Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key Chapter 40 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Through tears, Edouard describes the day of Sarah’s return to Julia. He can’t remember what was done with Michel’s body but he recalls his father, André Tézac, weeping after Sarah, Jules, and Geneviève left. It was the first time Edouard had seen his father cry. André forbade Edouard from telling his mother (Mamé), who was not at home in the apartment that day, about Sarah’s return. When André was on his deathbed, he even extorted a promise from Edouard to never tell his wife (Colette) or children. Edouard tells Julia that he would like to help her find out what happened to Sarah. André left confidential papers in a safe at the time of his death. Because Edouard went through these papers very hastily when his father died, he is not sure if there is any information about Sarah contained in them. Edouard and Julia head to the bank to examine the papers, but it has closed for the lunch hour. Edouard tells Julia he’ll return in the afternoon and phone her if the papers contain any information on Sarah.
In this chapter, Edouard gives his account of Sarah’s return to the apartment. At the request of his father, Edouard has kept this day a secret from his entire family for sixty years. This has clearly been torturous, and Edouard admits that this secret effectively destroyed his relationship with his father, replacing his sense of adoration of the man with resentment. The chapter introduces the possibility that something in André’s papers will not only redeem him in Edouard’s eyes but also provide clues to Sarah’s whereabouts. It also marks a significant shift in Julia’s relationship with her father-in-law, as he becomes her first ally—aside from her work colleagues—in the search for Sarah.
Themes
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon