Tag Archives: Sarah’s Key

WWW Wednesday, 21-June-2017

21 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Still nothing with A Son of the Circus by John Irving. One more book to go before I jump back into it, though! Soon enough I’ll be back on this one.
I got through a bit of Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi. I had some technical difficulties opening it on my phone but those cleared up and I’m able to read it during lunch again.
I really pushed to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig this weekend. I didn’t make great progress, but I got through the first 150 pages or so. I think this is a book where if I don’t finish it, I can still go to the book club discussion and not have too much ruined for me. At least I hope it’s one of those books!
I started two new audiobook. The first is one for my phone, Abraham by Bruce Feiler. I heard Feiler speak a few years ago and have a signed copy of this book I haven’t gotten around to. Feiler narrates the audiobook so I’m having a good time of listening to him read it.
The second one is Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling. I could only find this audiobook on CD so I grabbed it to listen to in my car. Car audiobooks are usually a slow-go for me so I expect this to be on here for a while.

Recently finished: I finished up Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay on Friday. I really liked this one and I posted my review of it yesterday if you want to go check that out. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.
I forgot this one last week because I was determined not to write a review of it. I had to read a full book for my class so I wanted to count it toward my Goodreads goal for this year. The book was People Analytics in the Era of Big Data by Jean Paul Isson and Jesse S. Harriott. It was well written but doesn’t go along with the theme of this blog so I’ll leave my review at that.

Reading Next: I’m still not making plans! I need to get through what’s already on my plate before I even think of something else. I’m hoping to get back to Son of the Circus soon so I’ll concentrate on that.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Book Review: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (4/5)

20 Jun

This is one of those books I feel like every book club read before I joined book clubs. I’d heard good things about it and wanted to read it so when I saw it at a library book sale, I grabbed it. Of course, I never had time to get around to it so I ended up listening to the audiobook. This feels like a common theme lately, huh?

Cover image via Goodreads

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Summary from Goodreads:

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family’s apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d’Hiv’, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah’s past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

I think I’m a sucker for dual timeline historical fiction books. I really enjoy the format and find it helps make the history seem closer to me. I enjoyed both Sarah and Julia’s timelines though I wish Sarah’s had continued on a bit longer. I think it could have been done to an extent without giving away Sarah’s future too much. Anyway. Julia was a good character, though not very relatable for me. I liked her extended family, too. Sarah’s story was so sad that it was hard to hear at times. She grew up well before she should have due to her losses.

Even though I didn’t relate well to Julia, she was a well-developed character. She never felt like she fit in Paris as hard as she tried. I thought the relationship she had with her daughter Zoë was a little unbelievable for Zoë’s age, but that was minor and didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. Julia’s desire to find the truth was a great asset and I liked how she followed things through to the end, even when they were difficult.

Even though I didn’t like him as a person, Bertand was my favorite character. He was very opinionated and strong-willed which was fun to read. Yes, he was a terrible husband, but we knew that from the first scene when he was making fun of Julia for being an American even though it upset her. He doesn’t redeem himself when we find out he’s been unfaithful but gains some sympathy when he points out to Julia she’s been neglectful of him. I thought he was very realistic and I liked his character a lot, even if he was a total jerk.

There weren’t many characters in this book that felt relatable to me. Probably the most relatable thing was Julia’s feeling of not fitting in. It’s not the same, but I lived in Southern Indiana for college and I never felt like I fit in there. It was a small city with a strong farming community, very different from Metro Detroit! Even when I knew my way around and held jobs in town, I wasn’t from there and it seemed it was always obvious to everyone.

Tatiana de Rosnay
Image via the French Embassy in the United States

I liked Sarah’s timeline. Those were my favorite parts because they made me feel like I knew more than Julia and I liked watching her figure out what I already knew. Her story had more pressing dangers to it and I could feel the fast pace and immediacy to her story. Even though it was sad, I liked the pacing.

I disliked the storyline about Julia’s pregnancy only because I thought it was superfluous to the story. She could have had a fight with Bertand without that being the cause and she could have connected with William without it, too. It felt almost like an afterthought and was almost too convenient to push the plot forward.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Polly Stone. It must be a challenge to narrate a book with so many foreign words and I thought Stone handled that well. The one thing that bothered me, and I’ve witnessed this before, is that she gave the French characters French accents when they were speaking French. Maybe this is just my brain but the accents gave me a feeling of the characters not having mastery over the language even though they were speaking their native tongue. It’s a small thing, but it got to me. Besides this, Stone did a great job building tension and tackling all the French names and places.

