Sarah Starzynski: A ten year old girl living in Paris in 1942. The first story follows her.
Michel Starzynski: Sarah’s four year old brother.
Wladyslaw Starzynski: Sarah’s father.
Rywka Starzynski: Sarah’s mother.
Rachel: Sarah’s friend from the internment camp who she ran away with and later died.
Jules: The farmer that finds and takes in Sarah and Rachel.
Geneviève: The farmer’s wife. The couple hide Sarah from the authorities and help her to have as comfortable life as possible.
Alan: Son of Jules and Geneviève Dufaure.
Henriette: Alan’s wife.
Gaspard: Jules and Geneviève’s grandson.
Nicholas: Jules and Geneviève grandson. Gaspard and Nicolas become very close to Sarah as she grows up.
Nathalie: Gaspard’s granddaughter. Later in the novel, she helps lead Julia to Gaspard to unfold the mystery of Sarah’s life.
Richard J. Rainsferd: Sarah’s husband in the United States.
Mara Rainsferd: Richard’s wife. She helps to lead Julia to William Rainsferd.
Ornella Harris: Mara’s daughter.
William Rainsferd: Sarah’s son. Julia eventually finds him in Italy. He had no idea about his mother’s life and family in France until Julia tells him the story.
Julia Jarmond: An American woman in her late forties who lives in Paris. She has a husband and a daughter. She is a journalist who is researching the Vélodrome d’Hiver roundup for an article. The second plot follows her.
Bertrand Tézac: Julia’s husband. He is a French man and works as an architect.
Zoë Tézac: Julia and Bertrand’s daughter.
Mamé: Bertrand’s grandmother. She moved into the apartment that the Starzynski family was forced to evacuate.
Edouard: Bertrand’s father. He ends up playing an important role in helping Julia find out about Sarah Starzynski.
Colette: With of Edouard, mother of Bertrand.
Cecile: Bertrand’s sister.
Laure: Betrand’s sister.
Amelie: Betrand’s girlfriend. Julia retells an event from the past when she found out her husband was having an affair with Amelie. Later in the novel, Julia suspects that Bertrand is still in love with Amelie. They receive a divorce and he admits his love for Amelie.
Charla: Julia’s sister.
Ben: Charla’s ex-husband.
Barry: Charla’s current husband.
Cooper: Charla’s son.
Alex: Charla’s son, Zoe spends time with Cooper and Alex over the summer.
Heather Jarmond: Julia’s mother.
Sean Jarmond: Julia’s father.
Isabelle: Julia’s friend who lives in Paris.
Herve: Julia’s friend in Paris.
Christophe: Julia’s friend in Paris. When she first moved to Paris she lived with Herve and Christophe.
Guillaume: A friend of Herve and Christopher, some from his family were taken during the roundup. He helps to give Julia some information about it.
Antoine: Bertrand’s co-worker.
Bamber: Julia’s co-worker and photographer who is helping her research the roundup.
Joshua: Julia’s boss.
Allesandra: The features editor at Julia’s work.
Neil: Julia’s boyfriend in New York. He doesn’t appear in the novel until the very end when Julia has moved to New York city with her two daughters.
Sarah: Julia’s second daughter. Named after Sarah Starzynski.