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.
Occupied France, 1942. The systematic round up of Jews and the horror that faced thousands before, during and after the various Nazi organized camps. A journalist is assigned a story that she ends up just not being able to let go. The story takes her to a some emotional discoveries that take her through France and some of the memorials as she tries to piece together her story.
What an incredibly sad tale to read. The book though fictitious characters brings life to the very real and horrific events that shaped WWII. I found the book quite emotional and was easily able to feel the tone of the book into the very marrow of my body. The characters and their everyday lives were easy to identify with. The addition of some of the French language was easily interpreted even for those who may not have a good grasp on the French language while lending itself to the authenticity of the tale. I can understand how this book has made such a name for itself.
I give this book a 4.5 star rating out of 5.