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The Things We Cherished

by
3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  3,585 Ratings  ·  340 Reviews
Roger Dykmans, a university student, is living with his brother Hans, an international emissary who's secretly working against the Nazis. As time goes by, Roger finds himself increasingly drawn to Magda, Hans' Jewish wife. But their secret world is turned upside down when Magda and her young daughter, Anna, are arrested by the Nazis.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Sphere (first published July 12th 2011)
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Jessica at Book Sake
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. ...more
Erin
Jul 15, 2011 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I’m a WWII junkie, but Holocaust fiction has always been hit and miss in my book. It wasn’t until reading The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman, that I was truly moved by the adapted subject matter which is what led me to Pam Jenoff's The Things We Cherished. I was familiar with Jenoff’s work, but even so, the material and angle seemed rather ambitious. Truth be told, I wasn't convinced she could pull off dual timelines anchored b
...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I got less than 30 pages into this book before giving up, because it has the most pathetic protagonist ever. She's still mooning over the ex who dumped her years ago, and in the meanwhile, she has no friends, no hobbies, no interests outside of work. She never takes her vacation days because she has nothing else to do. It's implied that her lack of a man is the reason for her pathetic life--which is pretty pathetic in itself--but if she needs a man so badly, then really, there's no excuse for he ...more
Sharon Huether
Apr 14, 2012 Sharon Huether rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, wwii, fiction
The Things We Cherished ..by .. Pam Jenoff ... The Story set during WW II and present day, revolves around a glass domed anniversary clock. The mystery of it's whereabouts brings friends together, a father and daughter united after his death, a hope to go to America and setting the presumed guilty free. The author did such a good job of making the story so real. I'll be reading more of her books.
Amy Lignor
Sep 10, 2011 Amy Lignor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book titled, The Kommandant’s Girl crossed my path back in 2007, and unveiled one of the most incredible writers that this world had seen in a very long time. We’re not only speaking about a ‘great’ plot or a fascinating story; we are speaking about the ebb and flow of a novel that is so scintillating and beautiful that a reader can not, will not, and does not have the power to put the book down until the very last word has been read.

Pam Jenoff, now an internationally bestselling author, is a
...more
Gaby
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.


In fact, I started the book yesterday as I traveled from NYC to Boston. It was the perfect escape fo
...more
Jennifer
Feb 17, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this because the author is coming to town soon and I was contemplating going to see her. However, finding the book as unimaginative as I did, I don't think I'll be going. I have read other books with very similar plots. From the beginning this book lacked originality. The love triangle is about as prosaic as you get; I could tell in the first ten pages what would happen at the end. There are certain phrases the author used repeatedly, such as hearing a "scratching" noise whenever someone ...more
Marquise
"Good premise, poor execution" seems to be the mantra I'm stumbling upon in my recent WWII fiction reading spree. This one suffers from the handling of the dual-time narration, where the modern story loses points by having a pathetic bunch for protagonists and a completely unconvincing romance where there's no chemistry at all, and the WWII story in the past suffers from being too short, having too unexplored and unfleshed-out characters. The latter was actually the best part of this book, and I ...more
Michael
Jan 26, 2014 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I remember anxiously wanting to read this book for the longest. Needless to say I was disappointed knowing that this is the same author that wrote The Kommandant's daughter( which I did not like at all by the way). However I thought that this would have been drastically different, sadly this was a boring and inconsistent mess. I just don't understand what purpose of this book was, the plot was never defined while reading it, ugh another book that has a lot of critical praise but little substance ...more
Leslie
May 10, 2011 Leslie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jenoff has been on my radar for a long time, so I was grateful to be able to read this ARC. Perhaps my expectations were too high, because I was disappointed in the character development and the cliched writing. Still, I will look at some of her books as they have gotten good reviews and have been suggested for book discussion.
Nadine Sabet-tushe
I had high expectations for this book since it involves so many of my favorite elements- WWII drama, international law, a historical and a contemporary love story. While it was a quick and not unpleasant read, I think its light treatment of these very heavy themes was what made me find it lacking. The characters felt shallow and undeveloped, and as a lawyer myself, I found Charlotte and the other modern characters cliche and unbelievable at times. The historical chapters piqued my interest, but ...more
Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf)
Review available on Mina's Bookshelf http://minadecaro.blogspot.com/2013/0...

