"The Things We Cherished" is an energizing experience that speaks of two love stories and a time prior to and during WWII when the world was in turmoil.
Charlotte Gold has a background in researching the Holocaust. She and Jack Warrington are in Germany to team up for the legal defense Roger Dykmans.
Germany hadn't been pursuing war crimes cases but the Department of Justice pressured them into action.
Historican uncovered information implicating Roger in selling out his brother, Hans, to the Germans who was attempting to help rescue Jewish people from Germany.
Roger isn't helpful in his defense so Charlotte and Jack travel to Wadowice, Poland, attempting to uncover anything to help with the case. They learn about Magda who Roger loved but was married to his brother, Hans.
The story moves back in time to 1940 and we observe what was happening in Berlin with the German round up of Jewish people who lived in constant fear of betrayal and being taken by the German authorities. Roger, who is not Jewish, came to Berlin as a student, to live with his brother, Hans and Hans' wife, Magda.
With moving back between time periods, Pam Jenoff, slows down the pace of the story as if lengthening the drama and allowing the reader to feel for the independent Magda who doesn't want to be a captive in her own home, just because she is Jewish. Then, with her husband away for much of the time, she and Roger become romantically involved.
The reader is rewarded for staying with the story when it slows down because the suspense and action pick up leaving the reader with a novel that is well worth the read.
Both Charlotte and Jack are fully drawn characters of whom the reader becomes attached and wishing that they would succeed in their goal and their lives. This is a heartfelt story with an ending that will remain in the memory of the reader.