Amazon #1 bestseller / Over 50,000 sold / Kindle award winner / 5-Star Readers’ Favorite / Venture ‘Book of the Moment’

It's a real pleasure to read such a well-written story. I like the way the story alternates between the past and the meetings with Charlotte. It gives me a good idea of Charlotte as a person and not only as a character in a book. It also gives the text a real energy. I find that the description of the ‘moods' of the different eras is well conveyed and I'm impressed by the descriptions of life in Vienna and in London. It does not feel invented but real.”

Julie Guinard, Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre

“I was truly touched by it. Thanks for bringing her story to life.”

Marie-Claude Ducas, Info-Presse

“I was moved by Mrs. Urban’s ability to adapt to every situation thrown her way. Her life was not easy and continued to be a challenge. I shed tears at the end, my heart going out to the woman who merely wanted to find a place of belonging. With so much taken from her, Charlotte persevered. Lunch with Charlotte is an inspiring tale and very well worth a read.”

Heather Osborne, Readers’ Favorite

“Kudos for a biography that, at its conclusion, left it hard to return to the more mundane aspects of ordinary life. That is powerful testimony to the emotions of Charlotte’s story.” 

Roger Radford, former foreign correspondent, bestselling author.

“Lunch with Charlotte is one of the most powerful and moving books I’ve ever read. Tragedy, loss, heartache... and through it all, dignity and courage. This is a tale not to be missed. Fantastic!”

Jason Kristopher, author of “Dying of the Light.”

Over 350 5-Star reader reviews: Amazon / Goodreads

“This book had me on an emotional roller-coaster. I creid through most of it, with some periods of happiness and hope.”

Rachelle Loe

I finished this delightful book in a record time! I start many books and seldom finish them, but this one had something to it!! I was hooked from the start and very touched by Charlotte's life story. I laughed and shed some tears, felt outraged and happy, I learned about history and could almost see it with my own two eyes as I read through! I really enjoyed the author's writing technique as it forces the reader to switch from familly to personal life story, from history to factual events, all in a very smooth transition that keeps the reader hooked. It made for a great reading on my vacation this summer. This is a great story.”

Godefroy Bourbonnais, Beaconsfield, Qc

“I really enjoyed reading Charlotte's story, especially from the perspective of the author, Charlotte's confidant, not just a holocaust story, a real life story full of culture and relationships and traditions. The author has honestly and respectfully shared a tribute to Charlotte, her life, her struggles, her triumphs, and his friendship with this incredible survivor. Emotionally packed... I went from laughing to crying to amazed. A highly recommended read.”

Gerry Watkins

“I'm deeply moved and with a great thankfulness that I could read this wonderful book which I would call a Heritage of Mankind. This book is telling the story of a strong lady who had to experience the most dreadful time in the first half of the 20th century and only later was able to receive security even though for a short time. It isn't a story of the well-known events of WWII. The story is telling the most private feelings, failures and faith within a family which was trying to be honest to each other and on the other hand was protecting each other from the true feelings. I've a great respect for Charlotte that she could entrust her life story to Leon Berger and equally that he could write it down not only with an absolutely correctness but also with a deep love.”


“Leon Berger wrote this novel based on a long friendship and many conversations with Charlotte Urban. Like Charlotte, I was born in Vienna. We lived in the same neighbourhood, had our lives changes by the Nazi annexation of Austria. We barely managed to escape from war-time Vienna and Berger's vivid descriptions brought it all back: the sounds, the sights and the fears; the bullying; the hated red, white and black flags, the hated and feared Brownshirts; the curfews and the limitations and the random arrests of friends and relatives.

Charlotte herself comes to life in Berger's writing as a strong, brave and charming woman. This is the story of an interesting person but also a reminder of the Nazi crimes in Europe. A valuable as well as a riveting narrative.”

Bryna Kaye

“A loving remembrance of the life of Charlotte Urban, from her childhood in 1930's Vienna, survival with her mother of the terrifying Kristallnacht, salvation through the Kindertransport to rejoin her father and eventual immigration to Montreal. The author became her eventual confidant and surrogate son, piecing together her history through her stories over countless luncheons. We should all be so lucky to have such a gentle and sensitive biographer. The writing is forthright and the author does a good job of weaving in the larger global history in ways informative and unobstrusive. Stories such as Charlotte's are interesting in their own right but critically important in putting a personal face on the horrors of war and the Holocaust.”

M. Swenson

“I enjoyed this book tremendously. I really feel that I knew Charlotte. A definite read!!”


“Survivors are all around us but not for long. After reading this I had a better understanding. Real people and real places told with a nice penmanship. I will read it again.”

Yves L’Heureux

“Here is a woman who was born in Vienna Austria between World War I and World War II. She goes through various hardships, not concentration camp type, but lack of necessities of life and such. Her personality is mostly outgoing and positive, in spite of the general circumstances of her life. When she is nineteen something happens, concerning her mother, that affects the rest of her life. She has been able to cope with physical hardships but her most traumatic turmoils of life concern her internal vulnerability. The author was introduced to Charlotte by a cousin of his, who was a very good friend of Charlotte’s. Eventually she was able to open up to him and tell her story. He has conveyed her story in a way that I think honors Charlotte and what she went through. I would recommend this story to anyone.”

Sandra Lynne Padget

“A great book! This is a memorable Holocaust book that I strongly recommend. I absolutely loved it!!! The way in which Leon Berger captures what Charlotte endured was written with great sensitivity. Readers could really get inside what Charlotte must have felt.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to read an excellent Holocaust book. It's different than some of the others but is extremely compelling.”


“This is a wonderful story about coming of age in WWII. Although the story centers on a young Jewish girl surviving WWII, it is truly more than that. This book will give you insight into personal relationships that were impacted by the events of the war and what people did to survive. I have read other books regarding either WWII camps aand families that hid during the war. However, this book show how life changed around her.”

Angela M. Gott

“I loved this book - I felt like I was sitting over a dinner with Charlotte whilst she told me her life story - and such an inspirational life she had lead! It is so wonderful that the author Leon Berger managed to share her story in such a wonderful book. Thank you.”

Louise Fisher

“This book was very hard to put down. Charlotte's story is amazing. Once I finished it, I gave it to one my of my step-daughter's teen friends to read. I believe that this is a story that every teenager should read. It teaches you of one young woman's courage and strength to survive in a world gone mad. Thanks to Mr. Berger for sharing his time with Charlotte with the rest of us. It's one that will stay in my heart and mind for years to come.”

C. Weitzenhoffer

“I highly recommend this book. It is not the typical biographical memoir but one that presents the story of a family's struggles before, through & after the Holocaust with full candor , warts & all. I have read hundreds of Holocaust memoirs & biographies but there is something about the brutal honesty of this story which will stay with me forever.”

David Saltzman

“When I first started reading, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But the further I read, it began to be so real and it painted a lifetime of war and how it affected a family. It just captured my attention and then I couldn't put it down. I even put it on my Facebook page to tell my friends about it.”

C. Hoover

“I loved this book. It is written with such clarity and emotion and very difficult to put down. Thank you Leon for sharing this story with us.”

Dino Maselli

“Leon was introduced to Charlotte by a relative. He started having Friday lunches with her and became her trusted friend. For the last 25 years of her life, during these lunches, Charlotte told Leon stories of her past. Growing up with an often absent father and a strained relationship with her mother. After a personal trauma, she escaped Vienna on the Kindertransport to England, where her father lived. Her mother unable to join them, due to the Nazi occupation. Leon has done a wonderful job piecing together the life of Charlotte. I am sure she is like most older people reminiscing, and the order of the stories were nowhere near the order she told them in. He admits she repeated herself sometimes and added details others. The story is different than most you hear from this time period. She was never incarcerated at a camp. She lived in fear, but really didn't suffer the abuse that most of the stories out there show. All in all a great read.”


“Lunch With Charlotte by Leon Berger shares the true life story of his elderly friend, Charlotte. The book reveals how the complex relationship between Charlotte and her parents was impacted by the additional turmoil of the Holocaust. Early life experiences and traumas can combine to re-shape our future personalities and behaviors. This is a story of real people with real faults and issues; not a romanticized feel-good tale. The book was a very enjoyable read and offered a fresh narrative of Holocaust events.”


“Well-written and lovingly told story of Charlotte Urban (née Lisolette Goldberger), whose courageous story of survival is pieced together by the author from what she told him during their weekly lunches over the last 25 years of her life. She faced tremendous physical and emotional trauma with bravery and dignity - and found the strength in her later years to relive it all so that her story and experiences would live on after she was gone. I am grateful to the author for allowing us, as readers, to get to know Charlotte and be inspired by her strength and courage.”

Trina Willis

“I really enjoyed reading Charlotte's story, especially from the perspective of the author, Charlotte's confidant, not just a holocaust story, a real life story full of culture and relationships and traditions. The author has honestly and respectfully shared a tribute to Charlotte, her life, her struggles, her triumphs, and his friendship with this incredible survivor.”


“I was very drawn into Charlotte's life story. This book is based on true events, as told to Leon Berger over years of visits with Charlotte. Everyone has heard stories of the horrific events that unfolded during World War II, but this version comes from a unique perspective. Highly recommended!”

Rachel Strickland

“Wonderful tribute to an amazing lady.”

Iris F.

“A well written story that carefully switches between the times in Charlotte's life. What a strong woman she was! I learned many things about the Holocaust and how it affected day to day lives of the average citizen not just at the time but for the rest of their lives. I would definitely recommend this book to others and I will be re-reading many times, I am sure.”

Carolyn R.

“This is a story that engaged me right from the beginning. It is told from the authors personal experience with Charlotte whom he met weekly for many years. It is beautifully written. It tells of Charlottes life story exposing her triumphs & tragic disappointments. Berger shows depth & understanding in his telling. And you will ride the waves with all of Charlotte's emotions. It is a story that

will resonate long after you've read it.”

Ellen F.

“The simple title of this introspective study of a life and historical period is deceptive. Beginning it seemed to be a casual story of a young ladys romance during the years a father's approval of courting was customary. The first surprise was the comment of the bride to her bridegroom that she didn't love him. From there the intrigue grows. As it follows a Jewish family through several generations and especially their trials of war and Nazi conquest you sometimes hold your breath eagerly scanning the page. The final conclusion ties the story together beautifully.”

Bev Schultz

“An enjoyable book, a story wonderfully crafted. Looking at global village today, with its millions of desperate refugees crying out for help, it seems many political masters have still not learned from the madness of Hitler and his blinded followers.”

Jazzy Oz

“Excellent read.”


“Wonderful story.”

Jeanne Loriol

“Excellent reading.”

June Louw

“Held my attention all the way. A lovingly done work.”

Henry Blue Ridge

“A wonderful account of a life. I have loaned this book to several friends who have all thoroughly enjoyed it. Cannot recommend it highly enough.”

Donald Pose

“This book was interesting from beginning to end. Charlotte had such a sad life...even when she was finally happy, she was handed another situation where she had to be stong.”


“I enjoyed reading this book.”


“This story is fascinating and haunting, didn't want it to end.”

Susan Cullop

“Good story, engaging.”


“What an unexpected gift of a book! Although the subject matter wasn't always easy to read the history was brought to life and the people jumped off the page. I felt a bit of sadness when I read the last page.”

Patrice S. Powell

“An amazing book. I have recommended it to several friends to read. It would be a book I might read again, and I don't often do that.”

Amazon customer

“A very interesting book. One of those that is hard to put down. I highly recommend it. Demonstrates how early experiences in our life can influence us for the rest of our lives.”


“Wonderful story. I can't say enough good things about this book. Excellent.”

Marion C.

“Wonderful portrait of a European Jewish woman during WW2 and as a survivor. Thank you for keeping her story alive. It has touched my heart.”

Amazon customer

“Good read. Insight into a mother daughter relationship during World War 11. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys history.”


“Beautifully written. A heart warming and yet chilling tale of a true survivor. I couldn't put it down.”

Karen Rosson

“When I first started reading this book I thought it would be merely another version of the infamous Holocaust story, but I was wrong. Actually, it focuses around the eponymous heroine, Charlotte--her life before, during, and after the Holocaust.

The narrator is a man who had become her friend and with whom she had lunch every Friday. She relates bits and pieces of her life at each meeting--events and thoughts she had never shared with anyone else. The author gradually builds upon her life story by calling upon her memories and mementos of her past during these lunches.

Although pathos prevails throughout the story, it is unlike other Holocaust stories in that constant, vivid images of violence do not assail the reader on every page. Instead, the author delves into the psychological effects of an earlier, profound trauma that Charlotte had experienced and which "had affected her for the rest of her existence."

Bravo to Leon Berger for giving the heroine the opportunity to unburden herself of all her unfortunate memories, which must have provided catharsis for her, and for always allowing her to maintain the dignity she so rightfully deserved.

Splendid book.”

Phyllis Eisenstadt

“Not since I read The Diary Of Anne Frank have I been so moved. A wonderfully written story, compassionate, some humor but mostly the harsh reality of life those who lived in those dreadful dark days in human history.”

Nomadic Reviewer

“This is about a young woman who grew up in Vienna just after the first world war. The lead up to the Nazi invasion is almost a back story to her tale, as told to the author. I can't overstate the talent of Leon Berger, who was able to put this together coherently from conversations he had with Charlotte during their lunch meetings over a span of 25 years. Highly recommend this book, you won't be disappointed.”


“This was a very interesting and compelling book. The people were real, imperfect humans who lived through a horrible ordeal. I will search out more books like this.”

Martha King

“I believe reading this book has brought me closer to understanding the complex horror of the Jewish people.”

Margaret Bennie

“A must read. Excellent book, 404 pages of intensity. I laughed, I cried and I experienced life as Charlotte during an age that was well before my time. Loved it.”


“Great read. Wonderful story.”

Anne Marie Zagrobelny

“I've read a fair share of Holocaust novels, and this one stands out. The story is interesting on its own, but honestly, Leon Berger's writing style make it come to life. I haven't been this engrossed in a book in awhile, and I haven't been this impressed by an indie author in years. Genuine kudos to Mr. Berger for a truly excellent book. If this genre interests you, you won't be disappointed by Lunch With Charlotte. I've already recommended it to several friends.”

M. Lindner

“This story is one of the best I have ever read. Charlotte, a Jewish girl who suffers all the discrimination in the time of the rise of Hitler. The authors close relationship and respect for Charlotte, his perception of her inner battles, add depth and validity to this great survivor.”

Margaret Sperry

“I failed my high school history course. My teacher made it seem boring and impersonal. Mr. Berger's evocative telling of Charlotte's personal history eloquently connected the reader to the events that shaped her life. It brought smiles, laughter and tears as we travelled through a war and several countries s as experienced by a woman we feel we know.”

MaryAnne Gareau

“The subject is complex and fascinating and the writing is fluent.

Impeccable pacing. One of the best biographies I have read in ages. Not exactly a holocaust memoir story as the main subject escapes the horror. Good. Enough of those, as important as they may be.”

Amazon customer

“Absolutely beautiful book. I recommend this book. I wish I could have known Charlotte.”

Susan Holladay

“Such a loving tale of friendship, even though the horrors of a hateful time for mankind predestined the friendship. The holocaust, the fear and torment, the deaths of innocent millions.. all brought into sharp focus by a survivor. Heart touching and haunting.”

Sande ash

“I loved this book. I would have loved to have known Charlotte. I cannot imagine living through the things she endured.”


I started reading in the morning and was hooked-breaking only for drink, food and nature. Yes, I've read similar stories but never before capturing my heart and soul. Not only do we get a insight into Charlotte's mind but also writer Leon Berger's. His writing style enhanced the story further along and made palatable a history we should never forget, making it all that more compelling.

I'm so glad that I took the time to click on a link that a friend had shared, knowing full well that I don't normally read these books, I was however, captivated from the first page.

Thank you Mr. Berger for writing a beautiful story and I hope others will take a moment and read your Holocaust book.


“This is a wonderful book. could'nt put down, I read it straight to the end in one evening. very moving story of charlotte's life and her mixed emotions and feelings about her mother. What happened to her after the nazis took over vienna and her leaving changed her life.”

Donald Robbins

“I could not put this book down! Very well written and fascinating history of a brave young woman during the Nazi regime.”

Julie Kirk

“Such a wonderful book!

I laughed, I wept, it was breathtaking.”

Paola Vitale, Italy

“I could not put your book down. Your unforgettable story about Charlotte made her come alive.

At the same time, surprisingly, you brought so many memories of my own family to me.

Thank you so much for this unexpected gift.”

Gundie Robertson

“Thank you for paying tribute to a woman whose fierce spirit of courage and survival, was truly an inspiration. Many of the passages moved me to tears. Ultimately, my belief in the power of love is the gift you have confirmed.”

Vivian Silver

“A sensitively written story of the harrowing experiences of a young girl in Nazi occupied Vienna and her escape to London.”

Debbi Duminy

“What an interesting story. Not being Jewish I know very little about the subject. I intend to learn more and truly think it was a great book and encourage anyone to read it.”

Diane Coshun

“Excellent. This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time, and I think it will stay with me for a long time, if not always. Firstly, it's excellently written, which seems extremely rare these days. I noticed only a few errors or typos, and Mr. Berger's writing is easy to read yet elegant and descriptive, informative and insightful.

Secondly, Charlotte's story itself is so fascinating and touching. I feel privileged to know her story, her life. It reminds me a bit of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the sense that they were just ordinary people with lives similar to millions of others, but we get to share it, experience it. I highly recommend this book.”

Book lover

“This is a beautifully written story of an ordinary, special lady. Leon Berger captures the angst that Charlotte encounters throughout her life--the highs, the lows, the love and betrayals. I liked how he switched from writing about Charlotte's live and his background information and his personal relationship with Charlotte. If his background information had not been included, this book could have been construed as a fictional piece of work, but Leon Berger uses flashbacks to enhance the story lines presented in the book.”


“5 stars. I chose this rating because I enjoyed sharing Charlotte's life with her struggles being a Jew. This was a different book about a Jew's personal story during HItler's reign. A very interesting book.”

Kindle Customer

“A must read. I absolutely loved this book, hated that it had to end.”

Amazon Customer

“Very moving! The realistic details of the time period brought the fragility of life alive! A must read. Thank you Charlotte for sharing your life story with Leon. Thank you Leon for bringing charlotte's story to life in these pages.”


“Great read. Wonderful story, love the writing.”

Amazon customer

“A marvelous, personal account of a survivor of the Holocaust. Very well written with more than the usual amount of detailed information.”

Ann Riley Gray

“Wonderful! Wow! This was truly the best book I've read in a LONG time! I highly recommend it!”


“Amazing. This book touched my heart. It also reminded me that no matter the time or place people are people who go through or have gone through similar life experiences, both good and bad. Please read this book, you will not regret it.”

