In this heartbreaking novel, de Rosnay fictionalizes a true event that most of us have unfortunately never heard about - the 1942 roundup and deportation of Parisian Jews to Auschwitz. This roundup was executed by French police and included thousands of young children basically sentenced to death. Sarah's Key shifts back and forth between narratives - that awful day as seen in the eyes of a young girl and the present day, where journalist Julia Jarmond is covering the anniversary of the event for a local magazine. The two narratives seem oddly disjointed at first, but as the story progresses, readers will see how the two become intertwined within each other.
Be warned: this book is really depressing, not because of the sad story behind the young girl in 1942, but because most books concerned with the Holocaust are really really depressing as a rule. It's absolutely shocking that such atrocities took place during the war in countries far beyond Poland and Germany.