Sarah Starzynski is a fast thinking, determined young girl. She demonstrates her love for her brother, Michel, by protecting him when the French police are threatening to take them away from their home and she never wavers in her resolve to return to the apartment to “rescue” him after she locked him in the cupboard. She is willing to risk her own life to keep her promise to come back for him.
In the beginning of the story, Sarah is a bit naïve in her thinking about the danger of her family’s situation. She believes they are safe because it is the French police and not the German Nazis that are arresting them. She also has blind faith that her parents will be able to fix the situation. Unfortunately, Sarah learns quickly, that the police and her parents cannot be depended upon to keep her safe. Sarah’s parents disappoint her when appear to be resigned to their fate and they do not attempt to rescue Michel. Sarah takes it upon herself to keep her promise to her brother. She shows bravery and cunning when she escapes and convinces the French policeman to allow her to return to Paris.
As an adult, Sarah is unable to learn how to live with the memories and events of 1942. Her son, William, surmises that the car accident that killed her at the age of 52, was actually suicide.
Michel is Sarah’s four-year-old brother who dies in the secret cupboard while waiting for his family to return.
Sarah’s father had been hiding from the police for days before his entire family is taken into custody. Neither parent explained the situation honestly to Sarah, even when she asked them for straightforward answers. They are so distraught by the entire situation that they give up trying soon after they are arrested.
Geneviève and Jules Dufaure
Geneviève and Jules Dufaure are the couple who take Sarah and Rachel in during their escape. They do everything within their power to protect the girls, even risk their own lives when the French police show up...
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