Shauna Stafford

“Very good read. I read it straight thru - I found it that interesting. It was very well written. The people and situations felt so real.”

Rosalie Paugh

“Riveting. There are lots of Holocaust survivor books, and all of them are intense, but this one stands out head and shoulders above the vast majority of them. Even though Charlotte was never in a concentration or death camp, the sensitivity with which her story is told truly makes you feel like you ARE Charlotte, living through it all with her every step of the way. Above all, Charlotte comes through as totally human, just like all of us, and her story is a triumph of will and spirit over tremendous loss. I will not forget Charlotte.”

Laurel Shand

“I sat down in front of my computer intending only to skim thru the first few paragraphs of "Lunch with Charlotte"to decide whether or not to add this book to my Kindle library...and didn't move again untill I had finished the entire book. It was a wonderful look into another lifetime, but written in a way that makes you feel as if you are there watching everything with your own eyes...I found it touching and sad and joyful all at once, I won't soon forget it.”


“This book was so well written and interesting that I found myself reading very little at a time so that I can 'savor' it. The historical facts in it, while extremely important, are just personified by the personal tragedy and emotions endured by Charlotte. Everyone should read this book!”

Andrea Trapper

“One of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s amazing reading a book covering this subject that is about a real person. It gave me the real emotions tied in with the dramatic historical events. Thank you Leon for sharing this story.”

Go for it.

“Very moving story of someone who survived the holocaust in body but not in her core being. An important human perspective of this historic abomonation which I believe is important to reflect upon (that there are lasting traumas associated with brutality & yet the pain inflicted upon us by betrayel of our parents can outweigh even that).”

Loreen Siver

Thank you for writing this book. I am an avid reader and can honestly say, have never felt so emotional over a book.”


“Loved this book!”

Laura M.

“Difficult story, wonderfully told! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Charlotte's was a story that needed to be told. Many thanks to the author for writing a sensitive and yet open and honest portrayal of her life. I anxiously read, not wanting to put the book down, but wanting to know how she survived the Nazi atrocities. The complicated family dynamics only added to the pain she experienced in having to be uprooted from the only life she had known. Yet she persevered with strength and courage. Agreeing to emigrate to Canada must have been another ripping apart from all she had known, but in doing so she found the love of her life in Joe. Highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates the struggles of the Jewish people in WWII.”


“Heartbreaking and heartwarming. I couldn't put this book down. I didn't do anything the day after Thanksgiving as I was totally consumed by it. Life goes on and even though Charlotte had such trauma in her life, she did live on. And with the help of Mr. Berger she shared her story .A triumph for her and the human spirit!”

Mary S.

“Recommend reading this book. This is a beautiful story full of sadness but also some happiness. It describes the lives of the people of Vienna and the hardships they endured during the time of Hitler as told to Charlotte's friend. It also is the story of their personal lives. You feel like you know Charlotte and her family. I would definitely recommend it. It's an easy read and holds your interest.”


“I love history and enjoy reading biographies. "Lunch with Charlotte" is the best of both worlds. Leon Berger has done an excellent job of telling the story of three generations of a Jewish family. Focusing on Charlotte, we learn of her strength in dealing with life before, during and after World War II.”


“The blend of the present – the author speaks directly to his audience to give depth and understanding of Charlotte – with Charlotte's story makes this an intriguing read.”

Katherine Botma

“I loved this book… Thank you Leon for brining this story to us..what a wonderful movie this would make.”

Sheila Gardenhire

“Five stars. A great read. Wonderfully written. I enjoyed it tremendously.”

Amazon customer

“A riveting book! Not as sad as educational. A remarkable lady.”

Amazon customer

“God help us, may this never happen again, Could not put this book down, wept.”

Peg AL

“An excellent, well written and compelling book. It brings history to life through an absorbing tale. The format of alternating between the past tale and the present narrator keeps it moving and still builds in pauses that let you digest one event before immersing yourself in the next.”

Amazon Customer

“Awesome read! What a well written book! I learned so much in my small knowledge of this time era. I would highly recommend this book to those who should have some understanding what these precious people endured! Loved the writing style of Mr. Leon!”


“Betrayal and Eternal Hope… I loved this book. By the time I finished I thought I knew these people and shed a few tears that Charlotte was gone and the story was over. What a wonderful insight into a tortured soul.”

Amazon Customer

“Wonderful read! A very well written book about the life of a woman before, during and after the Holocaust. The book reads smoothly and I found myself eager to continue reading.”

Betty Boop

“A must read. Lunch with Charlotte...a story of love, separation, strength and resilience. A must read for those interested in how people survived during WWII”

Lori Brown

“Such a great book. It was really interesting to read about Charlotte's experience with the Nazis. It helped to explain several things I had wondered about. I am thankful that her story can be heard, it is pretty amazing!”

Mary Simonsen

“I read lots off WWII books. This one was a little different and I enjoyed it very much.”

Karmon Almquist

“An interesting read. Having read many books on this subject, this account was a little different. We're rapidly losing the stories and first hand accounts of this war with the passage of time. I'm glad I got to read this true story before it was lost.”

Pat A.

“Excellent. This book is an enjoyable read. Memories told so well you do not want to put it down.”

Shirley Payne

“Loved it. You could actually feel her pain. Very well written.”

Diana M. Citron

“A poignant, well-written story. This is a beautifully told story of personal struggle and bravery. You will care about Charolette and her family from the beginning, admiring the strength and resilience of the main character.”

Annie T.

“Beautifully done. Perfect picture of a WW11 survivor.”

M. Elliott

Five stars. Loved it.

Norman Lynd

“It's not often that you find nonfiction that is so well-written that you can't put it down, but "Lunch with Charlotte" is such a book. The author became a confidante of a distant cousin who had a remarkable life. Not only did she come of age during a very difficult historical time, as a young Jewish woman during the Austrian Anschluss (annexation by Nazi Germany), but her life was rife with betrayal on a personal level. Both the events and the betrayals formed her life and created the story that Leon Berger brings to life. It's difficult to describe the story without giving anything away, so I'll just say that he has created a book that I couldn't put down. I highly recommend it.”


“Deteriorating reality of life for Jews with the rapid rise of the Nazi regime.

This is not your typical Holocaust account of unimaginable physical atrocities inflicted on the sanctity of a fellow human being. Rather, the setting is not in a ghetto or concentration camp. It portrays the regression of spirit from care free to daily fear that is prevalent and pervasive in a deteriorating existence. It is the very real fear of the unknown and how the human psyche is affected. It also emphasizes the importance of the will to survive as the prime ingredient to actual survival. It poignantly retells the unimaginable anguish parents endured when faced with the separation from their children. It also portrays what one sees in a person's exterior can be a world apart from the turmoil within.”

Amazon customer

“Wonderfiul story. I wish I would have I had met Charlotte. Heart wrenching and the love of family.”


“Highly recommended. Great writing about a difficult time. Much more than an overview, Berger gives the reader what we are longing for: intimacy in this electronic age. Beautiful portrait of Charlotte.”

Fit Driver

“Well worth reading. Loved this book, resonated with me, and caused me to cry with grief at the end. Gives another aspect of how the Nazis destroyed lives, families. How a person overcomes that pain and loss. It touches heart nerves. Very well written. Thank you to the author.”

Kindle customer

Five stars! Wonderful story.

Max Gamblin

“I believe this book is a relevant read given all of the controversy surrounding the handling of Syrian refugees seeking help in the United States. Will history repeat itself? There are lessons to be learned from Berger's "Lunch with Charlotte" that can act as a catalyst for change, and encourage grace for humanity even in fearful times.”


“This is a great book. Told tenderly and with honest emotion, we get to know Charlotte. A growing up young Jewish girl living in Austria must endure all that is happening to her. This story takes you through the real life, from her Dad's complete fall for her mother to her last day, of a remarkable women.”

Mary Beth Marti

“I loved this book, the way it was written, the look into a survivors story. The courage that these people had, I am at a loss to describe how this story affected me. Powerful.”

Nancy W.

“Five stars. I loved this wonderful story.”


“A wonderful story of a painful yet happy life.”

jama king

“Excellent! An amazing true story about a terrible time in history. So well written it brought Charotte to life. Lest we forget about those times and the courageous people who lived them, this book is a must read!”

Mommy Dearest

“Intimate and heartfelt memoir of the internal struggles of a resilient Jewish woman during the World War II years and their lifelong impact on her life. Poignant and straightforward, it sheds light on the effect culture has on an individual's thoughts and actions.”

Jennifer B. Malone

“Emotional and powerful. I so enjoyed this book because it is a true story, but was so much about the way the person felt at different stages of her stressful life. The events were interesting enough but what makes this an excellent read is the feelings and emotions that have resulted in the trauma this woman went through. I thought the cruelest thing of all was when her life became complete to have that snatched away again. Excellent read!”

Sue Werner

“This is one of the best short books I have read. The characters are real and well formed. The character of Charlotte is of an amazing woman. So much like a real person - making the best from what she has and hiding her "true" self. The other thing is that Mr. Berger told the story without all the usual guilt and drama that usually comes with the territory. Charlotte is a real person, with everyday problems that many of us face - in addition to living through one of the most tumultuous periods we have known. I found this to be the kind of story that had to be read in one sitting. I really enjoyed this book.”

Rachel Booth

“Amazing and heartfelt. You will be drawn in to the life story of Charlotte as well as the narrator's love for her as Charlotte's heart is poured out. I wish I could have met this amazing woman!”