Family was a hard thing for Sarah to deal with. After her loss, she never felt happy with the Defaures. I felt she was always wondering what she’d be doing if her parents and brother were still alive. Julia’s family is breaking up and she seems to be redefining what her family means to her. Can it be a family without Bertand? Can her family include one more? I thought these questions played on one another well. Sarah’s struggle was much more difficult and I’m glad it got so much attention in the later half of the book.

Writer’s Takeaway:  I’m really enjoying the dual timeline in historical fiction! I think it makes the story more relatable for a modern reader and it takes some of the pressures away of researching every small detail so finely. I might have to give this a try myself in my next book.

This was a really enjoyable title with a great history lesson and some really cool twists to it. Four out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Sarah’s Key, Tatiana de Rosnay | Literary Treats
Review: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay | The Book Stop
Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay | What Counts!
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay | Denton Public Library

WWW Wednesday, 14-June-2017

14 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Nothing with A Son of the Circus by John Irving. I think I’ll get back to it this summer, I’m just not sure when.
I made some small progress on Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi. There’s not much more reading for my class this summer so I’ll be able to enjoy this during lunch again! AND it’s about time to eat outside again. Woo!
I didn’t run as much as I thought I would this week so I haven’t made much progress with Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I think I’ll have it finished by next week, though!
I started Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Rober Pirsig over the weekend. I only have two weeks to read this one before my book club meets so I hope to fly through it. Fingers crossed!

Recently finished: I finished Tigerman on Saturday and got my review up yesterday! Go check it out and let me know what you think. I hope to have my book club reflection for it up tomorrow because we met Monday.

My review for Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express went up on Thursday. I gave it Four out of Five stars. I’m getting really excited for that movie adaptation! Who’s with me?
My review for Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris went up on Monday. I gave it Four out of Five stars.

Reading Next: No plans now. My next read will probably be an audiobook but I have no idea what title I’ll get. It all depends on what’s available at the time.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 7-June-2017

7 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: No movement on A Son of the Circus by John Irving. Still on hold pending free time and a break in the book club season.
I got through some more of Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi because I forgot to bring my school book to read during lunch. It meant more school reading over the weekend, but it was a nice break!
I got into Tigerman by Nick Harkaway this week and I’m really enjoying it now. The trouble is finding more time to read it. I get through a few pages before bed, but all my free time now is for school. It will be over soon…
I made some big progress with Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I’m finally seeing the two stories converge and I’m looking forward to them really crashing into each other.

Recently finished: Two finished! I feel like I’m winning at reading this week. The first is Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. My review for this one will be up next week. I enjoyed Sedaris’s commentary on life and I’ll just say here that I’m glad I’m not one of his sisters! I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
I also finished Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. It was perfect timing because my husband and I finished listening to it on Thursday, the same day the trailer for it came out! It looks like they’ve changed a few things around but it will be pretty close to the book based on the trailer. I can’t wait for that one!

I posted my book review for Landline by Rainbow Rowell so please go check that one out! It went up on Monday.

Reading Next: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Rober Pirsig is still waiting on my bedside table. I’ll pick it up as soon as I finish Tigerman.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 31-May-2017

31 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’m so sorry to say that I’ve put A Son of the Circus by John Irving aside for a while. I have some book club selections I need to get through first. I have all of the intentions in the world of finishing this one up and it makes me really sad to put it on hold.
I made some moderate progress with Love in the Elephant Tent by Kathleen Cremonesi but I’m wondering where this book is going because I’m 1/3 of the way through and they’re not in the elephant tent anymore! Is there another elephant tent coming?
My drive to work is better with Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. I’m about half way through it now and it’s been a good distraction from traffic.
I started reading Tigerman by Nick Harkaway, one of my book club selections. It’s OK but making me miss the Irving. I was at my parent’s cottage this weekend and found some good time to read.
My husband and I started a car-trip audiobook. I hope this one doesn’t take as long as some of our earlier ones! This time it’s Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. So far, we’re really enjoying it. As much as I have my suspicions about who it could be, I know Poirot will keep me guessing until the end!
I’ve just started Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay on audio. I love the cover of this one and saw it as a popular book club pick for a while so I’m interested to see where it goes!

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up Landline by Rainbow Rowell over the holiday weekend! I’m so glad to have finished a book. With all the ones I have in process, I’m not sure how quickly I’ll finish another one, haha. I think I’m only missing Rowell’s novella now before I’ve read all of her work. I plan to have a review for this one up early next week.
No reviews this week but as I said, Landline will be coming next week so there’s one to look forward to!

Reading Next: With so much going on, I don’t really want to think ahead, haha. I do know my next book club selection will be Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Rober Pirsig. I could only find a print version of this book so I’ll be reading it in that format after Tigerman.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!