About the Novels
"Fiction is the lie you tell to get to the truth." I don’t know who said that, but the definition is really on target because if you’re going to write, there has to be a valid truth that unfolds as you tell your story. For me, those truths deal with issues of control, and whether we bring our situations on ourselves by our actions, or whether are we caught in the winds of chance, environment, society, and fate. For me, those truths deal with whether or not our relationships with others are based on verbal and non-verbal messages that are given to us by significant people early in our lives. For me, those truths deal with how we become the people we become as we search for balance and survival. My novels explore such truths while telling a riveting tale.
Consider My Servant
Consider My Servant moves between a destitute Ukrainian village and the glittering opulence of St. Petersburg, Russia of the 1880's. It's a book about private fears, anger and love. It's a book about duplicity, murder, conspiracy and passion. Jonah and Zeena Chernov are twins who find themselves floundering in the currents of historical events beyond their comprehension. And because they are not schooled in the ways of duplicity, they become brutalized trying to negotiate their survival. Each is a heroic figure, albeit a reluctant one. At times they react well, at times despicably, but they act, because not to act will lead to destruction.
Signed copies of Consider My Servant can be obtained through our website store or by filling in the contact form below. Price is $20 per copy plus $5 shipping. Same $5 dollars for purchasing both novels.
A World of Secrets
A torrential rain beads down on a train carrying Jonah Chernov from the fortress prison in St. Petersburg to an uncertain future in Paris. A baby girl, born to his condemned twin sister, rests in the arms of Marta Birkov, a woman saved from the gallows to nurse the infant. Unknown to Jonah, his sister, barely alive, is being spirited in a coffin to Copenhagen guarded by the former head of the czar's secret police. Ghosts from their pasts, and the secrets they must hide to survive, will haunt these characters as they move through the dramatic events of the Gilded Age.
Signed copies of A World of Secrets can be obtained through our website store or by filling in the contact form below. Price is $20 per copy. Still only$5 shipping.if you purchase both novels.
Old And Full Of Days
The turbulent first half the 20th Century finds the Chernov family coming to terms with the secrets revealed, as well as the response to those secrets. New York, Vienna, Berlin, Geneva and Jerusalem, between the years 1904 through 1948, are the locations and dates that are the stage upon which the three generations of this family saga play out their roles. As they become embroiled in the Labor Movement, The Jazz Age, Prohibition, the Stock Market Crash, the Depression, the Holocaust, World War II, and the founding of Israel, their tempestuous stories unfold. Theirs are worlds inhabited by anarchists, anti-Semites, gangsters, hostile governments both in America and abroad, and outrageous economic and political duplicities. Amid these, they find themselves choosing dangerous involvements that reveal their heroic natures at their core. Readers will find ...Old, and Full of Days, the final book in the trilogy that began with Consider My Servant, and A World of Secrets, challenging, thought provoking, while revealing historical events not generally known to the public.
With the completion of the Chernov family trilogy, Len Berman completes a three decade effort to write a fictional story that explores the machinations people employ to survive the harsh realities and sudden conflicts one finds in a world that is often hostile and capricious. Len Berman’s professional career began as an English, drama, and humanities teacher in New York City in 1961. By 1969 he was the New Jersey State Consultant in Arts and Humanities. He continued his twenty-seven years with the New Jersey State Department of Education as a Schools Program Coordinator, retiring in 1996. His career continues as an educational consultant, as a teacher of Judaica, and as a writer. He lives with his wife, Toby, in Voorhees, New Jersey. He has nine brilliant grandchildren.
Critical acclaim for Consider My Servant
From KIRKUS DISCOVERIES REVIEW
"Berman's Consider My Servant is a very 19th century style melodrama, with touches of Dumas, Dostoevsky, and Deuteronomy. He mixes in 21stst century sexual explicitness. Berman makes us care about his passionate, tormented characters and their broad-canvas adventures.
A rousing, if often lurid, saga and a gripping portrait of life n the pressure-cooker of Russian anti-Semitism."
“This is not only a riveting story, this is a decent piece of literature.”
M. Chilewich, Voorhees, N.J.
“Compelling and vivid writing draws the reader into the sights, smells and looming terror of life in a destitute Ukrainian village and then, with equal skill, we are swept into the opulence and intrigue of St. Petersburg.”
A. Mandel, Santa Rosa, CA.
“...an epic story told not from the drawing rooms of Imperialist Nineteenth Century Russia but from the hearts and actions of the common people...characters act honestly based upon real emotion...a story as gripping, historically correct and philosophical as the Grapes of Wrath...graphic presentation of psychological integration...plot twists take the reader places they would never have imagined.”
J. Kohlbach Fulton, Redlands, CA
“First time authors do write good books. I’ve passed Consider My Servant to friends and family and all have enjoyed it.”
A. Katz, Plano, TX.
“When I picked up Consider My Servant I thought it would be an interesting story of a family in Russia, a dysfunctional family, whose day to day life in the town would be told. Soon, I was taken into a world of intrigue and suspense, of bravery and treachery! This novel was an exciting trip through a very important part of history. I could not put it down!” R. Di Maio, Lafayette, IN.
“The story held my interest till the last page. There are intriguing subplots and each one is thrilling and suspenseful. I sympathized with the mother who worried about the conditions under which her family had to survive and I know the strengths and weaknesses of the daughters, the son and husband. These people are very real.”
F. Waxman, Rockville MD.
“This is a ‘can’t put it down story’ by a natural storyteller. Russia in the late 1800's becomes romantic and terrifying in turn. The strong multi-sided characters make a connection that holds after the book closes–a cruel Colonel who helps, a selfish mother, young idealists, and real people who lived in a frightening heroic end of the century.”
P. Hotch, Taos, N.M.
“Mr. Berman, in his debut novel, reveals a deep knowledge of human nature which is revealed in the reader’s easy identification with his characters, whether one is Jewish or not. The story carries the reader through page after page of rising tension that will not abate until the very end.”
Paul Gordon, Author & Reviewer, N.J.
(Following sent to a friend who loaned her the novel)
WOW! “Phyllis, I finished the book at 2:45 AM and I am still spinning from the mystery and emotional intensiveness. Thank you for this magical literary experience.” Love, Charlotte
“I have read it twice.” Rhoda Kessler
"Both these novels are page turners, and once I started them, I could not put them down. If I chose to read them again, I would find them just as exciting as reading them the first time. Len's gift is being able to transport people back to another age and time, and making the reader feel part of the story. I look forward to finding out what happens to the Chernov family. Write another one." Allan Brindell