Pen Name

“‘Lunch With Charlotte’ by Leon Berger was an excellent book. I felt emotionally involved with the characters. I highly recommend this book (non-fiction) to anyone who appreciates books about WWII and the Nazi occupation. Charlotte live an long, exceptional life, for all that she went through.”

Kathleen T. DeShong

“A must read. This was a book I had to read just one or two chapters at a time not because of the writing but because of the emotions this book brought out. It is a wonderful read that transports the reader to relive WWII through the eyes of one fortunate young lady.”

Samuel B. Flanigan

“Heartwrenchingly beautiful memoir. I became totally involved with Charlotte's story. Mr. Berger did an outstanding job capturing the strength and depth of the character and the tension of the time. This is a memoir that will stay with you, long after the last page. Give 5 stars plus!!!”

Amazon customer

“I had a hard time putting it down.”

Audra D. Paulson

“As meaningful today as yesterday! This story was a great example of the psychological survival of a woman who had her youth and trust , and sence of security stolen from her by the nazis and many of the community around her , while still giving comfort hope and loyalty.”

Mike Stangland

“Five stars. Loved the writer’s style and enjoyed the story!”


“Outstanding. Thank you for this gift. The relationship between the author and Charlotte allowed me to know her so well. I will remember this story for a very long time.”

Roberta G.

“Very touching story. What an amazing woman and the story was told beautifully.”

L. Scroggin

“This is my favorite account of WWII, and beyond! It brought history to life, human spirit to life.

I kept reading passages out loud. It had so much to say, and it's said so well! Charlotte is smiling. Thank you!”

P. Wolfgang

“The authors writing style pulled me in and I could not put it down. An intense yet enjoyable read.”


“Amazing story, told beautifully. Worth every minute spent reading it. This was a beautiful, tragic and heart-rending story wonderfully told. And in this current year of political speechifying also startingly apt. Thank you for this work. This story will remian in my heart and mind for years.”

George’s Media List

“Blew me away! I really enjoyed this account of the life of Charlotte Urban, as told to the reader by Leon Berger. I highly recommend it to one and all--it will be hard to forget--in a good way. I was especially intrigued by the references to the kindertransport program and that of Oskar Schindler--and how they related to this account. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.”

Laura V.

“Outstanding, great, gripping story! One of the best books I've read and I've read thousands! Touching at times, it was hard to hold back tears. There were times I got angry, there were times I laughed. A true telling of a person living during the holocaust and the effects on her, her family, those around her, the country and the world. A must read!”


“A girl for all seasons. The story of Charlotte is riveting in that although she lived through multiple traumas, she was able to present herself as a strong person.”

Susan F. Kruger

“Tender tale of relationships. The most striking thing about this story is the author's profound respect for Charlotte, whose commitment and trust in relationships were always repaid with betrayal. I felt such a deep connection with Charlotte and mourned the end of this remarkable woman as though I'd known her personally. This serves as strong evidence of the author's success in telling the honest details and her innermost thoughts while preserving the dignity she valued. In this honest, yet tender writing, Charlotte is immortalized. Thank you for your time, effort and commitment to keep this story alive, Mr. Berger. It is an amazing labor of the love Charlotte surely deserved.”

Judy Talbot

“Inspiration and hope. The true story of Charlotte, a survivor not only of the Nazi purge of WWII but of her own inner demons. An inspiring woman who truly lived life to the fullest. A wonderful book.”

Susan J. Gainoutdinov

“Great book. Oh how I didn't want this book to end !!! A great story would be a brilliant film ,loved it !!”

Amazon Customer

“Amazing story of a very resilient lady. I absolutely loved this book! The author put so much effort into telling Charlotte's story. The characters became alive on every page and I could not help but feel desperately sorry for everyone involved in her story.

I knew as he described her mother's marriage to her father that things would not be good and my heart wept for all that her mother could have been and for the almost neglected life she gave to her daughter. Heartbreaking.

What I did love about Charlotte's story is that although it is a tale of missed chances, lives that could have been so much better, it never once came across as patronising. It told the tales of some very strong characters and also some weak ones, but it cast no judgement on them. It simply told the story as it was.

A refreshing read surrounding the story of a Jewish family, but without all the sympathy seeking that some stories have. It never proclaimed itself a victim - and that in itself was the clincher for me. Factual, but leaving the reader to make up their on mind about how unfair it all was for the whole family.

I would def recommend this book to those who love a great biography of ordinary people, doing extra ordinary things, purely as a means to live a life well and with honour.”


“5 stars. Very endearing”


“Loved this story. Brought the tragic times of this era to life of real people and their trials and tribulations thank you for sharing Charlotte's story with us.”


“Excellent read. If you are as fascinated with the holocaust and how the people of WW2 fared then this is the book for you. A different angle on how jewish people survived in Europe without concentration camps. Charlotte was a wonderful women and now reading this account of her life I feel I know her. Couldn't put this down, very well written.”


“Unputdownable! I loved, loved this book. I don't think I have ever read a biography where the author gets into the mind of the subject with such depth and skill. It didn't surprise me to learn that his friendship with Charlotte spanned 25 years! Charlotte was a remarkable person whose story is unputdownable. Enjoy!”

Les from South Africa

“Sensitively told, the terrible truth of history never to be forgotten with insight of a life that survived it.... A reflection of what matters most, a reminder to appreciate what we do have.”

Amazon Customer

“Beautifully written. I read this book within a couple of days which is good for me as only read on bus but found myself staying up late to finish it. It reminded me a bit of Tuesdays with Morrie. It was delicately written and gave the impression that you were actually sitting at lunch with them both listening to the stories that Charlotte had to tell. I would recommend this book to anyone as it was beautifully written. I do not want to tell the story in my review as I wouldn't want to spoil it read it for yourselves you will not be disappointed.”

Amazon Customer

“Wonderful story about awful events. This is a beautifully told story about one Austrian Jewish woman's life and her secret, told only after decades of learning who she could trust, after so many moments of betrayal.”

Guy P. Thatcher

“Charlotte would approve. A lovely memoir, written with compassion and dignity. We are inspired by Charlotte's resilience and strength.”


“Such a wonderful story about a woman and her journey -- surviving the Nazis and emotional turmoil with family and friends. Read this book -- it will make you think, reflect and smile.”

“I loved every page I read!”


“A must read. Loved this book. I felt like I was right there.”

Dana Switzer

“Superbly written....a wonderful history.”

David Hunter

“Strength and wisdom. Unable to close. I cannot possibly fathom the tremendous amount of courage and strength it took to unveil this story to another human being. None of us in our right minds can understand what it took to live during the war. I would not have been able to endure. Thank God for people like Liselette, who show what true love and fortitude mean.”

Jean A. Neiderhiser

“A great read. Really enlightens you on a life of hardship during that time very moving and informative. I enjoyed reading this book.”

Debbie E.

“I thought this a great read, to actually read the true events from someone who lived through the terrible times of the Nazi occupation was very emotional, Charlotte not only had that to go through but the betrayal of her mother and the man she hoped to engage with, then to be sent away by herself to a strange country when she could barely speak the language and then for her father to send her away again, what a remarkable women, truly inspirational.”

Catherine Kelly

“An eye opener. A very enjoyable though sad read... I, like many I daresay, did not realise that so many Jewish children were separated from their families during the holocaust and sent to England, must have been harrowing for the poor mothers and fathers not knowing when they would all be reunited again.”

P.C. O’Neill

“Uplifting and moving. I was gripped by this book from page 1. Cleverly crafted so much so you feel like you are the third person at tbe lunch table. Intensely moving and sometimes heartbreaking at the thought of what Charlotte endured, you can't help but feel immensely proud of the enduring human spirit in the face of such adversity. This book will stay with me for a very long time. Thank you for sharing Charlotte's story.”

Amazon Customer

“I thoroughly enjoyed the book. wish you luck and write more wonderful ones.”


“Insightful, engaging and entertaining. I could not put down this story!”

Amazon Customer

“A must read. I really enjoyed Lunch with Charlotte. It was a compelling story of a woman's life, her survival during a turbulent time, her strength and resilience. It was very well written and kept me interested from beginning to end. I highly recommend it.”

R. Wiener

“A great book with feeling. The book started slowly, but the story and intensity of the author's words grabbed hold of me. This is a powerful story that moves quickly and the ending was extremely moving.”

Richard Doctor

“Think your life has been difficult? This wonderful story documents a life long search for people she can trust. She continues on through loss after loss finding happiness finally but then losing it again. Throughout, the quality person she is shines through impacting all who pass through her life.”

Amazon Customer

“Read this book. History is stories. These stories of Charlotte, her family and their times are here to do much more than entertain for a few hours. Read, digest and understand. There are lessons for us all.”


A poignant historical story. I feel I also know Charlotte. The author painted such a poignant story while not leaving out historical facts. Well presented and a very interesting read. I admire Charlotte's incredible lifetime of courage. She was much braver than myself.

Dan Blackorby

“In love with Charlotte. This true story of a remarkable woman was fantastic. I admired her strength in unbelievable situations. A wonderful reading experience.”


“Absorbing and real - a non-fiction story about survival. I am not an eloquent review writer so seldom write reviews but found Charlotte's story compelling well-told and sensitively written by the author. The Holocaust is one of the world's darkest moments in human history and we should never forget. Oppression and atrocities including genocide against groups of peoples based on religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation/sexual identity is beyond my comprehension yet it continues to be present to this day around the world, including our country.”

