Hannibal Free Public Library

Sarah’s Key

Tatiana de Rosnay

October 22, 2012

2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

  1. This book is composed of two interwoven threads: Sarah’s story in 1942 and Julia’s quest in         2002.  What are the strengths and drawbacks of this narrative form? Which ‘voice’ did you prefer and why?

  2. What different feelings does Sarah experience throughout the trauma of the round-up and its aftermath? How do you think you would have reacted as a ten-year old child?

  3. How does Julia Jarmond consider France and the French?  Do you agree with her?

  4. How would you characterize Julia and Bertrand's marriage and how does Julia's character evolve over the course of the novel?

  5. How does Julia’s daughter Zoë help and support her mother? How does she echo the other little girl in the story, Sarah?

  6. This novel is built around several family secrets. What are these secrets? Was Julia right to go so far? Is it sometimes better not to know?

  7. Julia discovers disturbing events concerning French collaboration with the Nazis during the war. Did you learn of any historical events you previously did not know about? Which ones struck you the most?

  8. What do you imagine happens after the end of the novel? What do you think Julia’s life will be like now? What has she learned?

  9. Many readers were moved to tears by certain passages in this book.  Discuss whether this was your case, or not, and which were the passages that moved you and why.

  10. The rue de Saintonge apartment is a key element to this story, bringing past and present together through a secret tragedy.  Discuss how you would feel living in such a place. Do you think Walls remember?