Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key

Marcelle Tézac, aka Mamé Character Analysis

Edouard’s mother and Bertrand’s paternal grandmother. At the beginning of the novel, Mamé is living in a nursing home due to her dementia. Mamé is outspoken and rebellious and has always been welcoming of Julia, despite the fact that she is American. Mamé willingly discusses the roundup with Julia, expressing pain and shame at the way her country acted. Mamé suffers a stroke at the end of the novel, but before this happens she reveals to Zoë that she knew about Sarah Starzynski’s return to the rue de Saintonge apartment and her discovery of her dead brother.

Marcelle Tézac, aka Mamé Quotes in Sarah’s Key

The Sarah’s Key quotes below are all either spoken by Marcelle Tézac, aka Mamé or refer to Marcelle Tézac, aka Mamé . 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 22 Quotes

“Please don’t worry about it,” I said. “I don’t use my married name.”
“It’s an American thing,” said Mamé. “Miss Jarmond is American.”
“Yes, I had noticed that,” said Véronique, in better spirits.
Noticed what? I felt like asking. My accent, my clothes, my shoes?

Related Characters: Julia Jarmond (speaker), Marcelle Tézac, aka Mamé
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
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Marcelle Tézac, aka Mamé Character Timeline in Sarah’s Key

The timeline below shows where the character Marcelle Tézac, aka Mamé appears in Sarah’s Key. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...Zoë, visit the apartment they are about to move into. The apartment formerly belonged to Mamé Tézac, the grandmother of Julia’s husband, Bertrand. Julia and Zoë are accompanied on their visit... (full context)
Chapter 4
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
Back in 2002, Julia, Zoë, and Antoine begin a tour of Mamé’s old apartment. Julia tells Antoine that it was Bertrand’s idea to renovate the place, and... (full context)
Chapter 8
Identity Theme Icon
...makes her feel foolish. She changes the subject, asking Bertrand if he’s been to visit Mamé recently, to which he responds in the negative. As she leaves the apartment, Julia once... (full context)
Chapter 22
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Julia visits Mamé at the nursing home where she lives. Mamé suffers from dementia and Julia has been... (full context)
Chapter 24
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
Julia leaves Mamé’s nursing home “in a sort of daze” and heads to the rue de Saintonge apartment.... (full context)
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Julia phones Bertrand and asks if his family ever told him that Mamé and her family had moved into the apartment after the roundup. Bertrand says he didn’t... (full context)
Chapter 30
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
...gets another phone call, this time from her father-in-law, Edouard Tézac. Edouard has learned from Mamé, his mother, that Julia has been asking her questions about the rue de Saintonge apartment.... (full context)
Chapter 38
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...a decision regarding an abortion within the next two weeks. Today, though, she is visiting Mamé. When she arrives at the nursing home, she recognizes Edouard’s car in the parking lot.... (full context)
Chapter 40
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Guilt Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 69
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
...Julia is visiting the apartment to make some decorating decisions, she receives a call from Mamé’s nursing home. Mamé has had a stroke and the home has been unable to reach... (full context)
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
...recently discovered while visiting his father. Julia’s phone rings—it is Edouard, who tells her that Mamé has been asking for her. Julia asks William to come with her, saying, “There’s someone... (full context)
Chapter 70
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
Julia visits Mamé, along with William, Bertrand, Colette, Edouard, Laure, and Cécile. After the family is informed that... (full context)
Chapter 73
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 75
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
...confessed that he was in love with Amélie and would be moving in with her. Mamé died a few months later. One day, Zoë voiced her mother’s thoughts, asking, “Mom, do... (full context)