works for because the sixteenth anniversary is coming up. The consistent change of viewpoint the story is being told from was hard to follow at the very beginning of the book, but as the stories go on, they become more comprehendable. Besides the researched topic being the time the family is living through, I am not yet quite sure how the different stories relate to each other and look forward to reading and learning more and discovering this.

So far, the development of the two stories has been contradicting. The evolution of the characters in the story from 1942 is relatively weak. They are seemingly thrown into the novel and it is left up to the reader to interrpret their relations and little to no background is given on them. Despite this approach Rosnay took when telling this story, the characters in the modern story are well introduced and detailed recaps of their background are given. Another way the stories within the novel differ, is the narration. The part told from 1942 is spoken in third person but mainly focuses on the young ten-year-old girl’s thoughts and actions. However, the journalist’s story 60 years later is told from her point of view, and she is forty five. The young girl’s denial and optomism throughout the negativity portrays her lack of understanding of the events taking place. After her research, the journalist can see the harsh ways these families were treated and validates all sadness the people who were involved face.

Despite the obvious difference in their ages, there is a connection between the two stories, through both the young girl and the journalist’s confusion with the larger event their focusing on, the Vel’d’Hiv. Except for brief conversations where she’s recognized the pain and sadness her parents have talked with, the girl is confused and does not understand what is going on. Despite the girl’s uncertainty, it does not affect the reader’s understanding of the events too much due to the third person the story is told from. This confusion of the event is connected to the other story as well, because when first given the assignment, the journalist did not even know of the Vel’d’Hiv. The journalist interviews a Parisian woman who talks about her confusion of the situation as a bystander who saw all these frightened Jewish families leaving in buses with policemen as well. Rosnay has discussed in interviews, that part of her inspiration of writing the book is to educate more people on this historical event because she thinks Vel’d’Hiv is often overlooked. I believe the concept of this confusion in both stories was purposely included by Rosnay to help the introduction to foreshadow later events, and to show the lack of knowledge of this situtation from multiple different perspectives.

There has been mention of the young girl, who’s name is Sarah, and a key she kept through the removal from her house, which can unlock the basement where her brother is hiding from the policemen. I look forward to learning the relevance this specific key has to do with the story, hense the relevance it has to the entire novel because of the title. Up to now, the story has been nothing less than captivating with the balance of the two stories. I look forward to learning how, seemingly seperate at the moment, these stories connect to help the larger plot in Sarah’s Key.


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10 responses to “Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay- (1st Post)

  1. sidharthdaga

    Sidharth Daga
    Sarah’s Key Blog Post #1

    So far I am really enjoying Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay. It is the combined stories of a young jewish girl being taken to Auschwitz, and a grown woman’s journey in France as she reveals the truths about the Vel d’Hiv. I assume that their stories will eventually intertwine, as the purpose of them coexisting is to shed light as to what is happening in each story for the reader. The problem with this is that it switches off to often and is not that beneficial for the reader, but is interesting as we consider two different plots.

    I think the plot is very clear because of the two stories expanding on each other as opposed to them confusing the novel. As events occur, a corresponding insight takes place in the alternate story to make what transpired clear to the reader or introduce any necessary background information. The contrasts between the two stories are evident in the differences of perspective they are told in, way they are written, and how claims are conveyed. Julia’s story is being written about in the present as she vividly describes her life and gives clear background information whereas Sarah’s is being commented on by a narrator in third perspective, who generally focuses on Sarah’s view of events transpiring around her. The lack of background information provided in Sarah’s story is not detrimental to the story as it would have been in Julia’s account, but instead helps create the mood and sense of urgency contrasted by Julia’s story.

    It seems as if Sarah surprisingly has connected dots and drawn accurate conclusions about her society as she matures from experiencing hardship. Liesel from The Book Thief is very similar to Sarah in her maturation throughout the novel so far. Her denial and optimism is quickly diminished and transferred into hatred and hopelessness toward her situation. On the contrary her mother seems to reverse and does the opposite of Sarah’s maturation. For some time Sarah’s youthful innocence prohibits her to believe and comprehend the realities of what was happening, but after being locked in the Vel d’Hiv for a few days she acknowledges the truth yet refuses to accept it by forcing her frustrations upon her mother and father. The denial is not evident in Sarah, but rather in the French people to the events that transpired of the Vel d’Hiv, and foreshadows the importance of Julia’s research and report she writes for her newspaper. Sarah’s key in the novel also foretells events to come. It literally symbolizes Sarah’s old life and the key that will unlock her brother from the cabinet she locked him in to protect him, but I am confused as to what else it means and will lead to. I am looking forward to reading more of Rosnay’s well-written, captivating novel, Sarah’s Key.