Charlotte Gold is a public defender and daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She used to be an associate attorney for a big New York firm, but after the devastating loss of her gravely ill mother and an heart-wrenching breakup with her long time boyfriend, Charlotte has rebuilt her life in Philadelphia, where she tirelessly devotes herself to juvenile court cases. When her ex, a high-profile attorney himself, shows up at
...more
Dale Harcombe
Jan 15, 2015 Dale Harcombe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting story that travels through different time frames, from 2009 back to 1903, 1922, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1961, and 1911. As you read through the book and follow Charlotte, Brian and Jack through various countries, it becomes obvious how these stories and different times all fit together. The link to all of these varying time frames and people is a glass domed anniversary clock that originated in Bavaria.
In a race against time Jack and Charlotte seek to uncover the truth about Rog
...more
Patricia Bloom
It's like two different people wrote this book about a man, accused of WWII war crimes and the attorneys search for a way to defend him. The portions regarding WWII events are well-drawn and well-researched. But the flow is interrupted by a love story between the attorneys so that this portion feels like it was written by a 12-year-old girl. For example, the obvious love from one of the male attorneys, is consistently misinterpreted by the female. Obvious and silly. Then, alas, this talented wri ...more
Sarah
This is another work where I’m not 100% sure whether I liked the dual storyline or not. Individually, I liked each one to a degree. It was interesting to see the footwork behind building a legal case as well as the journey of the clock throughout history and its importance to the developing events of the early 20th century.

Yet, I felt that the historical story lost a bit when balanced against the continuous nature of the modern tale. We’re constantly exposed to Charlotte and her journey towards
...more
Cleverly
Jul 22, 2011 Cleverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being accused of a war crime is no walk in the park, it's also tough when you won't speak on your own behalf. If he won't speak that must mean he has something to hide. What they find out even shocked me.

Charlotte, well she was intelligent and seemed to be a right fit for her job. She did tend to over think situations. I didn't like that even after a her heart was saying Jack that she would entertain the idea of her old flame, Jack's brother Brian. Jack's character was honorable and stern, a li
...more
Lightblue
The Things We Cherished
La prima perplessità riguardo questo libro è la traduzione del titolo in italiano (Il colore trasparente della notte: ok è evocativo, ma cosa c’entra con la storia?) e l’immagine di copertina (sembra un libro ambientato in India, insomma tutto tranne che una storia che prende spunto dall’Olocausto).
Detto questo, il plot è interessante: Charlotte, intraprendente avvocatessa americana decide di difendere un anziano tedesco accusato di aver tradito e quindi condannato a morte
...more
Terri
Aug 06, 2016 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
This story has been sitting on my to be read shelf for several years now. I discovered it because it showed up in my recommendations on Goodreads due to my love of wartime stories.

While not as in depth of some wartime stories this is still a moving and tragic storyline. What compelled me the most was the way that both storylines, past and present, had striking similarities. Both had two brothers and one girl. Always a formula for drama.

The significance of the clock and how the story followed i
...more
Shuffy2
Sep 09, 2011 Shuffy2 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte's ex shows up out of the blue after almost a decade and asks her to drop everything, fly to Poland and help him with an important court case. Should she help the man, who broke her heart, defend an alleged WWII war criminal? [return][return]Charlotte is surprised when Brian shows up in her Philadelphia office asking for her help in defending Roger Dykmans, the brother of a Holocaust hero. Did Roger turn his brother into the Nazis during the war? Why is an antique clock so important? An ...more
Lindsay
Apr 30, 2011 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
My review is based on the bound galley version.

