Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

This novel was heartbreaking, compelling and well worth the read. I believe this might be this novelist's first - if so, she's started her writing career with a bang.

Like many, I tend to look for those books or movies that I know will make me smile and perhaps shed a few happy tears. So, as I read this story that disclosed a shameful part of France's history, I thought, "Well, maybe this Jewish family will escape - maybe there's a happy ending." Well, there was an escape. But how can there be a happy ending when so many innocent people were ruthlessly taken from their homes, tortured, starved, ripped away from their children and assassinated?

But it was reality. It was the Holocaust. And this historical fiction piece beautifully proclaims that while time marches on, we must never forget the victims. We must never forget to honor those who suffered like no human should ever suffer.

As an American reading the story, I felt a bit self-righteous. As if our country would never sweep its own actions under the rug. But then I remembered the Japanese internment camps. Of course, there are skeletons in the closet. And despite my desire to always read of rainbows and unicorns, I understand the importance of never forgetting.

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