Lucinda Van

“An incredible story from the horror of the Holocaust. Lunch With Charlotte is one of my favorites of the Holocaust era. This is a beautifully written story of one woman's endurance and survival of one of the darkest periods in history. Charlotte gained her freedom on the kinder-transport to London. She chose to tell her story to the one person she trusted with her information. It was a beautiful friendship between the two of them in the last years of her life. I'm so glad she and Mr Berger found each other and she was able to rely on him and his friendship. A truly beautiful story.”

Anne Kirihara

“Well worth reading. Not a ‘normal’ Holocaust survivor's story. I'm glad that Charlotte's story survived, was preserved, and shared.”

Amazon Customer

“I really enjoyed this book. I loved the writing style and the way the author interjects additional facts into the storyline. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in true stories about the Holocaust and its survivors.”

Sonya C. Alexander

“What a rare find. I think it's worth the time to read, I didn't want to put it down. I gave it five stars, because well I want to read it again. I think for me it is a keeper.”


“An engaging and poignant story. Thank you Mr Berger for this wonderful narrative.”


“Outstanding. A very real, deep and tender memoir of one indomitable woman who survived the gehinnom of the war. 5 stars!”

Amazon Customer

“A real survivor. This is a poignant story of family relationships amid the backdrop of the horrific days in Austria before, during and after the war. To see how these people coped with the unimaginable world they lived in, with great fear and trepidation, plus unending hope, is a revelation. Worth the read, for sure.”


“I did not want this book to end...the author introduced me to Charlotte and gave such a depth to her personality I felt like I wanted to meet her and talk with her myself! Lunch with Charlotte is a poignant story about Charlotte, WWII, relationships, betrayals, love, and so many other happenings in Charlotte's life, heart, mind. Thank you Leon Berger for knowing Charlotte and letting us know her too...This book will definitely be a re-read for me!”


“A touching remembrance, told with sensitivity and just the right amount of humor, of a complex and very special lady. I'm glad to have had this glimpse of her life through tumultuous times and various places.”

Jo Johnson

“Five stars. Fantastic read, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a beautifully written account of Charlotte’s life.”

Harpal Dhillon

“Five stars. I have read many books regarding the Holocaust, but this one was different; more personal.”

Cindy Spellman

“Loved the book. A great method in learning about the wars through first hand


Kindle Customer

“I am always reading and this book was one I could not.put down. The author should be proud that Charlotte chose him to talk to and proud he did such a wonderful job of writing her memories thank you for sharing them.”


“I love it, I love it! Charlotte's story is so engaging! I just finished reading it and fell in love with her story and Vienna. I looked on line at Vienna, City of My Dreams and I can understand why she would reminisce about Vienna. The pictures I saw were of a city untouched by Hitler but is it possible that it had not been bombed? I hope to find the words to that song Vienna, City of My Dreams. She apparently never returned to her Vienna.

I am not here to give a book report but just to tell readers who love to read about people that this one is not to pass on. I accidently fell onto this one and I am glad Amazon flashed it on to my reading site. I read at night mostly and could not put it down. Berger is a good writer and so I am going to buy his book, Horse, as my next read. I hope he can keep these good reads coming.”

Amazon Customer

“Astounding! I have read many accounts of the holocaust,but not until this book have I truly felt the fear and horror of that horrible time. The author allowed me to know Charlotte as he did and I thank him for that privilege. It is such a cliche to say that I could not put this book down,however,some cliches are well deserved! Thank you Mr.Berger!”

Pat Comery

“A very interesting biography! I learned a lot about how people were living before, during and after world war I and II in Europe and how even the Jewish community couldn't believe Hitler would or could execute so many people so efficiently. How one shocking act affects a person the rest of her life.”

Nuclear Nana

“This is one of the best non-fiction narratives that I've ever read. If you have a loving and caring family, this book will help you appreciate and treasure your family so much more.”

Colin Hu

“Captivating story! Wonderful book! Told through the eyes of a young women who experienced the loss of family due to WWII. She was a very bold woman who found her father and then created a life for herself in Canada after the war.”

Amazon Customer

“I just finished the book Lunch with Charlotte. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. It was so well written. I love to read historical biographies. i myself heard many stories of the war from my parents. My parents met after immigrating to Canada in the 50's. They met at English class held at a church in Montreal, where I was born. We left Montreal in 1970 and I remember the FLQ crisis. I imagine that Charlotte would be proud of how you told her story. Thank you for sharing it.”

Barb Yantha

“I just want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book.

Your sensitive handling of Charlotte's story who had been mauled through her life's journey yet maintaining her 'chin up' attitude does her much credit. These kudos are equally yours for portraying your friend not as a victim of circumstance but as a tough survivor in a (sometimes) unfair & cruel world. 

Thank you for a very engrossing & well written book.”

Capt. Dady Mody

“Wonderful story about awful events. This is a beautifully told story about one Austrian Jewish woman's life and her secret, told only after decades of learning who she could trust, after so many moments of betrayal.”

Guy P. Thatcher

“Five stars. I absolutely loved this book. A historical biography very well written. Thank you for sharing Charlotte's life story.”


“Superb. Very well written, a compelling narrative.”

David Hunter

“Moving. One of the best Holocaust era books I've ever read. Charlotte's story gives such a unique and intimate perspective into history.”

Rebekah Coppenhaver

“Eight stars. Outstanding writer and story. I just loved this book. I was so sad to see it end, but it ended well... solely due to the sensitivity and excellent writing of its author, Leon Berger. Thankfully after the end page, it mentions another book he wrote which I am going to get, "Horse"--not only because I know horses but because I want more of his writing. (Disclaimer - I don't know Berger from Adam, just ran across his book.) This was an extremely good read--the kind where you're not even aware of author's style of writing, which only happens with a naturally really good writer. Beautifully executed storytelling about a really horrific time in history, as experienced through the eyes of someone who lived through it.”


“Loved Charlottes story. Laughed & cried & enjoyed every line!”

Jody M. Smith

“A child’s view of WWII. Reads like a novel. Interesting book of a child's view of 1930's in Venice and London. Looking forward to reading more by Leon Berger. Highly recommend.”

Dee Ashley

“A must read! This book is spellbinding and so well-written. I highly recommend it.”

G. Westerbeck

“Captivating. Very helpful read for anyone interested in the Holocaust.”

Merica Saint John

“A life well lived. This is absolutely the best memoir I have read concerning Holocaust survivors. The book is so well written that you really don't want to put it down. Charlotte really comes alive as a real person with a youth, middle age and eventually old age. A life lived with courage while enduring the scars left by the painful events of her youth.”


“So beautifully written. I felt I traveled through time with Charlotte. Serves as a reminder that everyone has a story to tell, we just need to take the time to listen.”


“Five stars. Fabulously written and constructed. Can't wait to read it again.”

Elizabeth Larkin

“Fantastic story. Words just cannot express how much I enjoyed this book!! This story will stay with me!”

Donna F. Cole

“Great read! The characters were well rounded and I always had the sense that I was there! I did not want this saga to end.”


“A must read. Beautifully written memoir of a truly courageous woman. The author honors not only Charlotte, but all of us with his insightful sharing of her story and their remarkable relationship.”


“Five stars. Worth every minute spent reading!”


“Outstanding! When I first began reading it, I often would put it down after only reading a few pages. Very soon I found I had to read many more pages to see what would happen next. Amazing story.”

Ted V

“Read it! Great story and well written. Recommend highly.”

Amazon Customer

“Five stars. I enjoyed learning more about how the people in Europe were affected before Hitler took over.”

Ann M

“Five stars. A well written book. I walked in Charlotte's shoes. I cried.”


“Excellent book from someone who is hard to please. I don't review books often, but this one deserves a 5 star review. Most e-books I find on Amazon are poorly written and poorly edited, so I have to write and say that this one was very well written. I enjoyed the entire story about Charlotte's life during WWII and how it affected her for the rest of her life. I will read more books by this author.”


“Beautifully told survivor story. What a pleasant surprise! The way the author shifts between the story's two time frames is flawless. One of the rare survival stories from the Holocaust era that truly portrays the feeling of living what Charlotte endured. Thank you for sharing her life, and yours as well, Leon Berger!”


“Beautiful memoir of a terrible time. Absolutely loved this memoir, including the author's comments about how they met and how he came into her confidence. Thank you for sharing this.”


“The life of a brave woman. The book kept me very interested and not wanting to put it down!”


“Enjoy lunch with Charlotte. Really good and really sad read about the horrors of how the Jews were treated in Vienna.”


“Amazing. Tragic. Revealing. Sad. Well written.”


“This was an amazing book. By the time you are finished with the book you wish you had met Charlotte and she was your friend, too. It's a long read but well worth the time and effort.”

Milkie B

“Great read! I chose this book from the Kindle Lending Library. I really enjoyed Charlotte's story. Thank you Leon Berger, for telling Charlotte's story. I really do think she would be pleased.”


“I am 93 and a Jewish woman. I lived through all of the history. But I live in America. The details of occasions like the night they destroyed all synagogues, the train she came on as a child to be saved, the description of her mother in the concentration camp. The author write in such detail it is amazing. She finally agrees to go to Canada and she meets her Jo and now she finally dies. I am overwhelmed by this book Thank You Leon berger.”

Frances Goodman

“I like to read about people who have actually experienced war in their lives and how they managed to live and prosper. This book didn't let me down. It is an excellent book to understand what really happened during the Germany take over. Amazing. Thanks to Mr. Berger for taking the time to write this.”


“Five stars. Good read.”

C. andrew

“I loved the book and was a little disappointed when it ended.”

