I recently finished reading Sarah’s Key, and for the wait I had getting it through the library, I was a bit disappointed. It was an okay story, an interesting story, but I had trouble getting past the writing; it wasn’t the best. I have struggled with how to describe the writing, what was wrong with it, and I’m still not sure I’ve come up with a good adjective, but my best description is unimaginative or slow. The other thing that bothered me is the dialogue at times was not believable. It just distracted from the interesting story. I don’t know if Titania is French, but the whole story seemed like it was written as an apology from the French people (not a bad thing, considering what happened, but it got a little old).
The story is about a French-Polish family in Paris (parents are Polish, children are French) that get picked up one July in 1942, taken with a group of others to an arena, kept there in deplorable conditions then shipped out to a concentration camp, ultimately to be killed. This incident is particularly deplorable because the children were separated from their parents and because so many children were killed. The author makes the story interesting, and not just another sad holocaust tail, by putting in present day and tying it to woman reporter who is asked to write about the incident for the 60th anniversary of the event and her family. As I said, it is a good story, just not written very well. Of course, I’m glad for the author that it’s doing well, and they even made a movie out of it (which I haven’t seen), but I think non-writers will enjoy it more than writers.