Julia attends the Vel’ d’Hiv’ commemoration with Guillaume. She has to resist the urge to scan the faces in the crowd in search of Sarah. As she leaves the commemoration, on her way to meet Nathalie Dufaure, Julia wonders if she still cares what Bertrand will think about her decision to carry the pregnancy to term.
The commemoration ceremony is depicted as respectful and responsible. This is the first time in the novel that the French government is shown to be practicing any form of accountability for its role in the Holocaust. Julia’s sense of detachment from Bertrand shows the limits of her love for him, and foreshadows the couple’s eventual separation.