The moral of the story is that when I make rules for myself, I must have had a good reason so I should not turn around and break them. I made a rule for myself long ago never to read books or watch movies having to do with the Holocaust, and this book is what I get for breaking that rule.
To be fair, though, the Holocaust related parts of this book are the only ones worth reading. I couldn't enjoy them, of course, because me and the Holocaust don't mix, but they were at least well written and pretty compelling. Unfortunately those parts of the book comprise barely 25%.
The rest of the book is devoted to the extremely grating character Julia and her boring marital problems, and her preachy, pretentious obsession with the events of the Vel d'Hiv round up. Good for you, Julia, for caring about the Jews during World War II. You're such a good person. So much better than the rest of us.
de Rosnay attempts to create on of those books that takes place in two different time periods with seemingly unrelated characters, but then it turns out that they're actually connected and it's all a big surprise that takes your breath away. You know those books? Yeah. But she fails, big time. The connection is tenuous and completely lacks the intensity that de Rosnay seems to think it has. Quite frankly, it's boring and dumb, and I quit caring long before I finally quit the book at 75% through.
I finally gave up when Julia started waxing envious of the "exotic" colors of her sister's kitchen. Really? This is good writing? Ugh. I can't recommend this book to anyone. It is not good.