Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key


Tatiana De Rosnay

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Sarah’s Key: Chapter 73 Summary & Analysis

Julia arrives home to find the entire Tézac family, along with Bertrand and Zoë, waiting in the living room. The family is split: Edouard, Zoë, and Cécile agree with Julia’s decision to research Sarah’s fate, but Colette and Laure disagree, and Bertrand remains silent. The family argues vehemently over the issue, and Zoë finally jumps in to reveal that, despite André Tézac’s efforts to hide Sarah’s story from his wife, Mamé has known all along. Before her stroke, Zoë says, Mamé stated that the Tézacs were wrong to have kept Sarah’s story hidden and that they “should have found the little girl’s family.” Zoë also declares that she wants to grow up to be like her mother. Edouard whispers to Julia that she’s done the right thing, and the family disperses. That evening Julia lies awake thinking of William. Zoë sneaks into Julia’s room and falls asleep with her mother. Though Julia feels peaceful thanks to Zoë’s presence, “the ache, the sadness” remains.
The extended argument among the members of the Tézac family attests to how upsetting and disruptive learning about historical traumas can be. Ultimately, Edouard’s approval and Zoë’s pride in her assure Julia that she made the right choice—yet the ache she feels suggests that she still feels there is work to be done. This suggests that Julia’s desire to learn about Sarah goes beyond prompting the Tézacs to break their habitual silence. On a personal level, Julia needs to feel that she has closure in her relationship with a person she has never, and will never, meet.
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