Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key Chapter 28 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Julia sits at her “usual table” in the restaurant and waits for Bertrand to meet her. This is the same table at which she sat when Bertrand proposed, when she told him she was pregnant with Zoë, and when he told her about Amélie. Through Julia’s reflections, it is finally revealed that Amélie is Bertrand’s mistress, a former girlfriend whom “he [has] never stopped fucking.” Julia wonders if she still believes Bertrand’s firm declaration that he has stopped seeing Amélie once and for all.
This moment is important not only because it reveals Amélie’s identity, but also because it is a rare instance of profane language on Julia’s part. Her colloquial use of the word “fucking” to describe Bertrand’s relationship with Amélie is anomalous, and thus an indication of how angry she is about her husband’s infidelity. This makes the fact that she hardly discusses Amélie with Bertrand even more painful. The fact that Julia is sitting at her “usual table” also illustrates yet again how physical spaces function as receptacles of memory.
Themes
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Resolving not to think about Amélie and knowing Bertrand will be “late, as usual,” Julia takes out her notes on the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup and becomes absorbed in her work. Bertrand finally arrives, and soon after ordering dinner Julia reveals that she is pregnant. Bertrand sighs and wearily responds that he doesn’t want to be “an old father.” A baby, he says, “would not fit into our life.” Julia angrily realizes that Bertrand is asking her to have an abortion and she begins to sob, shutting out Bertrand’s voice as he tries to comfort her.
Bertrand’s reaction to Julia’s pregnancy is a key plot point, as it precipitates the eventual unraveling of Julia’s marriage. Julia’s attempt to shut out her husband’s voice as he soothes her also begins a long pattern of confused numbness on her part whenever she thinks about her pregnancy.
Themes
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
The Limits of Love Theme Icon