I Went to the Bookstore

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last Thursday and came back with:

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (the paperback edition has just been published in French). I usually prefer buying the original version but getting it in French means I can share it.

Zeugma by Marc-Alain Ouaknin. I finally succombed to temptation and bought the book I blogged about a few days ago.

Shabbat is over and somehow I have managed to read both books.

Sarah’s Key is a great novel about the Holocaust and also about a specific event in French history, ie the Rafle du Vel D’hiv (or the “round-up” or “raid” of the Vel’ d’Hiv) when on July 16th 1942, 12,884 Jews were arrested (4,051 children, 5,802 women and 3,031 men) by the French police.

The narrator focuses on a particular family and especially on the daughter, the Sarah of the title. The chapters which follow Sarah from the time of the family arrest onwards alternate with others set in contemporary France. This time the narrator is an American journalist living in Paris whose family story is linked to Sarah’s.

It is a good book, one which you won’t put down easily until you have finished it.

You will find three different posts on this book on Jew Wishes‘ blog. One was written just after Jew Wishes had read this novel, the second was written because of the recent paperback release and the latest includes an interview of the author by Jew Wishes herself.

It is more difficult to speak about the other book since there is no story. The book is presented as a compilation of notebooks. It deals with a variety of topics such as words, literature, responsibility, learning … in a manner that seems to reflect the way we think. It is a very challenging book that is thought-provoking and helps us ponder about the way we lead our lives. I wish I could be more articulate in introducing it but its original and open structure makes it hard to summarize.

I finally received a book I had ordered a few weeks ago and have just started it. More about In the Image later. Meanwhile go and read the latest edition of Haveil Havalim; this week it is hosted by Jack.