The story weaves in the 1942 roundup of French Jews by the French Vichy Police and their expulsion to their deaths in Nazi camps. Sarah, a ten-year-old French Jew, leaves her little brother locked in a secret cabinet when the police come for her family. She believes he’ll be safe there until they return. Sixty years later, Julia is researching the roundup for an article and the two tales converge and weave together in a way that changes the lives of all involved.
I’d argue that it will change the reader as well.
The extermination of millions of Jews is a sensitive subject for all countries involved. The French police under German domination went against their own citizens and expelled them, simply because they were Jewish.
Julia’s drive to get to the truth and take on this taboo topic while living and working in Paris, makes her a noble and sympathetic character from the start.
The novel started a little slow for me, but once everything starts piecing together, I was so hooked that I couldn’t set it down. I held my breath to the last page and was delightfully surprised by the twists and turns.