  2. margosidline

    I really loved this book! (even though the ending kind of bugged me…) Hope you guys love it!

  3. Having approached the halfway mark in the novel, Sarah’s Key is proving itself to be a fantastic novel. I cannot put down this book. I agree with you Sid about the correlation between the stories, as it is much easier to see how they expand on each other in the last quarter we read. In contrast with what you brought up, I belive Sarah’s coming to terms with what is happening around her is more of her piecing together information, than a journey of maturation. Her maturing will be a factor towards the end of the novel I suspect because of her experience, though.
    As we divuldge deeper into the plot, the universality between the settings is becoming critical to the connection the two stories have. As Julia has recently found out through her research, her husband’s grandmother moved into the apartment Sarah Starzynsk and her famiy, the narrator and Jewish family of the other story, was arrested from. Julia does not know anything about this family or young girl besides the fact that they lived in the apartment previously, however the reader does. The setting obviously affects the characters in specific ways, one of the most obvious being that because Sarah’s family lives in Paris during the Vel’d’Hiv roundup and are Jewish, they are being targeted. Also, Julia would not have this personal connection to Sarah without the same apartment being shared by the two entertwining histories.

    Rosnay displays through her writing that not many people are aware of the Vel’d’Hiv roundup and within that, the French government’s involvement. I was unaware as well, and because of this, I looked into the Vel’d’Hiv a little more to discover that this roundup was entirely done by French policemen, despite popular belief that German officials carried out all Jewish arrests. Multiple times in Julia’s story, there is mention of how it is inaccurate to report that “Hitlerain barbarity” is the reason for the roundup, when the French are the ones who carried out the arrest, only with instruction from the Germans, which is why it is a sore spot in their history and when looking for witnesses for Julia’s research topic they are lacking information because they want to block out this time in their countrie’s history. I believe Julia’s husband’s family is having trouble telling Julia information about when the apartment was first bought due to this reluctance to admit to the cruelty they inflicted on Jewish families, and would rather place the blame elsewhere.

    So far, I believe Sarah’s key she keeps which opens the cellar door for Michel can symbolize her ignorance to the situtation at hand, despite the obvious reason she keeps it if she is to ever have a chance to open the cellar door again in the future. When she talks about her brother and the possiblity of his death in which other people in the novel are hinting at, she purposly tries to block this thought out and think positively by thinking about the chance there is that someone has come save him as the family in Orleans has saved her. When her brother’s slim chance at being alive still is brought up to her in the novel, Sarah says to herself, “Maybe he was safe, too, like she was now. Maybe some good, generous people had been able to open up the door of the hiding place and free him,” (140). Despite the raw fact of her trying to stay positive in a negative situation, I believe it goes beyond just this concept. I belive she keeps this key to symbolize the times her family had before their arrest. She keeps the key and this idea of positivity to try and keep herself together throughout these hard times, even though she is beginning to realize how unrealistic the idea of her brother and parents being alive still, are. Sarah’s key is essentially her way of staying ignorant to the situtation happening around her, and not comprehending the events taking place.

    Also, I thought it was interesting how Rosnay decided to add how Sarah vividly remembers the last time she saw her mother, yet not her father. Sarah spends a little while talking about the last time she saw her mother as she looked back at her as they were being separated, but the memories of her father are hazy. I predict that this will come up later in the novel, or at least come back and haunt Sarah in some way. She might question the closeness she feels at this point to her father due to how she doesn’t remember those last moments with him, and this might affect her in very negative ways.

    I think the constant questioning from Julia about who Sarah is and what happened to her is a very good way to connect these two stories and helped the confusion of how they were associated with each other which we were discussing within the first quarter of the book. I look forward to reading more!

