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Desk with Book


JUNE 5, 2022

Check out the latest work by Karen Levi. Page turner short stories with themes and settings from the present to the past.

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Textured and Varied as Cherries

Karen Levi’s stories are as textured and varied as cherries.  Each story is unique and you never quite know what you will find.   In each story—just a sampling— the protagonist has a challenge to confront: 

A young migrant woman, in northern Mexico, south of the border, helps other refugees 

cross over by boat to the U.S. on the other side of the Rio Grande.  She herself awaits a visa and legal passage to Maryland.   She discovers something, a gift of sorts, but doesn’t know what to do.   

A woman starts out going to see her lawyer.  She goes to the wrong building.  Her journey  is a Twilight Zone moment.  

A newly wed is making pumpkin pie for a Thanksgiving dinner while she fantasizes about a love interest who is not her husband.  She wants more.    

A professional and highly educated couple, both immigrants with green cards, want a baby so badly.  Their fertility treatments finally work.  The woman gives birth to a beautiful boy, who has promise and charm.  His life takes an unexpected turn.  

A couple who have two young boys face the challenge of having differently abled children:  one is a prodigy and the other is normal or average.  

A granddaughter is helping her grandmother, a holocaust survivor, who herself is struggling with the memories of past traumas.  A psychiatrist tries to help the grandmother by giving her talking therapy and including her in a study on the effects of the holocaust on survivors.  

In each story, there is yearning and strong need and desire.  At the same time, the stories read like mysteries and are hard to put down.  What will happen?  However, there are no neat and tidy endings.  We are left with ambiguous situations, much like life itself.  Problems such as aging, marital discontent,  finding refuge in the U.S., and facing the the educational and psycho-sociological issues that confront parents whose children are different from each other, are universal; we can relate to them.  The concept of the other, of being different, is strong in Karen’s stories.  No bowl of cherries for sure.  Each character (or characters) is trying to find answers, where there is often darkness and disillusionment.  However, there is always hope to be found, if we look for it and believe it is possible.  

Ms. Levi’s writing is accessible and engaging.  At the end of each story, we want more.

Not unlike those delicious cherries.  Best to savor each one.  Savor each story.

Read Karen’s book and you will find out about those cherries and you will find out even more!! 


Background Story

A comfortable life for a family alters as political conditions beyond the control of typical citizens develop. Hatred grows rapidly. Discrimination increases. Constraints to everyday life appear. Taxes are levied unfairly. Physical danger becomes a reality. Adults are forced to relinquish their professions. Children are banned from schools. Could this happen?


Review of A Smile that Lasts Forever

By Nancy Allinson

What is the smile that lasts forever?  I won’t give away the source of that title.  You will need to read about Karen’s grandmother, Omi Trude and step-mother of her father, Max to find out!

Karen writes in a very conversational yet informative style.  We enjoy and learn at the same time.   Karen tells the story of a family, her father’s, all of whom traveled on a passenger ship prior to Kristallnacht, May 1938 from Germany to the U.S.A.  In her companion book,

Love and Luck, Karen’s mother and her family, emigrated, via boat, from Germany, to Shanghai, China.  That is another must read story!  What I really liked most about Karen’s current book, is that her family members become our family, we care about them and and what happens to them.  What happens to Omi Trude’s mother, Elise?  What happens to Omi Trude later in her life?  How has she affected Karen?  How does Max find success—he starts out as a baker in the U.S.A?   We want to keep on reading to find out.  On a personal level, Karen spoke to my own memories of my father and mother; their respective parents came to the U.S.A. from eastern Europe during the 1890s.  They experienced pogroms and poverty.  My father just like Max, hoarded things.  For example, my father held on to an old rain coat until I was in my late 20s.  The story that Karen Levi tells, is not only relevant to the children and grandchildren of holocaust survivors, but applies to those whose families were immigrants as well as those who lived through the Depression years.   I strongly recommend both of Karen’s memoirs.  They go together.  They also stand alone, so you can read them in any order.  If you read A Smile. . . first, you are going to want to read, Love and Luck next.  Enjoy!!


I just finished your book; I found it quite compelling.   You certainly have a talent for the written word.  It brought back memories of visiting your folks and feeling like I was a stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with the norms of a new country.  I had to chuckle to myself at your comment that your folks had their own “time zone”.  Clearly you have done a good deal of thinking/research/contemplation in the service of seeing the world through their eyes.  I found your summation of your father quite poignant; it brought tears to my eyes.  Marcy now wishes to read your book.  Thanks for sharing.

Woman Writing



Life’s events have affected me deeply, from listening to tales from my older relatives as a young child; to first learning about poverty in Appalachia in high school; to the assassinations of the 1960’s; to the return to conservative values in the 1980’s; and on to the great technological and social changes of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Expressing my opinions to those around me has been vital to my functioning, like oxygen to a human or carbon dioxide to a tree. Writing in diaries, creating poetry, and using journals became the mainstay of my life from my college years. I am a retired Speech/Language Therapist, having worked in a large Public School system for 36 years. My first passion was to have a career in which I could help children. Language is my forte’. First helping youngsters learn the spoken word; I have now transformed my passion and energy to the written phrase, sentence, and paragraph. I also created storybooks with photographs. I have been an observer and thinker.

Stories, thoughts, and memories have filled my head, as I go about my daily life. Blessed with an excellent memory of past events and a vivid imagination, I continue to utilize these skills to complete my actual and illusory tales. Writing has brought peace and joy to my heart and soul.

A Glass Shattered

JANUARY 29, 2020

I am very excited to present my second book, a work of fiction. The novel will be of interest to all readers, from late teenage through adult. The genre is literary fiction, of particular interest to females of all ages. The story revolves around a typical relationship between Baby Boomers--dating, marriage, children, professional life.The book is of special interest to lesbians and female bisexuals. The novel serves as a historical perspective on acceptance and expression of females loving females in contemporary American society. The story will also have particular appeal to women who have a partner who has committed a crime and is caught up in the legal system.




How much better can it get to read a well-written, intriguing, engaging, and even, educational book! I can top that off because I have known the author since childhood! It was a joy to read her memoir about her mother and then to see how her skills in the world of fiction produced such a captivating novel. I can only hope there is another one in the works! Barbara Brass. 1/30/20

5.0 out of 5 stars Hot water!

Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2020

A surprising but relatable story about a woman betrayed by her husband in the confines of traditional gender roles and Jewish culture.

Green Typewriter


Love and Luck--A Young Woman's Journey from Berlin to Shanghai to San Francisco

My first published work is a memoir about my mother's story. She was born in Berlin in 1927, but she and her family were forced to leave due to the Nazi's and impending deportation and death. The family, along with about 20,000 Austrian and German Jews went to Shanghai, where a visa was not required. They lived there for nine years, in dangerous conditions, until they emigrated to the USA after World War II. The rest is history.

A Glass Shattered Now on Kindle

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Woman Typing

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