Doreen Ryan

“Awesome book. IF WE FORGET THE PAST WE ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT. I hope that does not happen in this case. A really good read.”


“Definite read. Excellent book, full of emotions from downright terror to giddy laughter.”

Paula Moysin

“A fine and insightful book. So glad I read it. Excellent and enjoyable read.”


“I often read books about survival, both physical and emotional, in order to help me get through some tough years that I'm having, but I have no patience for poorly written books. This book did not disappoint me. It's a page-turner and it makes you care about the woman it's written about. It also gives a personal, historical perspective to the holocaust without being so utterly horrifying that you can't go on. I will recommend this book to others, and I will continue to think about it now that I've finished it.”

Julie C.

“I could not stop reading this book! Every evening, I would hurriedly scan my news & emails, so that I could open these pages and continue Charlotte's story. To see her life through her eyes via the author's words was enthralling.”

Meg Fickel

“What a wonderful heartfelt book!”

Derek Weeks

“A gift. Thank you Leon Berger for sharing the beautiful gift Charlotte gave to you. It is indeed truly rare to get to know someone in this way. You shared her history, her character, her joys and sorrows in a way that was enjoyable to read.

I highly recommend this as a historical read and also as an insight into how our relationships shape us from beginning to end.”

David Hughes

Good but sad…


“A compelling biography. Charlotte’s story of her flight from Vienna to London on the Kindertransport, her "war-torn" relationship with her mother, and how her experiences and her memories of those experiences shaped her character in her later life is told in this ensitively written biography that skilfully pulls together past and present.”


“Superb. Very well written, a compelling narrative.”

David Hunter

“I really enjoyed the story of Charlotte's life during WWII and the Holocaust, as well as her life in the years following. Without giving too much away, I will say this book tells a different story than the typical Holocaust books do. Why is it different? Well, you learn on page one that Charlotte is alive and well in the 2000's, living in Montreal--- it's a relief to know that Charlotte survives and that makes the story more enjoyable. My only wish for this book is that the author could have provided more photographs- he has a couple of Charlotte but I wish there were some of Charlotte's family as well (such as the photo of Charlotte's mom that the author mentions Charlotte keeps in a scrapbook). Other than that, this was a great story and I'm glad I "got to know" Charlotte just like the author did.”


“This is a very readable book about one woman's life as an Austrian Jew before, during and after the Holocaust. It is written by a man who spent many lunchtimes with her first because a cousin thought it would be good for Charlotte and later because they became an important part of each other's life. It is both the personal story of one woman's life and an historic snapshot of a life lived in europe during the Nazi political upheaval. It is not as horrifying or heart-breaking as the Diary of Anne Frank but is a glimpse into another time and place and one woman's ability to live through crushing circumstances.”


“I started reading this thinking it was another memoir of a concentration camp survivor. This wasn't what I expected at all. It was beautifully written from authors' perspective of the stories that Charlotte told him. 3 of 4 of my grandparents were born in 1919, and throughout the book I kept thinking of my one grandmother and what she had been doing at that point in time in Pennsylvania. I looked up Charlotte's date of birth, and it runs out she was a day older than my maternal grandfather. I could feel how she lived in Vienna, London and Quebec from the stories she told, and the imagery Berger wrote. This is a story of family, sacrifice, betrayal and survival. I am so happy I read it.”

Deveney Stormes

“A wonderfully written memoir that captures both the inward and outward struggles of a Holocaust survivor. Though Charlotte Goldhill managed to escape much of the gruesome Nazi torture while still young, the ghosts of her past stay with her for most of her life. The author has done an excellent job in expressing the psychological impact of the difficult pre and post World War II conditions on Charlotte and her family. In fact, this memoir almost reads like a novel, making it extremely easy for one to empathize with each of the characters that it portrays.”

Smita Shore

“Such a poignant story of s Jewish family dealing with the experiences of Hitler's blitz into Vienna. The historical details draw a vivid picture of the horrible aspects of WWII. The character of Charlotte is clearly affected psychologically as she strives to survive! The reader is drawn into the story from the beginning. As Charlotte relates each disappointment we learn the layers of hurt and fear that she and her parents endured. Well written by Charlotte's confidant. Highly recommended!!!”

Jeanene Boucher

“Leon was introduced to Charlotte by a relative. He started having Friday lunches with her and became her trusted friend. For the last 25 years of her life, during these lunches, Charlotte told Leon stories of her past. Growing up with an often absent father and a strained relationship with her mother. After a personal trauma, she escaped Vienna on the Kindertransport to England, where her father lived. Her mother unable to join them, due to the Nazi occupation. Leon has done a wonderful job piecing together the life of Charlotte. I am sure she is like most older people reminiscing, and the order of the stories were nowhere near the order she told them in. He admits she repeated herself sometimes and added details others. The story is different than most you hear from this time period. She was never incarcerated at a camp. She lived in fear, but really didn't suffer the abuse that most of the stories out there show. All in all a great read.”


“Five stars. I chose this rating because I enjoyed sharing Charlotte's life with her struggles being a Jew. This was a different book about a Jew's personal story during HItler's reign. A very interesting book.”

Darrell Craig

“I was thoroughly entranced by Charlotte's story. So heart rending. So triumphant in many ways. I enjoyed her memory of the stages of her growing acceptance and understanding of her lot in life. Interesting how some questions of life may never be completely answered, or do we just not want the answer that is evident?”


“One of the best books I've ever read. It’s amazing reading a book covering this subject that is about a real person. It gave me the real emotions tied in with the dramatic historical events. Thank you Leon for sharing this story.”

J Lochner

“Very well written book about the author's weekly lunches with Charlotte. Over the course of many years, she shared parts of her life with him that no one else knew about. I really enjoyed it!”


“A really great book. A young girl’s story of growing up in Vienna before Hitler's invasion, her and her mother's struggles, immigrating to London to be with her father, and her life as an adult living in Canada. I liked this book and making this journey with Charlotte very much.”

Deborah Beijer

“Before you start this book make sure you have tissues, you will need them. This book written by her true friend is about Charlotte's life - including how her parents met, her fathers time in ww1 and living as a Jew in ww2.”


“A true story. Well-written. Charlotte is an amazing woman. Very interesting story. I highly recommend it.”

Cheryl Goldsworthy

“I stumbled onto this book quite by accident, but it was a great find. I was riveted by the story of Charlotte and her life before, during and after the Holocaust. Getting an inside perspective was simply amazing and eye opening. I learned so much about history while getting an intimate look at a woman's life that was not easy, but very interesting. Definitely one of my favorite books.”

Nina Banks

“Absolutely spell binding without going into all the horrors of the war.”

Bea Binsky

“Worth every minute spent reading.”


“A delightful novel, the touching life story of Charlotte. Emotionally packed to say the least, I went from laughing to crying to amazed at her resolve. A highly recommended read for anyone, a must read for history buffs! A very well done novel by Leon Berger. I look forward to his next!”

Gerri Watkins

“I was very drawn into Charlotte's life story. This book is based on true events, as told to Leon Berger over years of visits with Charlotte. Everyone has heard stories of the horrific events that unfolded during World War II, but this version comes from a unique perspective. Highly recommended!”

Rachel Strickland

“A beautiful touching narrative of a lfe defined by historical events. It will last with the reader long after the last page”

Edward J. Gutman

“Lunch With Charlotte was one of my favorite books in a long time.”

Gail Harris

“Five stars. Loved it. Very nice read.”

Shoe person

“Well-written. It puts the reader into the places that so defined Charlotte. She even allows the author into places she had not shared before.”

Barbara S.

“This was a wonderful book. A great story, well written and moving!”

Jen Hopkin

Wonderful story and well written. Highly recommended.”

Amazon customer

“Such a personal story. What I enjoyed about this story is the personal view and the fact that not only the facts are shared but also the emotional effect that the trauma had on Charlotte.”

Cathy Harvey

“You should read this book. I’ve recommended this to my book club because I enjoyed it so much. The historical details and the personal ones meshed beautifully.”


“Charlotte is someone I’d love to share love with. Thank you for writting this story. Well written. It kept my attention. Exceptional people to withstand all that happened. Let us never forget.”

Claudia Minor

“I have read quiete a few holocaust books (fictions and non-fictions) and find this book very real and convincing.”

Tatsumi Morizuka

“Excellent read.”

Marsha Weaver

“What a wonderful read. I could not begin to tell you how many fictionalized and true accounts I have read of WWII and the Holocaust but this was such a good account of the events of a young girl/woman, Jewish, and her life and experience during that time when it wasn' t a concentration camp story but a daily existence still in the face of the horrific Nazi occupation. And also where her life took her after the war. I could not put it down. I highly recommend this book!”

Cynda Kash

“Such a worthwhile read! This book started out a bit slow but within a couple of chapters I was hooked. It was such a different approach to writing about life during WWII and that makes it very interesting. Told from Charlotte's friend Leon Berger (the author). By the end of the book you feel as if you were a friend of Charlotte's as you know her so well. It's most riveting portion would be during World War II as Charlotte and her family were living in Austria. Hard to image what that would be like but you get a taste with this book. Don't pass this one by!”


“One terrific Lady who survived the Holocaust and did not speak about the war horrors for many years after the 2nd world war. Only in later life did she reveal to the only man who managed to tell her story to him. Fascinating and well worth the read.”
Raymond Simmons

“Brilliant book. This book I found historically interesting, I chose to read it because it was along the lines of Anne Frank.”