  4. sidharthdaga

    Sidharth Daga 11/22/15 Quarter 2 Sarah’s Key Tatiana De Rosnay
    Sarah’s Key continues to be a really captivating novel. As the book progresses the seemingly separate stories of Sarah and Julia have intertwined foreshadowing events to come. Yet the implication of Bertrand’s families reluctance to reveal information to Julia about the Vel D’hiv is not just simply about the French’s shame and ignorance to the time period, but I believe will tie into the subplot of her younger brother. I think this was foreshadowed when in Julia’s vivid description of her apartment after learning about the Jewish family (Sarah’s family) that lived in it before, she mentions a space in the wall that could suit as a perfect hiding place (where Sarah’s younger brother hid and is locked in). An overlooked conflict that has been kept quiet between Bertrand’s family and Sarah’s younger brother (Bertrand moved into the house Sarah’s younger brother was trapped in) could possibly be the final straw for Julia’s deteriorating relationship with her husband.

    I agree with you, Phoebe, that Sarah’s key, an important symbol in the novel, represents hope and the times of peace before the French police came and ruined Sarah’s families lives. It could mean ignorance in the sense that it gives Sarah the ability to overlook the harsh realities of her life, but that only relates to her family. Contrasting with your conception that Sarah does not let herself understand the circumstances around her, is her decision to run away from the camp. Had she stayed it would have showed she believed that she would soon be reunited with her parents as the soldiers prompted. She also is shown to be scared and angry when the soldiers come to take away Rachel, demonstrating in her profanity (this is an emotional event like what we did in class for Sarah that triggers reactions that shows her identity as a young girl and Rosnay uses to create an accurate mood) that she finally has understood the maliciousness of the German/French soldiers. Unlike you, I did not think the descriptions of her mother and father meant much other than the fact the she had a last moment with her mother and not her father, and that this would simply mean she would have more regretful feelings toward her father.

    I found Rosnay’s constant connections between the two stories to be a bit over repetitive, unnecessary, and unrealistic. It is clear from the subtle details and plot that these two stories must be connected, and I do not like how obvious and reiterated it is throughout the novel, as it makes the plot less believable. For example it is clear how the persecution of all these Jews occurred from Sarah’s descriptive end of the story. They were taken to camps, separated from relatives, and then sent to their deaths. Despite it being so clear from Sarah, Rosnay reintroduced it multiple times in the other dialogue with Julia and her co workers as they retrace Sarah’s steps.

    Bertrand is being made out to be the antagonist, but I feel it is the inability of Julia to strongly express her concerns and have meaningful discussions where her point of view is represented without being perturbed by the cockiness of her husband that is ruining her happiness. In Julia’s story, her main conflict is her relationship that I think will be connected with her interest in the Vel D’hiv. From a journalists perspective, being ignorant is inexcusable, and the French citizens attitude of either disregard or denying the truth about the persecution of Jews, rather than accepting the fact and attempting to right their wrongs, is detrimental and will be addressed later in the novel. It is through realizations about Sarah at the same time as it is recounted that it happened to Sarah, Julia will mature and retaliate against her obnoxious husband. I think the conflicts Julia has with Bertrand and Sarah’s secret younger brother will shed insight into both stories as they coexist. I’m intrigued to see what will happen next as both of the stories intertwine and the plot’s climax.

  5. Quarter 3-Sarah’s Key
    In Sarah’s Key by Rosnay, Julia Jarmond is a dynamic character throughout the novel. I agree Sid, that her indecision about the abortion is the biggest problem within her marriage. Towards the beginning of her story, Julia is attached to her husband Bertrand. He has always been superior to her because she is American and he is French. Julia feels obliged to do as Bertrand wishes and due to this, she feels her miscarriages and inability to have a child have made her insufficient to him because he wanted a bigger family. When Julia learns she is pregnant and is overjoyed to tell Bertrand, the reaction he has to her is completely opposite of what she expects, and because of this, their marriage begins to suffer. Because of the emotional obligation Julia feels to Bertrand, the decision becomes clear at the beginning that she should have the abortion. The drastic change in her character comes when Julia is in the abortion room about to have the surgery, and then backs out last minute. When Julia was talking to a friend about the decision she has to make, her friend reminded her that the baby was just as much hers as Bertrand’s, therefore the decision was just as equally hers. This was an eye opener for Julia and led to her independence, as she began to realize how much her life is indirectly in control by Bertrand’s opinions, preferences, etc. Julia develops a more independent mentality and distances herself from the dependence she has to her husband, a trait she has not shown throughout the novel until this point. This independence has been foreshadowed throughout earlier events, such as when Julia begins questioning her love and need for Bertrand, and the distance she has lately shown from her husband when divulging herself into her work and going behind Bertrand’s back on her research.

