My friend and fellow Grey Gecko author Leon Berger’s book Lunch With Charlotte is, like my own The Dying of the Light: Interval, been included in the Top 5 Finalists group at the Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2013 Awards.
Naturally, he’s in the Non-fiction group and I’m in Suspense/Horror (up against Hugh Howey’s I, Zombie, sigh) but it’s still a well-deserved accolade from folks who know good books when they see them.
As part of the celebration of this accomplishment, Leon’s been asked to write a “Dream Interview” and a “Dream Review” for Venture Galleries blog. First up is the interview, which you can read in full here, and I’ve included an excerpt below. The “Dream Review” of the book will be up on their blog (and here) on Thursday.
Q. What’s so special about her story?
This is not another survivor’s story, of which there are many. While it’s true she lived through Nazi persecution, wartime bombing and sweatshop labor, the real story is profoundly personal – an unexpected and surprising trauma involving her parents that she suffered at the age of 19 which affected her entire life. It’s this aspect which adds another dramatic layer to the story and makes it so compelling.
Q. There are thousands of biographies and memoirs. Why should anyone care about this one?
As so many readers have found, this book carries you along on a wave of emotion, the full range from un-put-downable fascination to unstoppable tears to sheer elation. It’s not only absorbing, it’s also inspirational.
Q. Why the title?
This is how I got to know the story. Every Friday for 25 years, I had lunch with Charlotte at her aging brownstone apartment and each week she told me a little more. Only towards the end of her life did she reveal the secret of the trauma she’d kept for so long and confessed to no one else. That’s when I realized the power of this story and asked her if I could write it.
Q. How did you know Charlotte?
During WWII, she was the best friend of my cousin but I only met her when we both came to live in the same town, Montreal, Canada. Although Charlotte was a generation older than I was, we seemed to find a connection. She wanted to talk and I was willing to listen. In the end, she came to regard me as the son she never had.