Book Review: Sarah’s Key

Sadly, I think the Blogger Book Club that I was so excited to join back in May is no more. I’ve checked the host blogger’s sites each month to no avail – I’m not sure if maybe their sites moved or what, but there has not been a link up for the club since June’s review of The Help. Sad face.

So instead of reading the next book on the list (Bossypants by Tina Fey), I’ve been doing my own thing and reading some books I’ve had on my bookshelf forever. One such book happened to be Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay.

sarah's key

When I first started reading this book (eons ago), I got a few pages in and for whatever reason set it aside because it didn’t hold my interest. Let me tell you – I picked this up again a few weeks ago and absolutely devoured it. Once I started reading, I could not stop.

The book focuses on Julia Jarmond, an American woman living in Paris with her French husband and daughter. She is an American writer and is assigned to write a story about the Vel d’Hiv roundup of Jews in France in 1942 – which leads us to the story of Sarah, a ten-year old girl who is arrested with her parents in the roundup. What we find out in the first few pages is that when they are arrested, Sarah locks her four year old brother in a hidden cupboard in the house and promises to come back to get him, thinking they will be back to the house in a few hours.

During Julia’s research for the story, she stumbles upon Sarah’s story – leading to a long hidden family secret and puts her marriage into the spotlight.

The first two-thirds of the book switches between Julia’s story and Sarah’s story – and we don’t know where Sarah’s story is leading or what will happen. I was absolutely riveted and could not put the book down, engrossed in not only Sarah’s story but Julia’s as well. I found my heart breaking for both characters and lost lots of sleep staying up to read “just one more chapter”.

I do have to say that the end of the book did fall a little flat for me – once we found out about Sarah and the story focused more on Julia, I feel like de Rosnay didn’t know where she wanted to go and the storyline didn’t hold my attention as much,, I was much more engrossed in Sarah’s story. (Plus – Sarah’s ending was not what I was expecting – but it was completely realistic.) That didn’t stop my from reading the entire book in about a week. Plus, it was historical fiction at it’s finest – and centered on a topic that I don’t tend to read much about.

Bottom line: if you haven’t already, (the book was published in 2007) read it!! You won’t regret it.

Other books on my bookshelf:

the light between oceans submerged gone girl

The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman

Submerged, by Dani Pettrey

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Advertisements

Blogger Book Club – August Book Review

So yeah, I’m a total Blogger Book Club Member failure.

book club

If you recall I did not read the book club book for July, and it pains me to admit that I did not read the book for August either. The difference is that I did not read July’s book (America the Beautiful by Ben Carson) because I couldn’t find it in stores; and I did not read August’s book (START by Jon Acuff) because I had no interest in reading it. Truth. I just can’t read a nonfiction book if the topic holds no interest to me, which this one really didn’t. So, I apologize to all of you who may have been expecting a review of START. Instead, I’ll share what I’ve been reading lately and a couple of books that are on my reading wish list. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in!

 

ZOO, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

zoo

 So this book pretty much gave me nightmares and yes I could not put it down. From the James Patterson website: “All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear.”

How’s that for a hook, right? So this biologist (who has seen this thing coming for years, but nobody would listen) is trying to get various world leaders to sit up and pay attention to what’s happening, and of course nobody will listen to him until it’s too late. I don’t want to give away what happens, but what scared me was that the scenario Patterson has created is completely believable and scared me half to death. Seriously. For the next week I was scared of any animal that crossed my path, included squirrels and dragonflies. Totally worth the read.

11th Hour, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

11th hour 

Yes, I may have gone through a mini James Patterson phase this past month. That seems to happen – weeks will go by without touching any of his novels and then WHAM! I’ll pick up one and end up reading three or four in a row. What I love about Patterson is that he’s that good. And he writes like thirty books a month, so I always have new ones to look forward to!