    Despite her newfound independence, Julia still displays an air of hypocrisy in her relationship. This goes along with what you were saying that was evident of this in the second quarter too, Sid. While she feels that having the abortion is too far of a step for her to go after being disappointed for several years with the failure to have another baby, Bertrand is not the only one being selfish. Julia’s work and research around Sarah has consumed her and she has not let Bertrand in on any of it. Despite the fact that he can’t and doesn’t understand the importance this topic has to her, Julia is damaging their marriage just as much, if not more, than Bertrand Is by asking her to get an abortion.

    Once both Sarah and Julia’s stories intertwined in the same plot event, the discovery of Sarah’s brother in the basement, the Rosnay writes only from Julia’s perspective for the rest of the book. This was barely introduced at the end of the second quarter, but now that the rest of the book takes this format, the tone of the book has changed. Instead of adventurous and in present events, the book takes on a more reflective feel, as Julia and those involved with Sarah Starzynski discover more about her and continue reliving old memories.

    The harsh irony of Sarah’s death especially contributes to the tone of the book. From hopeful and heroic as the young girls escape the concentration camp, to the finding of her brother in the basement, that already turned the tone negative. Yet the tone was uplifted and hopeful once again as Julia took the trip to the states and find Sarah that would then lead to a clarifying conversation. However when the later Mrs. Rainsferd told Julia about Sarah’s passing in a car accident, the plot seemed to come to a halt. The irony is Sarah’s escape and journey back to Paris was very brave and courageous, which led to her rebirth into a better life in the states which was then all taken away by a seemingly preventable cause, the short moment of a car accident. In contrast, the tone is changed yet again with the new information of Sarah having a living son named William who Julia will now search to find.

  6. sidharthdaga

    The novel Sarah’s Key has taken quite a few turns as the coexisting stories of Sarah and Julia merge into one. I agree with you, Phoebe, Julia is indeed a very dynamic character as we learn when the novel shifts focus solely to her life because it is now directly tied into Sarah’s.
    I disagree though, the biggest problem in her marriage is simply their inability to directly face confrontations and conflicts; the indecision about the abortion is simply an example of that and the final straw that destroys their marriage. She has always been attached to Bertrand simply because of his french glamour and pristine. Being American always makes her inferior, and she must constantly strive to fit in with the french people and overcome the prejudices that the French have for Americans. After many miscarriages, Julia is finally able to offer Bertrand the second child he has always desired. At this point in Bertrand’s life, he can no longer handle raising another child. Your right, Phoebe, that the major point of self-realization for Julia was when she decides to not undergo the abortion. I think that through all the excitement happening around her investment in Sarah, she got the courage and motive to be independent from Bertrand.

    Rosnay depicts this conflict in a way that presents Bertrand as a strong antagonist. All of Bertrand’s obnoxious traits are shown to have been overpowering their relationship that will now either need to be resolved or end their relationship. Julia intends Bertrand to be thought of as selfish for refusing to be involved in the life of another child. Despite that, I see this as very reasonable and it shows the differences between him and Sarah, their different aspirations in life, and how they can no longer continue their fake relationship. Bertrand is a flaky person who has managed to keep Julia entranced for many years, but his charisma is being overcome by Julia’s research of Sarah Starzynski.

    Julia has been enhanced by his charm, bus has not had the audacity for 15 years to stand up to him and strongly express her own opinions without simply giving in to being comforted by his grace. They have a fundamentally weak relationship, but Bertrand has done nothing wrong, he has simply persuaded and alluded Julia over and over again, and Julia has succumbed to his persuasions in every argument or important conversation. The hypocrisy that you brought up, Phoebe, is what shows that Bertrand is not a bad person, Julia and him are simply not similar people with numerous different beliefs that should have separated them a while ago. Julia just simply lacked the courage to become independent from Bertrand. The most intimate moment of their relationship is after Julia does not go through the abortion and they discuss the implications that has on them; for once he does not impose himself as superior and is down-to-earth with her. That moment was there last, as the importance of discovering more about Sarah Starzynski, gave her the courage and finally a reason to leave Bertrand (Julia and Sarah both seek refuge from conflicts in France by going to the states).

