A few friends recommended this book to me last year. And for my 2016 book challenge, I needed a book set in Europe. I’m not a big historical fiction fan, but books about WWII and the Holocaust are too important to avoid, so I took the plunge and read this book, even though I was told that it would rip my heart out.
And let me tell you. It didn’t. At a couple points in the book, I thought, “Oh, that’s sad,” but that’s about it, honestly. Partly because the big reveal that usually happens toward the end of the book happens in the middle. I wasn’t invested enough in the story to be truly emotionally hooked. That said, I’m not like post people. I don’t cry about books, really. But if you are looking for an emotional upheaval, this book probably fits most people.
A good chunk of the book is told in alternating chapters, past and present. I enjoyed the present day ones more, but I really don’t have a reason why. The main character is writing a story about a particular event in Paris history, (The Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup ), but people aren’t talking. So she has to do some investigative work. The story from the past is Sarah’s, who was one of the children picked up in the roundup. Why she has a key is a particular tragedy, and one that is eventually resolved in the book.
Overall, this was a good book. Not as good as others, but still worth reading. I’m happy to report that I do not need therapy (as was suggested) after reading it.