Friday, 8 June 2012

Tatiana de Rosnay "Sarah’s key"


Tatiana de Rosnay-Sarah’s key
Quite an amazing book that touches the Holocaust theme. "Sarah’s Key" refers to those oeuvres that make readers experience a catharsis.

The classical version of "a novel in a novel" creates a tension, and the book does not let you go until the last page. It is a story of how a little Jewish girl, Sarah, escapes from the Auschwitz camp. She runs away to save her younger brother, whom she locked up in a secret cupboard in order to save from death. The story makes even the stone hearted cry. A myriad of feelings experienced by Sarah, who returns home only to find the corpse of her dead brother, expressed with unprecedented power and precision. The future life of Sarah will become a service to the memory of her brother and an attempt to escape from her terrible memories.

The frame of the novel, as it seems to me, is an attempt of the French people to understand that thousands of murders were committed with participation or acquiescence of their ancestors. Julie, the heroine of the frame-novel, investigates the story of Sarah and at the same time reflects on the Holocaust. She wonders if one has to repent in order to have the right to be named as a human being.

Unfortunately, the line of Julie's personal life is rather weak and reduces the overall impression from the novel. If the story of Sarah is a heart tearing drama, the story of Julia is a rather irritating melodrama due to its predictability and ordinariness.

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