Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: The Things We Cherished

The Things We Cherished
By Pam Jenoff
Publication date: July 12, 2011

My review:

Charlotte Gold is surprised when her ex-boyfriend Brian Warrington stops by to visit her at her law office and requests her help on a high profile case. The case in question involves Roger Dykmans, the brother of Hans Dykmans, a hero who saved the lives of countless Jews in WWII. Roger is being accused of collaboration with the Nazi government, an act that led to his brother's death and that of many Jewish children. Charlotte reluctantly agrees to help with the case and she chases leads to Poland and Germany. Working on the case with her is Brian's older brother Jack. Charlotte and Jack clash over how to handle the investigation but she finds herself falling for him as they travel across Europe together to prove Dykmans' innocence.

The Things We Cherished combines mystery, history, and romance into a page turning story. I enjoyed reading the historical chapters as we learn about the history of the anniversary clock and its importance to the plot. There was also plenty of suspense as characters were involved with the resistance or hiding from the Nazis. The contemporary story was not quite as fascinating though I did like both Charlotte and Jack. Their romance echoes that of another love story in the book which I thought was a nice touch.

While I couldn't wait to find out what happened, in the end I was a little disappointed. Some of the characters seemed to disappear from the story and it felt sort of anticlimactic. The romance between Charlotte and Jack became a little too important or central to the plot than it should have been. It would have been nice if the focus remained on solving the mystery. I also had issues with Roger's actions and that particular romance. Still, I liked The Things We Cherished and found myself pulled into the story. Fans of Sarah's Key might enjoy this because of the mix of historical and contemporary elements though The Things We Cherished is not such a gritty or emotional novel. I was also reminded of People of the Book because of all the different threads of a story tied together by the same object. The Things We Cherished may have some flaws but I liked it anyway and I will be trying other books by Pam Jenoff.

Readalikes: The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier, Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks


  1. I really want to try PamJ work this year, I think I have chosen Hidden Affair.

  2. Great review! I will definitely be looking for this one. (:

    ♥ Book nerds are pretty too

  3. Oh, love the sound of this! Especially the mystery aspect. I did really enjoy Sarah's Key so maybe I'll check this one out sometime. Great review!

  4. Oh, I'm so sad to see that you thought the romance overshadowed the other elements. I really admire an author who can keep the romantic parts in check because often other aspects are even more gripping. Not sure if I will give this a try although I do love WWII related books.

  5. Sorry it didn't rock your world. The cover is so romantic.


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