Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key

Julia’s younger sister, an attorney. Julia is very close to Charla, who is one of the few people Julia tells about her pregnancy in its early stages. Charla lives in New York City. She is married to a man named Barry and divorced from her first husband, Ben, with whom she has two children, Cooper and Alex. It is Charla who tracks down Sarah Starzynski’s husband, Richard Rainsferd, in Connecticut. Charla is a commanding, vibrant presence, which is demonstrated by the bright colors in which she has painted her house. (These stand in stark contrast to the neutral colors Julia prefers.) Charla is very disapproving of Bertrand, finding him arrogant, and she also cautions Julia about the dangers of discussing Sarah Starzynski’s past with her son, William, saying, “Maybe he doesn’t want to be reminded.”

Charla Quotes in Sarah’s Key

The Sarah’s Key quotes below are all either spoken by Charla or refer to Charla . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the St. Martin’s Press edition of Sarah’s Key published in 2008.
Chapter 47 Quotes

After my conversation with my sister, I lay on the sofa for a long time, my hand folded over my stomach like a protective shield. Little by little, I felt vitality pumping back into me.
As ever, I thought of Sarah Starzynski, and of what I now knew. I had not needed to tape Gaspard Dufaure. Nor jot anything down. It was all written inside me.

Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
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Charla Character Timeline in Sarah’s Key

The timeline below shows where the character Charla appears in Sarah’s Key. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...life story. She grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, with a mother, father, and younger sister, Charla. Even as a girl she was captivated by Paris, drawn to the city’s “paradoxes, its... (full context)
Chapter 34
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
...with compassion and support. On the drive to Beaune-la-Rolande, Julia thinks about calling her sister, Charla, to tell her about her pregnancy. (full context)
Chapter 36
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...police. As she contemplates the monument, Julia hears her cell phone ring. It’s her sister, Charla, who says, “I had a feeling I should call you.” (full context)
Chapter 38
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Chapter 43
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
...day as the Vel’ d’Hiv’ commemoration. Zoë has left for the States to stay with Charla for the summer, and Julia will join her later. Without her daughter, Julia feels lonely.... (full context)
Chapter 47
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...Nathalie and Gaspard in Orléans, Julia lies down, exhausted. She receives a phone call from Charla. When she learns that Julia has not had the abortion, Charla says she is “so... (full context)
Chapter 53
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
...writes that she will be married to a man named Richard Rainsferd. Julia immediately calls Charla and asks her if she can help track someone for her. Before she can give... (full context)
Chapter 57
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
Julia is thrilled to be reunited with Charla. In her sister’s New York City apartment, Julia explains Sarah’s story in full. As soon... (full context)
Chapter 60
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
The Limits of Love Theme Icon
...are expecting her to come visit them in Massachusetts. She starts by explaining everything to Charla, expecting her support. Charla, however, is hesitant, reminding Julia that she is pregnant and probably... (full context)
Chapter 76
Identity Theme Icon
...moving, Julia insisted the move would not be permanent. Initially, Julia and Zoë stayed with Charla, but then moved into their own apartment. Julia now works from home for a French... (full context)
Chapter 80
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
...in January of 2005 causes Julia to wonder even more acutely about William. Along with Charla and Zoë, Julia watches the commemoration ceremony on TV, marveling at the candles “glowing through... (full context)