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Tonight was book club night.
Sometimes I’m still a little floored that my mad plan actually worked. That I have this amazing group of girls that love getting together once a week to eat bad food and rant about our lives and good books.
There are seven or eight of us that meet regularly, with a few other ladies that sometimes make appearances. Most of the girls didn’t know each other when they started coming, but we’ve really started forming some wonderful friendships.
This month we read Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosenay, and it was amazing. I tried to get it from my local library but there were already 5 people ahead of me in the hold queue so I ended up buying it… and I’m so glad that I did. Here’s a brief synopsis by Publishers Weekly on Amazon.ca:
De Rosnay’s U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél’ d’Hiv’ roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay’s 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia’s conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah’s trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down.
As someone who has spent years studying the Holocaust, I was ashamed that I had never heard of the Vél d’Hiv. Though the characters are fictional, the historical portions of the book are not and it was a very emotional read.
It was definitely a book I enjoyed–I couldn’t put it down and read it in less than 24 hours–but it will drag you through a whole range of emotions as the story progresses. It is definitely, definitely one that I will read again.
Our next book is Room by Emma Donoghue. I cannot wait to read this book, though I think it will have to be another one I’ll have to buy. I checked my library tonight and there are forty-eight people waiting for it.
Anyone wanna lend it to me? ;)