Guest Blogger: Elyse, Grade 11
Setting(Time): July 1942
Setting (Place): Paris, France
What would you rate this book: 5 out of 5 Stars
I rated this book a five star because I find the event of the Holocaust interesting and the way the author created this story during this crucial time was engaging. The story hooked me into the disturbing actions of the French by filling it with hope and love.
During the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, the French arrests the Starzynski family in which the ten-year old daughter Sarah hides her four year old brother in a cabinet. Sarah thinking she is helping him by not letting him get taken away, soon realizes that the family may be gone longer than what she thinks. A second plot is brought in where an American journalist, Julia Jarmond, who is living in Paris is asked to write an article due to the 6oth anniversary of the roundup. Back to Sarah, her family is sent to Auschwitz in which she tries to escape in order to get back to her brother. After begging the Nazi officer, she gets away from Auschwitz with another little girl Rachel. Rachel and Sarah find an elderly couple who take the two young girls into their home. Poor Rachel falls sick and ends up getting caught again by the Nazi officers after some neighbors report the elderly couple on taking in Jews. As Sarah survives, she is turned into a boy while trying to return home with the key to the closet. It does not end well as Sarah rushes into what was called her home to find her brother curled up in the closet dead. This story had gotten diggin up by Julia Jarmond in which she began to obsess over it. She happens to be going through relationship troubles with her husband as a baby becomes expected. She learns more about Sarah’s story and this helps her choose her baby over her husband. Julia gets in contact with Sarah’s son, William but he has no interest in talking about what happened. Julia finds out that the apartment she was going to move into after delivering her baby belonged to the Starzynski family in which she becomes uncomfortable and decides to move to New york instead. William come back around and ends up sharing stories about his mother to Julia where Julia discovers that Sarah ended up killing herself due to the pain her past caused her.
“The truth is harder than ignorance.” (page 124)
This story is filled with statements that will make you think beyond your days. It leaves a sort of mark on your heart as you learn about the hardship of these poor innocent people. It makes you wish you could change the past, but this quote especially makes you question your actions to rather tell the truth than ignore something. You may think ignoring it will be easy and it will go away but knowing or telling the truth is the only way to accomplish anything. So by reading this story, it teaches you the true events of the Holocaust instead of leaving you ignorant to this event in history.
People who are interested in the Holocaust as well as Historical Fiction would like this book. I feel like people should read this book to spread awareness of what people went through during this devastating time in history. There is always a chance that something like this could happen again and maybe if people learn about the sufferings then it could potentially help prevent another tragedy.
Want to make a recommendation?
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