Publishing year: 2007
This new book alternates between 1942 and 2002. I really love the novels that go back and forth in time, and this one is about France during the World War II.
In 1942 there is a Jew family who is arrested by the French police. There are two children, but the girl hides her little brother in a built-in wardrobe and locks it. Nobody can find him because the wardrobe is concealed in the panelling of the walls. The girl thinks that she’ll be back soon to let her brother out, but then when they’re taken away, her father cries and tells her that they won’t be coming back. How horrible! That little boy, alone, hungry, and unable to get out. I imagine that he’ll probably die, and what a horrible way to die!!! Whenever I read about that time and the terrible things Jews had to go through, I feel lucky to have been born in the 70s. That period in history was so cruel and incredibly sad. Living in fear enslaves you and one can’t really be happy when you’re not really free. Even though here in Spain we didn’t fight the Second World War, the political system we had after the Civil war was also a regime of fear. Even when democracy was restored, my grandmother used to be afraid when her sons talked about political issues at home.
In 2002 the main character is Julia, an American journalist who is married to Bertrand, a French architect, and they have a girl, Zoë. Julia has been living in Paris for twenty-five years. Now the family are going to move to the apartment of Bertrand’s grandmother. Julia works for a magazine, and she’s assigned to write about the Del D’Hiv, the round-up of Jews in 1942, which is the event happening to the Jew family in the book.
Very interesting beginning. I’m afraid this is going to be a hard, sad read, but I know I’m going to like it. I love novels about the World War and learning more about them.