Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key


Tatiana De Rosnay

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Sarah’s Key: Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Julia recalls her phone call with her sister, in which Charla suggested Bertrand might be going through a midlife crisis.  After speaking to Charla, Julia then went to see her friend Isabelle, with whom she discussed the implications of separating from Bertrand. Julia feels incredibly conflicted. She will have to make a decision regarding an abortion within the next two weeks. Today, though, she is visiting Mamé. When she arrives at the nursing home, she recognizes Edouard’s car in the parking lot. After visiting with Mamé, Edouard asks to speak to Julia in his car. He says he’s learned from Zoë that Julia has continued her research—or, as Edouard calls it, her “prying into the past.” During the conversation that ensues, Edouard becomes distraught, repeatedly saying, “nobody knows.” Finally, he reveals that he was home in the rue de Saintonge apartment when Sarah returned.
Julia continues to agonize over whether she will carry her pregnancy to term. The most significant aspect of this chapter is the shift in Edouard’s character. In his car conversation with Julia, he suddenly shifts from being cold and slightly menacing to being vulnerable and emotional. Edouard’s transformation reveals that the reason he has tried to keep Julia from investigating the rue de Saintonge apartment is not because he is willfully ignorant, like Bertrand, but because he has been harboring unacknowledged emotional trauma related to that very apartment.
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