Jun 21, 2011

Book Review: The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff

The Things We Cherished: A Novel

The Things We Cherished
Author:  Pam Jenoff
Publisher:  DoubleDay
Expected Publication:  July 12th 2011

From Goodreads:

An ambitious novel that spans decades and continents, The Things We Cherished tells the story of Charlotte Gold and Jack Harrington, two fiercely independent attor­neys 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.

Rich in historical detail, Jenoff’s astonishing new work is a testament to true love under the worst of circumstances.


The Things We Cherished is a book that should have touched me more than it did, but somehow it fell flat.  Anything about the Holocaust is poignant, it was the main characters in The Things We Cherished that didn't work so well for me.

There are really two stories going on in The Things We Cherished.  One is the main story of Roger Dykmans, the man currently in jail accused of a war crime.  He is accused of ratting out  his brother who was at the time saving hundreds of Jews escape.  There is a clock involved in this story that is suppose to symbol something, but I just didn't get it.  Maybe, it is what it is..a clock.  Who knows.  I was interested in what happen with Roger back during World War II.  I kept reading on to find answers, but was disappointed.  As I mentioned earlier it fell flat, still the ride was somewhat enjoyable even if the destination wasn't all that great in the end.  

The other story going on involves Charlotte and Jack.  I really didn't like either of them, so it was hard to be interested in them.  I didn't feel any chemistry between them, and everything happened so quickly for  me to appreciate.  

It wasn't all a bust though.  It's really hard to explain my love for historical fiction circa World War II because it's such horrible subject, but the stories of triumph  and survival are so touching.  Pam Jenoff has a way with words, as well.  I think she is a fabulous writer, The Things We Cherished just happen to be my least favorite.

If you enjoy reading novels that take place during the Holocaust then you might want to give this a try, but I would check it out from the library.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read her but all of her books sound interesting. Sorry it fell flat for you. :(


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