Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key Chapter 51 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
At home, Julia reads the letter given to her by Gaspard. She shares it with Edouard over the phone. The letter is dated September 1946 and in it Geneviève thanks Alain and his wife, Henriette, for hosting Sarah for the summer. Geneviève writes that Sarah never speaks of her family, but that she often sits for hours in front of her brother’s grave, holding the key. Geneviève says that “peace has a bitter taste,” and that she feels she now lives in a France that she doesn’t recognize.
Geneviève’s letter paints a picture of Sarah as a painfully quiet person who is intensely private about her pain. Geneviève expresses her wish that Sarah would share her pain—or, at the very least, allow Geneviève to accompany her to Michel’s grave. This suggests the hopeful possibility that Sarah might have found some relief in sharing her grief with her adopted family. However, both the situational narration and the letter itself are relatively unsentimental; the reality seems to be that no amount of talking could have ever appreciably lessened Sarah’s terrible grief.
Themes
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
The Limits of Love Theme Icon