    On the contrary, I feel as if the tone of the book is more adventurous because Julia is now independent and on a journey to discover about Sarah. Julia’s views of the french oblivion towards the Vel D’Hiv slightly falters as she becomes closer to Edouard and learns about Sarah and her brother. Sarah had gotten all the way back to Paris only to find her brother dead in the closest all because she locked him their. For the rest of her life she could not overcome this fact which stayed with her like an ugly birthmark. Then, on the day of her abortion, there was a large commemoration where the French people reflected on the horrible tragedies that occurred in their country not be buried in their past but remembered.

    I did not like how Sarah died, or why Rosnay decided to disclose this information with a quarter of the book to go. I think that when Julia finds William he will have Sarah’s key, but other than that I do not know what Julia hopes to learn from William. I can not wait to see what will happen in the last quarter of the novel, as a I really have no clue what might.

  7. In the ending of Sarah’s Key, everything came together very nicely within the plot. The majority of the plot events throughout the novel seem very realistic. The amount of deaths, and the ending not being a big happy one which resolves all conflicts found throughout the novel, is refreshing. The hardships are consistent to the historic event that took place. Along with this, the characters are believable as well. Each has their own personality, and I particularly liked how the author wrote conflicts between Julia and Bertrand’s marriage along with the subtle clash of their personalities to add an applicable set of problems for her while Julia deals with other stressors.

    Throughout the novel, there are a few instances of characters feeling overwhelming amounts of needs for redemption. The biggest and most notable would be Julia’s need to find Sarah and tell her she’s sorry, despite her lack of involvement. She says she feels sorry for “being 45-years old and not knowing.” Edouard feels responsible and financially helps Sarah out for the rest of her life, as a result of his guilt of the situation. Also, the entire assignment Julia is writing about is France’s remembrance of the Vel’ d’Hiv and paying their respects to those involved and taking time to attempt to right some of the wrongs they had done.

    Julia’s baby can also stand as a symbol for this redemption. It signifies a rebirth of a new generation and one in which Julia can take her pain and change it into a way for her to help, within her best ability, to prevent events like the Vel d’Hiv from happening again. Also, by naming her baby Sarah, it is another obvious way in which Julia does her best to remember Sarah and all those who struggled.

    Overall, the novel was very well written and I enjoyed the ending just as much as what led up to it.

  8. sidharthdaga

    I really enjoyed Sarah’s Key as the fourth quarter was every bit as exciting as the first 3. As the novel centralizes on Julia, it concludes Sarah Starzynski story. Sarah ultimately completely changes Julia’s life as she becomes an integral asset and monopolizes her life, an example of which is indeed the baby and naming in honor of her. Traveling to France, Germany, New York, Connecticut, and Italy searching for Sarah or any part of Sarah, shows that she is completely obsessed with her story because of the implications it has on her life. Through Sarah she obtained the courage to divorce Bertrand and end their unstable relationship. She finally left France after Mames death and Edouard had been consoled to meet Sarah’s son, William, concluding her journey to find out about Sarah. Unfortunately Julia does not end on good terms with William when Julia realizes that William has no idea about his mother’s life before she married his father. William becomes very distant and does not want to hear any more. He denies his mother’s religion, nationality, parents, and past insisting that Julia has the wrong person. Overcoming his initial insecurity due to being overwhelmed by new harsh realities, William comes back seeking the full story and foreshadows future interactions between him and Julia at the end of the novel.

    I agree with you, Phoebe, that Rosnay chose not to romanticize that realities of the Vel d’hiv and provided the harsh truth. Contributing to how factual this novel is, is the complexity of Julia’s story; unfortunately to me this drew away from the important story of French Jews during World War 2. I think it also made the French side of the story inconclusive. Julia’s boss, not Edouard Phoebe, was the one who gave her money to travel in search of Sarah, yet it was never apparent it was out of sympathy for the actual cause. Besides the one day of remembrance for Vel d’hiv on the day of the abortion, it is not shown that due to julia’s story the French people are more aware and respectful, acknowledging the indecences they committed during world war 2. The story was more about Julia’s redemption for her own well being rather than what I think it should have been, the people of France and the tezac family facing the crimes they committed. Instead Julia runs away to America which makes the story more about her personal life, and leaves the story open in a way that Bertrand and his sisters could simply have moved on with their life without accepting the new realities Julia was supposed to show them. Despite the misleading plot, where the story was first a quest to educate the French people and then a journey of self-redemption, it was an overall really captivating novel throughout.
    -Sidharth Daga

