When I attend writer's conferences and meet "famous" authors, sometimes it's intimidating to make conversation.
I've discovered a sure fire ice breaker.
I ask what they've read recently that they loved. Or what's the best book they read in the last few months. Anything to get the conversational ball rolling. And, I've read some seriously good books because of it.
Here's one that I would never have picked up on my own, but I loved it. It's moving and sad and haunting.
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay is a World War II story set in France. It alternates between the present day and the 1942 round up of French Jews who were shipped to Auschwitz.
Sarah's family lives in Paris and are certain they are safe, in spite of the growing German sympathies.
Julia is an American married to a Frenchman and living in Paris in contemporary times. Julia writes for an American magazine and is assigned a story on the French deportations. As Julia researches and learns about the roundups, she is drawn into a chilling story that reaches into the present day.
I loved this story. The characters were real to me. I felt Sarah's heart break and Julia's soul crack open, then begin to heal. It's a book you won't forget. Ever.