The Things We Cherished

The Things We Cherished

by Pam Jenoff
4.0 15

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff

Charlotte Gold is shocked when her ex-fiancé Brian appears on the doorstep of her law office with a troubling case. Roger Dykmans, a wealthy financier and the brother of a Holocaust hero, has been accused of World War II-era war crimes, including the betrayal of his brother and the Jews he tried to save. All Charlotte needs to do is travel to Munich and help Brian’s estranged brother Jack prove Roger’s innocence.
 
Despite her misgivings, Charlotte agrees, but the case is soon hindered by the client himself. Roger refuses to help with his own defense, revealing only that proof of his innocence lies inside an intricate timepiece last seen in Nazi Germany. As Jack and Charlotte track the anniversary clock through the past century, they learn of Roger’s love for his brother’s Jewish wife, Magda, and the tragic decisions he had to make to save her—all the while fighting a growing attraction of their own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307742421
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/10/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 86,687
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

PAM JENOFF is the author of The Kommandant’s Girl, The Diplomat’s Wife, Almost Home, and Hidden Things. She attended George Washington Univer­sity, Cambridge University in England, where she received a master’s in history, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A former Special Assis­tant to the Secretary of the Army and State Department officer, she lives in Philadelphia, where she works as an attorney.

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The Things We Cherished 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
The story describes two love triangles - a century apart. Today's lawyers, the Warrington brothers and Charlotte Gold, are tasked with the defense of Roger Dykmans who loved his brother's wife Magda during the Holocaust. The narrative is woven around the tale of a handcrafted timepiece which has a heartbreaking past of its own. Young adult and adult readers may enjoy the mystery of the clock's evidence as a defense against the horrible crime of betraying a brother and innocent children to the Nazis. The love stories convey elation, uncertainty, longing, and denial. The author easily navigates from one time period to another with well-written dialogue and prose. The characters are both relatable and sympathetic, the reader will enjoy them. The plot is horrifying yet interesting, the reader's attention will be held.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a well-written book and a fast read with a captivating story. In one present-day storyline, two brothers and a woman are caught up in a love triangle while defending an elderly man of World War II-era war crimes. In another storyline set in Nazi Germany, two brothers and a woman are also caught up in a love triangle. And in several other storylines, the reader peeks into various lives that were connected to an anniversary clock, which is also connected to the two love triangles. It sounds complicated, but the author pulls it off nicely, resulting in an interesting story. The only problem is that it is hard to identify with the people in the present-day love story because their story seems trite and their separation pointless when compared to the story that takes place during the horrors of World War II. Nonetheless, it is an interesting story that those who enjoy World War II fiction will surely enjoy.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
It is sometimes hard for me to pick up a novel like this one, mostly because I have read so many Holocaust period books, and I fear that I will be disappointed if a writer doesn't live up to my impossibly high standards. The Things We Cherished went above and beyond those expectations, and I read it cover to cover in one day. Centering the historical aspects on the anniversary clock allowed the reader to see the full sentimental value that it held for all the lives it touched after its creation. It made the alternating chapters from the present day so much more meaningful, and still gave me the opportunity to try and figure out how it was going to come together in the end. The story of the lawyers was also well written, and purposeful. The romance was realistic and painful; the characters had their own history that was influencing their current case, making the story one that I couldn't put down until I read the very end. I appreciated the fact that Charlotte's character was Jewish, the daughter of a holocaust survivor, and didn't automatically assume the client was guilty; in fact she was more determined to prove his innocence. There are some great parallels in the story between the present day attorney's and the historical family which were subtle and well written. I really can't say much more about this novel without any spoilers, so I will just say: READ THIS BOOK. That's all. Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In 2009, Charlotte Gold is a public defender who stands beneath the slightly-pompous eyes of William Penn in Philadelphia, where she works day in and day out helping the children of the streets who deserve a fair trial and a better break. Now Charlotte wasn't on the road to this career at the beginning of her legal life. In fact, this brilliant woman was headed to the other side of the lawyerly 'fence' spending her time investigating war crimes, and was offered a place at The Hague to continue her efforts. But, fate intervened, and Charlotte fell in love with Brian Warrington along the way. Let's just say that morals and truth-telling were not exactly Brian's forte (not a big shock, considering he was a lawyer). One morning, after Charlotte has been killing herself to help one of her young clients who has gotten himself into another mess, Charlotte goes back to her small office, opens the door, and sitting there, after ten years, is the ex-fiancé who broke her heart. Brian has gotten a little pudgy around the middle, and the bags under his eyes, as well as the wrinkles on his brow spell desperation, not the 'enjoyment of life.' He married the woman he dumped Charlotte for and is looking a bit terrified at the