by Tatiana de Rosnay
Read October 2008
This was another that I picked up from the stack of prepublication books in the break room at the library.
The cover is what first attracted to this book. This isn't the kind of book I would normally pick up. Historical fiction about the Holocaust. But the plot was interesting enough that it drew me in.
Sarah hides her little brother in a hidden closet when the French police come to her family's apartment in Paris in order to round up all Jews. Because her parents have never told her about Nazis or any of the events happening in Europe at the time, Sarah has no reason to think that she won't come back to let her little brother out of the closet. She keeps the key in her pocket.
Needless to say, neither she nor her parents returned to the apartment. They ended up in camps - her father in one and she and her mother in another. Sarah escapes and tries to make her way back to the apartment to release the little boy.
The book alternates between Sarah's time and present day when Julia, an American living in Paris with her child and husband Bertrand. Bertrand's family lived in the apartment that used to belong to Sarah's family. Julia tries to understand how the roundup of Jews by the French Police could ever have happened and why no one seems to care about it any more. She slowly unravels the mystery of Sarah along the way.
Very very good. I read this a second time for Dunbar's Reading Extravaganza. The Extravaganza discussion was one of the best ones I've had.