D. Nolan

“There are many outstanding accounts of WW II Nazi occupation and the holocaust, this is another one... one of the best. Written by Leon Berger, a friend of Charlotte's, this is a stirring biography of a girl's life under that occupation of invaded Austria. The book started out slow but intriguing and only improved thereafter. Fascinating story, flawlessly written, and highly recommended.”

Chris Gregory

“A superb book. Bravo Leon Berger! I would like to give this book more than 5 stars! An insight into the life of Austrian people in the 1st half of the 20th century. Mesmerizing!”

Jan Milanowski

“Worth reading. I recommend this book.”


“Very interesting story about the love between a mother and daughter during a very tragic time Well written and a great book club choice.”


“Very good story, easy to read. The story draws you in to the life of Charlotte and keeps you interested.”


“I didn’t want it to end.

This is one of the most engaging books I have read in ages. "Read" isn't exactly accurate as I listened to it on audible. The reader was excellent and the story was captivating. It actually was quite long but as the story unfolded I couldn't put it down.

Charlotte's life in Europe during WWII and the holocaust was related in such a personal narrative I felt as if I were by her side. Her message of coping with life's challenges reminded me so much of my mother who died at the same age and who, like Charlotte, always presented a cheerful persona to hide the tragedies.

I highly recommend, especially if you have an interest in personal stories of the holocaust.”

M. Murphy

“Five stars. Very easy read and very interesting.”

Irene N Hagner

“Amazing story of an incredible life. Charlotte had unimaginable loss and difficult trials but she survived with courage and grace. The author brought you to the table listening to her story as if she was your friend.”

Karyn Steinberg

“Moving, informative, true story. I loved Lunch with Charlotte so much that I'm making my book club find/buy access to it to read it. I felt that I really got to know Charlotte and better understood what it was like to be an older teen at the time of Germany's invasion of Austria. Really, her story gave me many insights into that time in our world. I want so badly to be personally acquainted with her so I could ask questions and get more information.”

Evie Lou

“Five stars! A great read. A touching story. May we never forget.”

Janet M. Barr

“What a touching story: written with such emotion. I couldn't put it down until I got to the end and then , the words were blurred by my tears of sadness for this extraordinarily strong lady. Thank you.”

Beverly A. Lynn

“Excellent!!! I highly recommedn this book! What a great book!!!! I loved it! Charlotte shares her life story of being a young woman during Hitler's reign. One of my favorite books and I read a lot of books!”


“Five stars. Enjoyed this novel from beginning to end! Thank you for sharing Charlottes story.”

Ingrid Pokrass

“An excellent story of survival. This book had me on the verge of tears often. The fact that it was a true story made it even more compelling. This woman endured so much before getting to a safe place. Her story is on the same level as the Diary of Anne Frank.”

James E. Barnwell

“Well written and another WW2 tale that is important to tell. It's as good as ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’!”

Peggy Cairo

“I have never written to an author before, but I just wanted to let you know that I read Lunch with Charlotte and truly found it to be very interesting and extremely well-written! The historical aspect was very informative but what was most fascinating was learning about Charlotte and her personal struggles. Being from Montreal as well, it was interesting to have references to different areas in our city and to discover that I probably drove by Charlotte's building hundreds of times.

I am wondering if Charlotte ever got to read parts of your book? Do you think she would be ok with you writing about her relationship with her mother that tormented her throughout her life?

I am sure Charlotte would be very proud of you for telling her story in such a moving and powerful way. Thank you for sharing it!”

Heather Abrams

“I just finished reading Charlotte's story over the past three days. All I can say is thank you. I'm not able to convey in words how moved I am by your telling of her story, only that I am profoundly grateful that you did. Thank you. I can't seem to come up with any other words. I guess I am too moved to utter much else.”

Ellen Azotea

“Just… wow! I just finished this amazing story. It is incredibly well-written, profoundly moving, and I simply cannot put into words what meant to read the story of an extraordinary life. Just read it. Then share it.”

LN in OH

“What a fascinating story! As an avid reader of "non fiction" only, it will remain one of my favorites. Her life story was certainly a given example that with courage and the necessary traits of character, one can handle almost anything. "Without hope the heart would break”.

Diane Monast

“Charlotte’ s story reminded me of what some of my own cousins may have experienced, as they were fleeing Hitler's Europe. My wife and I are of Ashkenazi Yiddish, German and Slavic speakers, and we heard the stories of Jews who survived but lost family over there, as did Charlotte. And we really related.. to Charlotte's brave struggle against the advance of age and loss of ability to function fully.....A poignant and heartwarming narrative.”

Michael S. Cohen

“I thoroughly enjoyed Lunch With Charlotte. It was a compelling WWII story told from a different perspective - that of a child growing up in Vienna. Highly recommend this book.”


“Captivating life. What a touching and fascinating read.”

Keith S.

“Excellent book and well written , really enjoyed the characters and writing style. Charlotte's story was riveting as she lived the fears of World War II as a Jew.”

Claire Call

“A very good read. Fascinating story that kept my interest all the way through the book.”

Harriet S. Ryan

“Well done. The author gave us good insights into Charlotte's life before, during, and after the war. Her personality came through, and his patience with and friendship to her were laudable.”

Wirt Woman

“Five stars. It was a very insightful book that has kept me thinking even after I have finished reading it.”

Crystal Paul

“This book was so much more than a story about the tragedies of war. It was about a family and their struggles through life, pre war and post war. It really kept my interest.”

Nancy Chiodo

“Heartfelt story about the events leading up how a very innocent Europe was swept into Hitler's rampage and the impact on the girl and her family. Her lifelong pain impacted everything. Great insight to a past era”


“Excellent read. This story was beautifully written. Living thru these times must have been incredibly difficult, the loss of family and feelings of loss is beyond comprehension. I have great respect for those that survived and hope we aren't headed down a similar path ourselves.”

Amazon Customer

“Five stars. Such an enticing book - read it.”

Jackie B.

“Emotional as well as educational. A wonderfully told story. Heartbreaking as well as heartwarming. This is the first book I have read with history of Austria during that terrible time.”


“Grateful reader. Thank you for taking the time to write about the lovely Charlotte's life.”

Amazon Customer

“Must read. I could not put this book down. The reality of the holocaust to this day is still unfathomable. God bless you Charlotte and thank you for telling her story Mr Berger.”

Deborah Yeager

“Fascinating story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and hearing Charlotte's story. It kept my interest.”


“Five stars. Wonderful read.”

Everett E. Shipp

“Mesmerizing. I was totally absorbed in Charlotte's story and absolutely loved this book. The author's writing style is genuine and made me feel like I personally knew this strong and wonderful woman. A very inspirational story I will never forget.”

Amazon Customer

“This book will forever touch your life. I stumbled upon this book quite by accident. As a big fan of cozy mysteries, I thought this was going to be my usual reading fare. How fortunate I was to have discovered this wonderful, poignant and amazing telling of another era in our history. It touched my soul and heart, and reading till the wee morning hours was so worth it! Many thanks to Mr. Berger for sharing the life of Charlotte.”

Sparkle Plenty

“Great book. I really enjoyed this story! It made me smile,made me cry.”

Jane Dewey

“A wonderful read. Enjoyed this book very much. The reader can "watch" as the relationship between the author and Charlotte grows to one of trust that enables Charlotte to eventually unburden herself of the traumas of her past. What a privilege to vicariously experience her life through her stories.”


“Compelling. A real page turner. Makes you want more. I felt like I was the one living this story. An incredible life.”


“Loved this book. Although it was quite sad, it was also a beautiful story of a woman's life that only one person really knew.

A daughter who until the day she died was trying to understand why her mother did what she did, and whether she ever loved her. Something she never shared with anyone including her husband.

Although the fact she was a Jew and escaped, the story is far more than WWII.”

Traveling Judy

“Good read. Heart rendering, insightful, hard to put down.”

Karin L. Simmons

“Highly recommended. Very well written, about WW2, people’s lives - how affected by the Nazis - flashbacks to modern day seamless.”

Amazon Customer

“Insightful read for many reasons. I enjoyed this book for it's insight into the ramifications of war and it's effect on families. I admire the strength and character of Charlotte as it was presented in this story. RIP Charlotte.”

Nan Jacobs

“A good spirit helps generate good fortune. Charlotte Urban, nee Liselotte Goldberger, was born in Vienna in 1919 of middle class Jewish parents. Neither one of the parents, or indeed their parents was particularly religious but did follow many of the customs. Her father served, as millions of others, served in the Great War and thankfully came home, relatively unscathed when Charlotte was born. The aftermath of the war, great depression and the political turmoil in an increasingly volatile Germany, were all part of her early life.

This is a true story. Years later the author, Leon Berger, was blessed with the friendship and trust of a remarkable woman; with an even more remarkable story. In this book he has humanized her story and given a personal glance into the past. I found myself not only liking but loving most of the characters. Although from another generation, I could empathize and well sympathize with her and all of those close to her. This is a saga spanning three generations through a century of political and economical turmoil, religious and social upheaval, and personal and family grief. I really liked this glimpse into the lives of since hitherto strangers that I now regard as friends. The vagaries of their lives is sure to interest many readers.”

Thomas Swennes

“Great bit of history. I highly recommend Lunch with Charlotte! It is well written and quite interesting.”


“Survival of the fittest. Excellent story of a Holocaust survivor,,poignant,moving.It clearly described the events of the Anschluss,and what happens to a family torn apart by war.”

Rhoda Weintraub

“Very moving. History on a personal level.”

