I really enjoyed how De Rosnay chose to end her novel. In the final chapter, she meets up with William in a cafe in New York. In this conclusion, we learn a lot of final details. One major thing we learn is that Julia named her child Sarah, after Sarah Starzynski. We also learn that William is no longer married to his wife. After learning the truth about his mother, his whole life fell apart. When reading this chapter, I noticed a strong connection between Julia and William. One that is never spoken of, but very visible throughout their interactions throughout the novel. It ends by the two crying together. Nothing is ever said if anything happens between Julia and William or not. I think that this was wise of De Rosnay to do. It really leaves the ending up to the reader’s imagination. Personally, I think that the two will end up together. They have developed such a strong connection and it seems like neither of them can bare living without thinking of the other. I enjoyed reading this entire novel, and I think the ending was very tastefully done.
During the novel we learn that Julia choses not to abort the child. Jarmond and her recieve a divorce and Julia moves to New York. In the last few chapters of the novel, we learn that Julia has had the baby. De Rosnay leaves the reader in suspense as she only refers to the baby as “the child”. It is not until the second last page of the novel, that we learn she named her child Sarah. Sarah Starzynski changed Julia’s life. She would never forget her. This child also changed Julia’s life. There was no other name that she could have possibly given the baby. I think it was a very nice way to pay respect to Sarah. It was Julia’s way of showing her sympathy to the entire Starzynski family and to make them aware of how much the whole situation matter to her. William was shocked when Julia told him she named her daughter after his mother. This was something they shared. They figured out the story of Sarah together, and even though the novel never tells the reader if anything happens between Julia and William, I think they will end up together. They have developed such a strong bond that I don’t think they can ever forgot each other.
A big mystery in this novel is of Julia trying to uncover what happened to Sarah. Julia puts a lot of effort into finding Sarah when she learns that, after Sarah moved to America, she wrote to the Dufaure’s once to tell them she is getting married and no more letters were sent after that. Sarah left no trace of where she was living but she did write that the man she was marrying was named Richard J. Rainsferd. With the help of her sister, Julia was able to track down where this man was living. After travelling to his house in Connecticut she finds that Richard’s wife is not Sarah. Sarah had died in a car accident years earlier and he remarried. Julia was shocked at this and she still felt that she needed to tell someone that Sarah and her family will never be forgotten. After learning that Sarah had a son who now lives in Italy, Julia travels there to meet him. She started to talk about Sarah and everything that happened to her. Her son, William, was not aware of the tragedies that his mother endured. William was not happy by what Julia told him and he never wanted to see her again. In time, he wanted to talk more about it and he even showed Julia a journal that his mother kept. It was in French so William could not understand it, but Julia translated it for him. After reading it, they learn that Sarah could not handle the burden of her brother, Michel’s death. She always felt responsible for it and she tried to hide her past from everyone. This pressure was too much for her and she even says that she wants to die. Julia and William learned that Sarah didn’t slip on black ice and hit and tree. She killed herself. The mystery of what happened to Sarah was finally revealed.
In 2010, the novel Sarah’s Key was made into a film. I was very excited when I saw this because it is a nice way to understand the book better. It is interesting to see how one person interprets the novel and how they visualize the characters. I hope to be able to have an opprotunity to watch this film as I really enjoyed the novel and I am sure that I will enjoy watching the film. I am interested to see how the producers chose to organize the various events that occur in the novel. In the book, it skips back and forth between two different settings, so I would like to see if they chose to do that in the movie as well.
A difficult conflict that Julia faces in this novel is that of whether or not to get an abortion. Her husband, Bertrand made it very clear that if she did not get an abortion, they would be getting a divorce. He was having a midlife crisis and felt that this child would ruin him. Julia had to chose between her husband, and her unborn child. Her sister Charla reminded her that it is Julia’s child too. If she wants to keep it, then Bertrand has no right to make her do otherwise. When reading the novel, I could really tell that Julia did not want to abort the child. She really became attatched to it and it pained her deeply that Bertrand did not feel the same way. Despite her feelings she makes all the appointments to have an abortion. Right before the operation, something makes her realize that this is not what she wants. She gets up and leaves the hospital without an abortion. I was very happy that she did this. If she had went through with it, I think she would have been very disappointed in herself. It was very selfish of Bertrand to ask her to abort the child that she wanted so much. He was not loyal to Julia as he had been having an ongoing affair with a woman named Amelie. If she aborted the child and found out about his affair with Amelie I think that Julia would’ve been devasted.
One of the main historical events that this novel talks about is the Velodrome d’Hiver Roundup. This was a massive arrest which took place on July 16 and 17, 1942 in Paris France. The Nazis ordered this roundup but it was the French police who carried it out. 13,152 victims were arrested and held at this stadium until they were shipped on cattle trains to Auschwitz. There they faced extermination. This novel examines the story of Sarah Starzynski, a young girl who escapes from this camp and is taken in by a farmer and his wife. Although this is not a true story, many of the events reflect what so many Jews went through at this time.
“Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 09feb2011. Web. 24 Mar 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vel’_d’Hiv_Roundup>.