next chapter about to unfold; but, what he still wants is that partnership, and the only way he can achieve it is by defending a man by the name of Roger Dykmans. This is a client who is going to pay for back-stabbing his brother and causing Hans Dykmans, who was a man like Schindler that helped many Jewish people during WWII to escape, to be hung. Brian needs Charlotte's help because of her background and knowledge of the Holocaust, as well as her gift of getting clients to trust her. Although Charlotte doesn't quite know why she doesn't slam the door in his face, she ends up going to Munich for one week to, perhaps, revisit her past and see what she can do. The journey of this particular clock is unbelievably stunning. From Bavaria to Berlin in 1922, to Breslau in the 1940's - this clock holds special meaning and unknown secrets as it passes through the hands of many who have their own unique story to tell. As Pam Jenoff does consistently well, the past and the present weave together to offer a look at everything from bigotry, denial, forgiveness, love, pain, war, and.sacrifice. The romance is stunning. The characters are perfectly drawn, as if the reader is sitting in these locations listening to the sound of the sirens, and watching people give everything up in order to save the ones they love. The beauty of Pam Jenoff's pages is indescribable on this one. This is an immaculately told passage through time, where a relic teaches us all that nothing should ever be left unsaid, and that everyone needs to find the courage to stand up for what they believe in and declare what they feel before it's too late. Quill Says: Breathtaking! There should never be a time when Jenoff's name is not in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list.unless, of course, she takes a month or two off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
duchenf More than 1 year ago
The premise is interesting, but I did not feel connected to any of the characters. None of them felt that real to me. It could be skipping back and forth in time made it more difficult to identify with anyone, but I had to force myself to finish the book for my book club meeting. I did not care that much about any character to want to know how their stories ended.
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gl More than 1 year ago
I confess that I began The Things We Cherished fully predisposed to fall for the story and the characters. Historical fiction set during World War II, a Holocaust hero who loses his life while saving Jews in Germany, "fiercely independent attorneys who find themselves slowly falling for one another", and a heart-wrenching, life altering love story -- a recipe for a fascinating and engrossing read. Here's what I enjoyed about The Things We Cherished and why I recommend that you read it too: Pam Jenoff has created complex, sympathetic, and engaging characters -- both those that lived during World War II and those lawyers living in the present -- and Jenoff forces each of the characters to face nuanced, big picture dilemmas while keeping the characters real. Jenoff has taken great care to make each of the people that you meet memorable. One of my favorites is a less central character, a clockmaker named Johann who lived in a small town in Bavaria in 1902. Johann advances the materials to create a one of a kind anniversary clock in the hope that the wealthiest man in their small town will make good on his order and that this will enable him to take his pregnant wife Rebecca to America. The clock is his chance to make a new start, just as the town's economy seems to be collapsing. When he's completed the clock, he dresses in his best clothes and brings his work to the merchant. When the wealthy Herr Hoffel refuses to pay the agreed 100 because business is slow, it takes courage and a sense of his own worth for Johann to refuse the offer. The scene comes early in the book and as I read it, Johann reminded me of the father in Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief, one of my favorite literary characters. Jenoff takes seemingly unconnected story lines that are each interesting on their own and weaves them together to make this deeply engrossing and satisfying read. ISBN-10: 0385534205 - Hardcover $27.95 Publisher: Doubleday (July 12, 2011), 304 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lawral More than 1 year ago
When Charlotte's ex, Brian, shows up in her office asking for help on a case, she wants to say no. She really does. Instead she finds herself in Germany working on Brian's case with Brian's brother Jack (Brian himself being unable to make it). Their client, Roger Dykmans, is accused of WWII-era war crimes, and though he refuses to cooperate with his own defense team, he insists that he is innocent. As Charlotte and Jack investigate Roger's past, they end up getting to know each other, and Charlotte begins to see Jack in ways she never expected to see an ex's sibling. Chapters alternate between Roger's life in the 1930s and earlier and Charlotte and Jack in present day, with flashes of a turn of the century clockmaker mixed in. Jenoff really managed to create atmosphere in the past stories in a way that was lacking the the present day storyline. On the other hand, the past stories weren't nearly as fleshed out as that of Charlotte and Jack. The romance in each of the storylines was convincing, complicated, and (mostly) tragic, but they all lined up a little too nicely for my taste. Once something happened in Roger's life it was easy to see how it would be replicated in Charlotte and Jack's interactions. But while the plots of the past and present stories were connected, 1930s Roger seemed to have very little to do with 2000s Roger. In the present day he is just a reason for Charlotte and Jack to flit about Europe and do some digging; he never really became a character. I get it; his life was SUPER tragic and he deserves to spend his old age locked in a shell. Still. And (not to get to spoilery) Jenoff takes an easy out of the one situation that could make past-Roger and present-Roger collide. Even so, this was a pretty enjoyable read. I just wish that when it came time for an ending, Charlotte and Jack weren't Jenoff's only concerns. Book source: ARC provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program