I really enjoyed The Things We Cherished. I’m a sucker for Holocaust error novels and this one did not disappoint. I really liked how the author flipped back and forth from present day to the past to tell her story. In some ways I felt like I was reading a novel that was interspersed with short stories every other chapter, but they all come together in the end. Jenoff did a great job of keeping my interest in the way she ended certain chapters. I f
...more
Laura
Feb 06, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started out promisingly enough, but, by the end, couldn't redeem itself in my eyes. The book follows two timelines - one starting in the early 1900's and the other in 2009. The 1900's timeline is interesting, creative, and the better part of the book; while the 2009 timeline has an, at times, weak protagonist who repetitively talks about her love life. There is a very cliche love story that is repeatedly discussed and thought about, which ultimately, ruined the book for me. The cliche ...more
Carol
Feb 13, 2014 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was easy to read and a so-so story but like a young adult novel. It wouldn't push me to read any of her other books but it held my interest enough to finish it.

I liked the history of the clock and the various hands it falls into. I enjoyed the love stories attached to each owner. What I didn't like and what was ultimately the downfall for this book was the romance angle of the modern day story. I truly dislike books that have a strong competent woman who turns into a bumbling idiot because
...more
Cassandra
I had to wait on the library hold list for several weeks in order to borrow this book. I'm 147 pages in and dropping it.

1 - The characters are boring. I don't really care about any of them.
2 - The writing style is driving me up the wall. "At the far end was the very mantelpiece in front of which the photograph of the Dykmans family that Charlotte had shown Roger had been taken" (85). I can endure an author's writing style for the sake of a good story, but this isn't a good story.
3 - Two of th
...more
Hedvig
Feb 17, 2016 Hedvig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody :(
Don't spend your precious time to read this book. It's just bad.
Magyarul olvastam Csak azért olvastam végig, hogy lássam, a vége is olyan tré, mint az egész könyv volt... :( sematikus szereplők (a könyv olvastán azt kell hinned, hogy a fiútestvérek mind született ellenségei és riválisai egymásnak), második világháború és a zsidóüldözés csak valami elnagyolt mese, a rendszerváltozások előtti keleti blokk országainak ábrázolása egyszerűen röhejes. Szegény amerikaiak meg ilyen könyvekből képzelik
...more
Yoglaxx
Nov 21, 2016 Yoglaxx rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
En Yoglaxx agarramos este libro porque nos nominaron a un booktag. No podemos sentirnos más agradecidas porque, sinceramente, nos habría pasado desapercibido. Con capítulos intermitentes que saltan del pasado al presente, nos va contando la historia de una docena de personajes que siempre tienen algo que añadir al desarrollo de la trama del pasado y del presente. Se ha ganado un puesto entre mis favoritos de este año ♥

Reseña completa en YOGLAXX

Betty
Apr 24, 2011 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish
I enjoyed the book even though the story is not all that deep. The two love triangles somewhat mirror each other -- two brothers in love with the same woman. Neither story gets very deep. After all, the book is only 286 pages. It was sometimes hard to grab the thread of the story when it bounced into the past. But the sentimentality of the story saved it. The clock ties the chapters from the past together. Overall, I enjoyed it.
Manuela
Jan 22, 2017 Manuela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bella storia con continui salti temporali che coinvolgono tutto il 900 e il presente, tra Polonia, Germania e Stati Uniti. Interessante e ben narrato il parallelismo, con parecchi punti in comune, tra la storia di Roger, Magda e Hans, e quella di Charlotte nel presente. Peccato che le vicende di quest'ultima risultino, in alcune circostanze, trattate in maniera superficiale e banale, mentre i capitoli ambientati nel passato sono tutti intriganti, intensi e ricchi di spunti di riflessione.
Holly
May 10, 2014 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
*3.5

I liked this story for the most part. Told in dual times, I happened to like the later years more than I liked the present. Something about the lead protagonist, Charlotte, bothered me. Probably because she spent so much time thinking about her ex. Will definitely look for more books by this author.
Mandy
Feb 12, 2014 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I am not one for love stories, but I really liked this one. There was actually many love stories. I liked the how the book told the story of many people and how they intertwined was very neat.
Anna
Apr 15, 2014 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thin plot, endless loose ends, zero chemistry in the love triangle. Meh.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jun 29, 2016 12:47PM  
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Pam is the author of several novels, including her most recent The Orphan's Tale, an instant New York Times bestseller. Pam was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary o ...more
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