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Sarah's Key [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Tatiana De Rosnay , Polly Stone
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Mar 2014
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is 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 re-evaluate her marriage and her life. "Tatiana de Rosnay" offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: MacMillan Audio; Unabridged edition (25 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427251576
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427251572
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 12.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,351,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This is a remarkable historical novel, a book which brings to light a disturbing and deliberately hidden aspect of French behavior towards Jews during World War II. Like "Sophie's Choice", it's a book that impresses itself upon one's heart and soul forever."
-Naomi Ragen, author of "The Saturday Wife "and "The Covenant
"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 text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

I'll come back for you later. I promise. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant tale based on real events 20 Sep 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"In the author's own words "This is not a historical work and has no intention of being one. It is my tribute to the children of the Vel d'Hiv." Although not as detailed as some historical fiction, this novel certainly succeeds in dragging the reader headfirst into the events of 16th July 1942 when French Police conducted a massive round up of Jews in Paris in order to "forward" them to Auschwitz.We are drawn into two intertwining stories, the first, that of Sarah, a 10 yr old girl who experiences these horrific events in 1942 and the second, contemporary story, that of Julia Jarmond, an American born journalist who is investigating events surrounding the Vel d'Hiv round up. As their stories unfold we see how the past is inextricably linked to the present and we share Julia's intense interest in the fate of Sarah and her family. This is a gripping, poignant story based on real events and is filled with vivid, charismatic characters. The dual time frame is never unwieldy and the reader is swept along by flowing, seamless writing from the 40s to the present day - symptomatic perhaps of how the events of the past still dictate and inform present events and how we should "never forget". I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a well written story with engaging characters and having an interest in World War II fiction is not a prerequisite. Sarah's Key is a story about people rather than events and Sarah will stay with me for a very long time."
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My read of 2008 [so far] 5 May 2008
By jaffareadstoo TOP 500 REVIEWER
If you only read one book in 2008 ,let this be it...from the first page I was hooked and didn't come up for breath until the story was finished and Sarah's tale was told. Historically accurate, and focused on a largely unknown historical period in WW2 Paris, Sarah's story will keep you reading long into the night.I felt grief stricken when the story was done and mourned for the characters who had become part of my life and who will remain with me for a very long time.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 26 Nov 2011
By lkh
I got hooked up to this book quickly and the beginning was so promising. I really like two unfolding stories going in parallel, especially that each story bit was very short. I am Russian and I do not remember being taught in school what happened in France in 1942. I found the book very useful in the way that it made me learn, feel for and remember those who had gone through such terror. However, by the time I got to the middle of the book and Sarah's story merged into Julia's it became a little boring to read about Julia and Bertrand's relationship, the story started to resemble a cheap romance book. It felt like another person had picked up writing. Rather dull descriptions of Julia's feelings, her decisions to move to New York are so detailed it made me wonder why they were put in the same book and given the same amount of attention as the terrible events of July 1942? I have found the ending very disappointing, predictable and it has spoiled my impression of the book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This book holds a wonderful idea for a novel - unfortunately it is not remotely realised. The story of the child locked in a cupboard while his family are taken away by the French police in occupied France and the subsequent story of his sister's journey is a fantastic premise for a novel . Unfortunately the majority of the book evolves into glorified chic lit and not even well written chick lit at that. The dreadful juxtaposition of a middle aged woman's shallow love life is a horrific affront to the harrowing story of occupied France. The modern day story of the women's life rivals the tedium of of Eat, Pray, Love with a sprinkle of Holocaust Tragedy to add needed gravity.

There are so, so many worthy, well written stories of the war period - this is not one of them. It left me untouched, annoyed and bored. Try the Book Thief, Stones from the River, or Alone in Berlin instead for a gripping and moving read.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, a must read 19 July 2008
After reading the first few pages, nothing in my life seemed as important as finding out the fate of Sarah and her brother in this gripping, sensitive and immensely moving book. Initially the book alternates between 1941 and nearly present day, and you find yourself much less interested in the current story. However, this does give relief to the intensity of Sarah's story, and the modern story becomes more interesting as it goes on. I cried for days over this wonderful book - at times you don't want to read on, fearful of what might happen, but it is so well written that you must. I read it over 6 months ago, but I still think of it every now and again. Everyone should read this book. Unforgettable.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good story does not always make a good book 12 Mar 2011
By Isola
Sarah's Key is a dual story told from both a pre and post war perspective. In 2002 Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the WW11 roundup of Jews in Paris, uncovers her French family's past secret.

Like many readers, I was unaware of the desperate, dire days of the Vel'd'Hiv in Nazi-occupied Paris, conducted not by the Germans but by the French police; using French trains to cart Jewish families to their deaths. It is only right that this story is told - I just think the wrong person is telling the tale. If an author ventures to create entertainment out of historical tragedy, she/he needs to write the fiction to compliment the facts.

The writing in the 'modern tale' is unbelievably mediocre; the plot is predictable, full of one dimensional, self indulgent characters. And the whining protagonist makes some unforgivable errors of judgement.

I'm sorry, but I think the merit of 'Sarah's Key' lies in the historical event rather than its literary value. The atrocities which began at the Velodrome d'Hiver (torn down in 1959) deserve a far better memorial than Tatiana De Rosnay was ever capable of producing. In my opinion, Chic-Lit meets the Holocaust is an insult. But I am prepared to value this novel with three stars simply because the author has managed to highlight a little known war crime - which we all need to remember.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Briliant, friend has CD so will be watching that as well
Published 9 hours ago by Joan Creasey
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
A terrific and thought provoking story. From the beginning it's hard to put it down. I read it in three nights. Beautifully written, Tatiana De Rosnay is a gifted writer.
Published 20 days ago by Caroline
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, opened my eyes
A beautifully written book of a time that I did not know existed. Although a sad story line it is a story and an engaging one at that. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Sjw
4.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable
I didn't know the French were so involved with the Jewish people In the War
and was very shocked by the story
Published 1 month ago by Sylvia Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars read it in two days
An immensely tough book to read. Beautifully written with a real depth to he characters that makes you feel like you really know them. Totally recommend this book.
Published 1 month ago by Alexandra Goldie
5.0 out of 5 stars A really captivating and emotional book
You will read and weep and will not be able to put the book down until you've reached the end. Also very interesting in the historical point of view.
Published 1 month ago by KR
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
This is a brilliantly and compelling portrait of occupied France during WW11. The plot follows the Starzinski family after the French police raided their apartment on July 16, 1942... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Toni Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars The best novel I've ever read?
This may well be the best novel I've ever read.

I had seen the movie in the theatre when it was first released, and had loved it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Marc H. Stevens
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading!
I thoroughly enjoyed this and kept reading to the end. I couldn't decide whose time I wanted to be in and felt compelled to tear from one to the other - always hopeful. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Neil Visa
4.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing book but with disappointing ending
I must say 2/3 of this book is so well written it could become my new favorite book. However, the ending just ruined the whole thing and I am left back with a great disappointment... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Louise
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