Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Tatiana De Rosnay's Sarah’s Key. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Sarah’s Key: Context
Sarah’s Key: Plot Summary
Sarah’s Key: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Sarah’s Key: Themes
Sarah’s Key: Quotes
Sarah’s Key: Characters
Sarah’s Key: Symbols
Sarah’s Key: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Tatiana De Rosnay
Historical Context of Sarah’s Key
Other Books Related to Sarah’s Key
- Full Title: Sarah’s Key
- Where Written: Paris
- When Published: 2007
- Literary Period: Contemporary fiction; literary realism
- Genre: Historical fiction
- Setting: The majority of the novel (both Sarah’s and Julia’s timelines) takes place in Paris. However, Julia does spend time in the United States toward the end of the novel, when she is looking for Sarah and after she separates from her husband.
- Climax: Julia visits the home of Richard Rainsferd (Sarah Starzynski’s husband) and learns that Sarah died forty years earlier in a car crash.
- Antagonist: The French police who arrested and imprisoned the Starzynskis and thousands of other French Jews. Bertrand, Julia’s husband, is the main source of tension in Julia’s storyline, though he is not an outright “bad” character.
- Point of View: The first third of the novel alternates between a third-person narration of Sarah’s story and a first-person narration of Julia’s story. For the remainder of the book, Julia narrates in the first-person.
Extra Credit for Sarah’s Key
Polyglot. Tatiana de Rosnay describes herself as “franglaise,” a hybrid of the adjectives française (French) and anglaise (English). Although de Rosnay writes in both French and English, Sarah’s Key is the first novel she wrote in English.
Multimedia Success. Sarah’s Key was adapted into a French-directed film starring Kristin Scott Thomas as Julia Jarmond in 2010. The film, like the novel, is known in French as Elle s’appelait Sarah, or “Her Name Was Sarah.” This title is itself a song lyric, from Jean-Jacques Goldman’s 1982 song Comme toi (Like You), also about a Jewish girl named Sarah.