Monday, May 23, 2011

The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff

The Things We Cherished
Author: Pam Jenoff
Publisher: Doubleday
Expected Publication Date: July 12, 2011
Hardcover: 304 pages
Source: won from GoodReads

My Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from 
An ambitious novel that spans decades and continents, The Things We Cherished tells the story of Charlotte Gold and Jack Harrington, two fiercely independent attor neys who find themselves slowly falling for one another while working to defend the brother of a Holocaust hero against allegations of World War II–era war crimes. 

The defendant, wealthy financier Roger Dykmans, mysteri­ously refuses to help in his own defense, revealing only that proof of his innocence lies within an intricate timepiece last seen in Nazi Germany. As the narrative moves from Philadelphia to Germany, Poland, and Italy, we are given glimpses of the lives that the anniversary clock has touched over the past century, and learn about the love affair that turned a brother into a traitor.

My Thoughts: I have read two of Pam Jenoff's book earlier this year and thought that they were okay. Her newest book, The Things We Cherished, is a really good book. Her writing and characterization have improved with each book that she has written, which is evident in her latest novel. Her novel moves between a present-day courtcase and passages of time, going back as for as the 1910s. The present-day proceedings are told from Charlotte's point of view, chronicling her work as a public defender in Philadelphia to her travels through Europe. The chapters that go back in time are told for the point of view of various people, from a clockmaker to a young Roger Dykmans to a young woman in East Berlin. 

The characters are all believable and relatable. I found that Charlotte was likeable and I found her story real. I also real enjoyed the setting of present-day Europe and war-time Poland. I thought that Jenoff wrote clearly and did a great job of painting the scene without making it drag or seem like too much detail. If I have any complaints about the book, it's that it didn't have a thriller aspect like her other books. If you have read any of Pam Jenoff's other books or enjoy World War II fiction, then this a book that you should definitely check out!


  1. I keep meaning to read Pam Jenoff's books. This new one sounds very appealing to me. Thanks for highlighting it. I'm off to see about finding it!

  2. I really want to read this one. Thanks for the introduction and I enjoyed your review.