We don’t get to hear Sarah’s voice any more. It’s as if finding out about her brother had silenced her forever. It is through Julia we get to find out what happened to Sarah afterwards.
Sarah gets in contact with the grandchild of the people who took Sarah in back in 1942. The man tells her that Sarah left for the States, wanting to make a fresh start and forget about what had happened in France. The last letter Jules and Genevieve received from her was her announcing she was getting married. Julia travels to New York to be with her sister after she refused to have an abortion. I was so glad when she decided to keep the baby!!! I think it was wrong of her husband to force her to do something she didn’t want to do in the first place. I believe she would have regretted it, and in the end Bernard wouldn’t have been worth the sacrifice as he finally leaves Julia for his lover.
In America Julia manages to find the man who Sarah married, and when she goes to see the woman she thinks is Sarah, she discovers the woman is the man’s second wife and Sarah died a long time ago. She also learns that Sarah has a son living in Italy. I think at this point Julia is too obsessed with the matter, and she goes over the top. So after just arriving in America, she decides to travel to Italy to locate Sarah’s son. When she finally contacts the man, William, she realizes he doesn’t know anything about her mother’s past and the man reacts angrily, saying he doesn’t want to see her again. I guess his reaction is logical; I imagine he thought Julia’s interest is curiosity, and after what he discovers about her mother clearly implies that her mother wanted her past buried forever.
Back in Paris, months later, William comes to see her and he has a notebook belonging to her mother, the cupboard brass key, and a drawing of a boy in a cupboard. William and Julia read the entry in the notebook together. That was heartbreaking and made me cry. I think the hardest part of the story is not what Sarah and her parents went through in the camps, but the part about that little boy dying in that cupboard. I can’t imagine something worse for a little boy.
William and Julia don’t see each other again until two years later. Julia has her baby, a girl, and when her husband finally admits to loving Amelie, her lover, and wanting to move in with her, she and her two daughters move to New York. she starts working for a magazine and has a few boyfriends. When William contacts her again, he tells her what she longed to know. Finding about her mother’s story changed him and her marriage finished and he moved back to New York. Since William appeared, Sarah has felt drawn to him, and he has been in her mind since then. Then when they see each other again, they have a private moment and cry together when Julia reveals that her little girl’s name is Sarah. The novel ends here but the end implies that the story between Julia and William doesn’t finish there, rather starts from there.
I liked the story a lot. What I didn’t like very much about it was the use of stereotypes to describe the French as I mentioned in my previous entry. There are also stereotypical images about the Americans too, but they’re in a better light since the main narrator is an American. Apart from that, I didn’t like Julia’s husband at all; he was so selfish and unsympathetic. And his attitude towards his own baby daughter is simply pitiful.