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. The Gestapo make a deal with Roger: if he hands over information about Hans' operations, they'll set Magda and Anna free. Suddenly, Roger is faced with an impossible decision: should he betray his brother to save the woman they both love? Spanning decades and continents, The Things We Cherished explores the strength of true love under the worst of circumstances.
There are some books that you can write a review on straight after finishing, and others that have to take a while to digest and dig your way through your thoughts so that you know what the book did for you mentally as well as emotionally. The later being the case with this title by Pam Jenoff where the writing takes you on a tale of love through critical times throughout the first part of the twentieth century and the harrowing choices that are made that people have to live with.
It’s cleverly written and with the key part coming to the reader in the first person point of view it makes for gripping reading as we get to know the old man in the court case as a young person. It has dark moments, the odd piece of light and of course the material is sensitively handled which makes this a book that is not just a story of romance but of survival against a dark period in our own worlds living memory history. It’s also has solid prose and the author is one who believes at the core of any story are the people rather than having to overly complicate the plot with intricate details almost as if to hide things.
Finally add to this, a wonderfully warm authorly voice and the story really does work its way into your subconscious. Crackingly told and of course a read that will stay with you for quite some time.