This is the second book with dual-storylines that I've read, in as many weeks. And it's *almost* a historical book. It was done better than the other book, but I'm still stretching it to make it a 3 star "like" vs a 2 star "meh"
Sarah is a little Parisian Jewish girl who gets caught up in the Vel' D'Hiv roundup. Her parents are with her when they're sent to the Velodrome d'Hiver and we see her journey from her home, to the Velodrome, to the deportation camps and what happens after.
Julia is an American born, dual citizen/Parisienne journalist writing for an American publication in Paris. She's given the task of writing about the Vel'D'Hiv roundup since the anniversary is coming up (1942-2002). She uncovers some secrets regarding the family she's married into and the apartment they live in.
It's a compelling story through Sarah's chapters. It's an OK story through Julia's chapters, until her personal life (philandering husband, pregnancy, etc.) get in the way. Those parts of the story bored the pee-water out of me, and I just wish the novel were a bit tighter.
I give it a bonus, because I am woefully ignorant of much of modern history (anything beyond ancient Greek or Roman, really) and I know nothing about France during the war (you know, beyond American posturing and bragging about saving those wussie Frenchies's collective asses /natch), and learning about a dark time in Paris was interesting. I do wish Julia had gone back to do more journalist digging (finding out about the French policemen) like her boss talked about, but I guess that could have taken away from the primary story line.
It's a decent fast read. I've read worse, I just wouldn't really recommend it.