Summary from B&N
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally 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 reevaluate her marriage and her life.
My second favorite historical fiction book, first being Incantation by Alice Hoffman. At first, Sarah's story was what kept me reading and what made me cry when her story ended about fifty pages before the book did. Now both Sarah and Julia's story stay in mind, with Sarah's will to escape and rescue her brother and Julia's choice between marriage and what she wants.
It starts a little slow but it picks up smoothly. Taking place during one of my favorite time periods in history, I might never forget Sarah's Key.