cover image The Things We Cherished

The Things We Cherished

Pam Jenoff. Doubleday, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-53420-8

Two lawyers argue, fall in love, and unravel a tragic historical mystery in Jenoff's (The Kommandant's Girl) solid latest novel of lovers and loners struggling to find happiness despite social injustice and complicating emotions. Prompted by ex-boyfriend Brian Warrington, Philadelphia public defender Charlotte Gold goes to Germany to help defend octogenarian financier Roger Dykmans, on trial for allegedly collaborating in the Nazis' capture of his heroic anti-Nazi brother, Hans. Working with Brian's own estranged brother, Jack, Charlotte discovers she and Jack share an idealistic approach to law and a mutual attraction, even as they disagree over how to handle the case, at the heart of which is the tale of two brothers in love with the same woman and a crucially important family heirloom. Jenoff interweaves generational narratives: the clockmaker with dreams of taking his wife away from pogroms to safety in America; the rising tide of anti-Semitism; Roger and Hans as young men hoping to save lives amid Nazi atrocities; and Charlotte, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, herself entangled with two brothers. Unlike much romantic historical suspense, this is quiet and credible%E2%80%94even the surprise twists%E2%80%94further cementing Jenoff's reputation for adeptly using the harsh realities of WWII Europe as a context for a timeless love story. (July)