Tag Archives: Tatiana de Rosnay

‘A Secret Kept’ by Tatiana de Rosnay

A Secret KeptstarstarstarAfter the enormous success of her earlier book  Sarah’s Key, and the subsequent movie hit, I must say I was a little disappointed with her second novel. Although the story is interesting enough and definitely kept my attention, the secret was not kept well enough because I had it figured out very early on, and I did not find it as  shocking as the author seems to think.

Set in France, a brother surprises his sister with a nostalgia visit to an island they used to vacation on as children. Revisiting this setting unleashes a troublesome memory which distracts the sister enough while driving to cause a serious car accident. The tragedy sets off a series of events which become revealing in a number of different ways. The story focuses on love, family, and the power memory holds on our lives. It explores various relationships and how we view our past and people like our parents.

The setting of the story is unique and makes me want to go there. Le Gois is a causeway leading to the island of Noirmoutier.  The passage has limited access because it becomes covered by the tides, rendering it a dangerous crossing and regularly impossible. It becomes a powerful symbol in the book.

‘Sarah’s Key’, by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah’s Key unlocks a powerful story that is so well written it is hard to put down. This book is one of those gems that will be read, remembered, and recommended to many. So many people in the story were unaware of the events  in Paris on July 16, 1942,  and I confess that I was also unaware.

The Velodrome d’Hiver roundup (Vel d’Hiv) is a historical reality in France that is hard to bear but should never be forgotten.  “Nobody remembers. Why should they? Those were the darkest days of our country.” But de Rosnay has given us a story that is compelling, hopeful, and healing.

The narrative switches between Sarah’s voice during the time of the Holocaust and Julia’s voice in the present day, until they finally merge and secrets are revealed.

Here is a short video of the author speaking about the book, there are no spoilers in it.