Sarah's Key

Translated from: Sarah's Key
Author: Tatiana De Rosnay
Translator: Lily Endang Joeliani
Publisher: PT Elex Media Komputindo
Publisher date: 2011
Pages: 339

A book with holocaust theme always leaves me with a mixed up feeling. Feeling blue for all the victims and feeling horrible to find out the detailed incidents. Sarah's Key is one of the book that haunting me for days. The author is extremely good in delivering a touching portrayal of one of the darkest incidents in French history.

In this book, the author creates two parallel stories which eventually intersect and each completes the other. One story takes place on July 1942, it's told from Sarah's tone, a ten-year-old girl. She, her mother and her father are brutally arrested by French Police and taken to the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup. Since her younger brother doesn't want to go, finally Sarah locks him up in a wardrobe in the family's apartment, slips the key to her pocket and promises him that she will be back within a few hours.

The second story takes place on May 2002 and concerns a modern-day journalist, Julia Jarmond who gets an assignment to write about Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary. Through her investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

This is one of the best book I've read in a while. A well told story that is based on actual incidents. It combines history, horror and drama. It will linger in your head for days. A must read.

This great book has already been adapted into a movie in 2010. Go check the movie here.