  9. Yes I know Julia’s boss provided for her trip, I think we’re confusing two different parts! I was talking about how Edouard financially helped out Sarah by sending her money throughout her life after he had found out about her little brother, due to his guilt about that situation. This was just another instance of this need for redemption that multiple characters possessed throughout the novel. I think you confused it with Julia’s trip being out of her guilt, which isn’t what I was talking about then.

    Looking back, the novel was more focused on Julia and a modern perspective of the event. Rosnay has stated in book talks that her reasoning for writing the novel was to enlighten people on this historical event, which not a lot of people know about. The decision to transition into just Julia’s story is the author’s way of helping the reader see the significance and “so what” purpose of the story. As you said, Sid, I agree with the fact that she drifted away from the historical aspect of the event the novel is capturing; yet I believe it was out of fictional development in the story to create a fictional plot instead of a nonfiction book.

    Criticism I would have for the novel centers around the ending. When Julia goes in search for Sarah and any of Sarah’s family, the novel becomes less realistic. The information she finds about one little girl and her story seems to be found much quicker than it would in a real situation. Julia seems to come into contact with those who were close or knew Sarah too quickly, as well. The meeting with William seemed more of an accurate representation of how someone who just found out his mother’s secret past than any other meeting. Prior to this poorly ended meeting, all people had valuable information to Julia, or at least facts, which could lead her into the position to find more information. Despite this realistic first meeting, when William comes back to find out more, the relationship looses credibility yet again. His eagerness to let a stranger who supposedly knows a separate past he’s never heard of into his life is odd.

    Other than this, the novel was touching and left a lasting impression on me as a reader. I loved the way it was written and being able to predict how these two stories would eventually relate was intriguing. The story is beautiful and tragic and moving emotionally. All characters seemed to connect with me and were positive aspects of the novel.

    I would recommend this book to a reader who enjoys understanding the hardships of characters and one who doesn’t mind a saddening plotline. The stories are woven together wonderfully and anyone who appreciates discovering lives of those who have passed and how every life is connected will undoubtedly love Sarah’s Key. Unsettling, the novel’s ending is surely not; it leaves an impact on the reader followed by the most satisfied feeling.

  10. sidharthdaga

    Yeah sorry I got confused and mixed up Sarah with Julia and now I understand what you are saying. I also agree that the purpose for drawing away from the historical events and into the plot of Julia’s life is to make this novel a fictional story and captivate the reader. Yet, to me this drew away from the interesting aspects of Julia’s relations with the french people, into a meaningless plot. On the contrary to what you said, Phoebe, I feel as if focusing on Julia reduced the impact this novel could have had, and did not provide a “so what” take away. For the purpose of progressing the novel, events that would naturally take longer occurred more quickly, which is unrealistic but I did not see it as detrimental as it was necessary. Also alternately, I can conceive Julia’s relationship with William, as they both share a mutual passion for Sarah that connects them. Their relationship seems logical, and because this is obviously a fictional novel it does not need to make perfect sense, as it is a fulfilling conclusion.

    Overall I would rate this novel a 8/10 because it is a very well-written, captivating novel, that conveys important information in a unique way. Despite the issues I see in the plot, I admit I could not put this book down and read each quarter in a single sitting. The two stories of Julia and Sarah bring new excitement every chapter and engage the reader. Foreshadowing made me anxious to see what would happen next, such as Julia’s relationship with Bertrand and the outcome of Sarah’s journey. I think Rosnay could have made this more of an impactful novel, by perhaps showing us Julia’s final article of the Vel d’hiv or showing us the change it made to the Tezac family and the French people. When Julia leaves the abortion to attend the commemoration of the Vel d’hiv, it appears as if, from the description, the French are very considerate and have overcome their non acceptance of French wrongdoings during World War II; that is the proposed takeaway because the issue is not brought up again and I saw this as very inconclusive for such an important aspect of the novel. Despite that I would recommend this novel to everyone, as even if one is not absorbed in the Vel d’hiv and does not usually read somber literature, this is an interesting and powerful story.

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