11th hour is (obviously) the 11th book in the Women’s Murder Club series – and follows Lindsey Boxer on her latest case. I have to admit I didn’t think this book was as good as some others in the series. I felt it moved too fast and didn’t have as much emotion as he normally packs into his books. Still, it was entertaining and I read through it in a few days.

Angel Sister, by Ann H. Gabhart

angel sister

I picked this book up at the lending library in my office, completely on a whim. I needed something to read while I was waiting for The Husband to pick me up and before I knew it I was hooked. Angel Sister takes place in 1936 and follows the lives of the Merritt family as they deal with alcoholism, a dire financial situation, and a little girl left on the steps of the local church. I’m only about halfway through but my fingers are itching to pick it back up so I can find out what happens! It’s beautifully written and I love historical fiction, so it’s a total win. Check it out!

Some other books waiting on my “to read” pile include:

the house i loved The House I Loved, by Tatiana de Rosnay

 

 the weird sisters  The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown

 

gone girl Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

 aviators wife  The Aviator’s Wife, by Melanie Benjamin

 

What good books have you read lately? Any recommendations?

Blogger Book Club – July

Welcome back to the Blogger Book Club Book Review – July edition!

book club

Ok so I have a confession. I did not read the book for July. Deeper confession: I didn’t even buy the book for July. It’s not because I didn’t want to, it’s because I couldn’t find it in any bookstores and I wouldn’t allow myself to get it on Amazon because ultimately what happens when I get on Amazon is I suffer from temporary insanity and end up spending hundreds of dollars on books and clothes and workout DVDs and kitchen supplies and a whole other mess of stuff I didn’t need and can’t afford.

This has happened on more than one occasion. So, yeah, I wasn’t going to allow myself the Amazon Temptation.

The book for July was supposed to be “America the Beautiful”, by Ben Carson. From google books: “What is America becoming? Or, more importantly, what can she be if we reclaim a vision for the things that made her great in the first place? In the Zondervan ebook, America the Beautiful, Dr. Ben Carson helps us learn from our past in order to chart a better course for our future.”

It sounds like it might be something…interesting, although when I read non-fiction I tend to lean towards travel memoirs or humor. I want to like non-fiction, but I don’t really have the attention span.

But anyway. In lieu of writing a review on a book I didn’t read, I thought I’d share with you some other books I’ve read this month instead!

little bride (source)

The Little Bride, by Anna Solomon. This book is about Minna, a sixteen year old Russian mail order bride who travels to South Dakota to live with her new husband and two step-sons, one of whom is only a few years older than her. As she adjusts to a life far from what she expected, she finds herself becoming attracted to her older stepson. Although I found the book to be pretty slow in spots, it was an interesting read, and it’s based on the real history of the Jewish settlement of the Great Plains which I found fascinating.

 

pendergast (source)

The Pendergast Novels, namely Brimstone, Dance of Death and Book of the Dead, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. This trilogy is part of a series which follows a very unconventional FBI Agent named Aloysius Pendergast. This particularly trilogy deals primarily with Pendergast and his brother Diogenes who is, in a word, a psychopath. They are fast paced, creepy thrillers that sometimes make it hard for me to sleep at night, yet I can’t put them down.

heavens wager

Heaven’s Wager, by Ted Dekker. First off let me start by saying that I love Ted Dekker. LOVE. His books always have this completely unexpected twist that shakes me to my core, seriously. I own them all, have read them all multiple times, and I think I love them more each time I read them. According to Robert Liparulo (taken from the back of this book), “”Rarely does a novel grip a reader’s heart the way Heaven’s Wager does. Dekker is among a very small number of writers who have mastered the challenge of blending sound theology with knock-your-socks-off-storytelling.” Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

This particular book in first in the Martyr’s Song series and follows a man named Kent who thinks he has it all…until he loses everything. I don’t want to say too much except READ THIS. And once you’re finished, read the rest of the Martyr’s Song series, because you won’t regret it.

So, that’s just a taste of what I’ve been reading lately! Next up for the Blogger Book club is START, by John Acuff, and I promise this one I’ll read and review for August! Stay tuned!