Amazon customer

“Charlotte fragile but strong. The story of Charlotte reveals life in Europe during an era when the old values of families were tested to the ultimate by the savagery of Nazi Germany. Charlotte had a fragility that she struggled to control for a lifetime. While many other persons may not have been as emotionally affected by her mother's actions, Charlotte was and so that became her burden to carry.”

R. Martineau

“This wonderfully well written memoir reads like a novel. Berger immediately drew me into the story. His work is a great tribute to his dear friend. Her life will ever be remembered, her fierce independence and determination inspires others. The turbulent history and horrific events of WWII are a stark warning of humankind's basest evils as well as our ability to rise above and not only survive, but thrive. Charlotte was an "ordinary" woman who lived an extraordinary life and I am glad I read her story.”


“A story of profound inner strength. I very much enjoyed this story and have learned much about life in Vienna during WWII and how life went on after the war ended as Charlotte left England for the shores of North America.The person this author wrote about faced much danger and grief as she escaped Austria via kindertransport and was able to reunite with her father in London. He had already obtained a visa, but Charlotte's mother refused to leave her birth family at the time she could have gotten out. There is much family and social/cultural drama in this true accounting of Charlotte's life, which she revealed to no one until her elder years. She found a happier life in Canada and lived a very long life, though still dealing with the traumas of her younger years. This is a very worthwhile read.”

Phyllis E. Bush

“A ‘couldn’t-put-it-down’ read to the very end. An awe inspiring book about a true survivor. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time.”

Maggie’s Mom

“Beautifully written. Charlotte's life told by the author was fascinating. A great read. A look into family life during a terrifying time in history.”

Kindle Customer

“Must-read living history. A magnificent and poignant story of the will to survive and the courage to go on no matter what the circumstances.”

Aslan’s Frau

“This book has helped me to understand better the difficult pre war and war years when my own parents were born and came of age. As my ancestors came to "the new land" before their own was ravaged by war, both Poland and Austria, I am grateful for knowing this history better through Charlotte's story. Thank you Mr. Berger!”

Marcia L. Vixie

“I enjoyed this book completely! I became encompassed in the life of Charlotte and her family. Her trials are a testimony to the strength of the human heart…”

Johnny Gunter

“Five stars. A true story about a courageous woman who survived to share her story.”

Navy Army Mom

“Fascinating story. This book was engrossing from beginning to end. Although one knew from the beginning that Charlotte obviously survived, the story was fascinating as it was revealed, bit by bit. The parallel between the advent of Hitler and his hate propaganda and the willing support of the Austrian people to the political situation in the US today makes this a very timely story.”


“A wonderful way to view history. Through weekly visits with Charlotte, Leon earns her trust and learns her story which is the story of a Jewish girl growing up before and during World War II. Then learning to move on after the war. Parts of the story involve Poland, Austria, England and Canada. Very thought provoking and worthwhile.”


“Five stars! Great read!!”

Amazon customer

“This was a story about Charlotte's life. From birth to death. It wasn't the typical Holicaust story about surviving a concentration camp. But of her life during the time of the war. The picture at the end of the book reminded me of many women I have known. She was born the same year my dad was. But he was born in the states. I felt like I knew her. Thank you, Leon.”


“Excellent book! What a life lived! The book was full of history as well as the story of Charlotte's life. A must read.”

Amazon customer

“Five stars. Good book!”

April Supinger

“Moved. I just finished this book and I have to say how much I was moved by it. To have survived so much, so young , at the hands of the Nazis,and all that life threw at her in the following years took a special kind of courage , strength and humanity. Congratulations to the author for telling us her story in such a captivating manner and in way that made me laugh with Charlotte, and want to dry her tears. Highly recommended indeed.”

mo c

“Great read. I tend to gravitate to Holocaust literature and this was one of the better written ones from indie writers. I really enjoyed your writing style and never wanted to put my book down......or turn it off, I guess? Keep up the great work.”


“Thought-provoking true-life story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The fact that it was a true story made it even more interesting and poignant. It was well written and kept me interested all the way through. I think everyone should be made aware of the life stories of more amazing people like Charlotte and the atrocities they were forced to endure.”

Amazon customer

“I enjoyed meeting Charlotte. I’m thankful that I came across this book. Charlotte is a very strong woman. Her story is inspiring and heartbreaking. Very well written - it held my attention from the start.”


“I just finished reading your book. I found it difficult to put down.  My heart goes out to her and others who lived or died in those tragic times. 

WWII has been a time in history that I find grabs my attention.  I have read about war in various parts of the world, of various people...political and non political. All saddens my heart.

I appreciate your interest and love for Charlotte. You are a great friend.  Thank you for sharing her story.”

Carol Mattern

“Five stars. Couldn’t put it down. Very well written and absorbing.”

Susan Bowman

“I would recommend it. Fantastic read! I was skeptically approaching this book; I was proved wrong. I was engaged & drawn in by the writers style and the story. Its a great explanation of how the Nazi party gained power, the climate of politics and economy, the suffering and beauty of spirit of survival.”

A. Acevedo

“Courageous woman. Charlotte was a young woman in Austria when her whole life changed as WW2 broke out. As her family were Jewish they were in danger of being sent to a concentration camp. Leon Berger befriends Charlotte in her old age and slowly she tells him the story of her life. He tells her story very well. One mistake I noticed in the historical details - Princess Elizabeth was not 18 years old when her father died.”


“Honest and beautiful. This was a beautiful story of triumph, tragedy, truth and love. We may physically survive what breaks us but mentally are broken, and having Charlotte be courageous enough to tell her truth was heartbreaking and inspiring. Well written book, I couldn't stop reading. The author made me feel as if I was really there, transporting my mind along with Charlotte. What the Nazis did to the world and to Gods chosen people should never be forgotten and reading Charlotte's story of survival was a pleasure that is embedded in my heart.”


“Five stars. An amazing story - loved the writing style.”

Michelle Huey

“I am trying to sort out, fiction or nonfiction...     The book helped me understand even more the wounds of war, wounds you can not see but are as damaging as the loss of a limb.  My foster son lived as a child in Siagon during the Am War in Vietnam, I know the extent to which he was damaged, to some degree.  This book helps me to understand the need as well as the cost of having to cover up those damages.    I am even more a pacifist, and believe that War Is Not the Answer.  Just be nice to each other.     I also read about Hitler and his rise to power, then I look at how the Trump campaign is taking off and that scares me just as much.    Good book.  Thank you Leon.   Thank you Charlotte.  Hugs to you both from someone who now understands a bit better.”

Jane Taylor

“Inspiring. Started a little slow but WOW! Couldn't put it down till the end!”

Amazon Customer

“What a great read. It is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I am amazed that the author, Leon Berger, was able to tell Charlotte's story the way he did. We feel we are with her throughout the book. We really get to know the characters intimately. This lady was a class act. I wish I had known her. What a heroine! And she didn't even know it. All her life she lived to care for others. Every adventure she took made her a stronger person. I'm glad Leon got to know her and got to tell her story. So why am I crying at the end of this book?”

Kindle Customer

“Such an amazing story. I very much enjoyed learning about Charlotte. Her story is one that needed to be told. It puts the real human emotion into the historical events that seem so distant and hard to comprehend. Thank you for sharing this intimate relationship as it was shared with you. We would all be better for having known someone such as Charlotte.”

S. Baker

“Wow, what a read! I have smiled and cried throughout this story but most of all learned the hardships of this ladies life. What a lady and what a read. Fascinating!”

Jayne Campbell

“This is a story of one family and is a great glimpse into the lives of Jews who suffered the Nazi persecution thru the 1930's and 1940’s.”

Teresa McCown

“Five Stars. Loved it, although some parts were hard to read. Very personal history, beautiful woman.”


“I enjoy reading true stories which give me insight into a person's life and the time in which they lived, hopefully gleaning lessons for my own life. This book certainly does all that -- giving glimpses of Charlotte's life on three different continents with details of history. We see her inner struggles that she had never shared with anyone, and the persistent question in her mind of her mother's love for her. I think it's sad that she never worked through this issue so it was never resolved. It seems the answer was not difficult, in that Karl's plan all along was never about her at all. The author did an excellent job of putting together her story and the historical events that shaped her life.”

Linda Perry

“Excellent reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written and I felt as if I personally knew Charlotte. Very well done.”


“Had no idea what to expect. I went into the reading of this book with only a recommendation from my husband, who reads a lot of his time left on earth. After giving it a chance I found the beginning mildly amusing. It wasn't to my kindle malfunctioned and I could only read what I had already begun that I became spellbound by the story. It became difficult to leave at the end of the day. I was spellbound by the authors authenticity and brave dedication to its subject, Charlotte, whom I grew to LOVE. This book is highly rcommended for its detailed portrayal of a true heroine.”

Janet Bellovin

“Life well lived. What a lovely complex story. How blessed was the author to know and share Charlotte Urban. From her idyllic childhood to her maturing through the reign of Nazi terror, and finally finding her true self, it brought back many personal times and trials for this reader. Highly recommend.”

Myra M. Cox

“Brilliant book. All should read this book the bond between the author and Charlotte , you can feel how close it was. I enjoyed it . But I hope there is never another holocaust ever again”


“Five stars. Great read written with compassion!”

Amazon customer

“Fascinating! Truly a mesmerizing story, impossible to put down, as well as an accurate history of a troubling time in mankind's existence.”

Retired English Teacher

“Excellent. A very living personal account. The subject comes to life through the author's personal account. Loved this story. Highly recommended!”


“Living history. A moving personal history of a traumatic time.”

John Needle

“Good true story with facts woven in like gold threads. The author did a good job telling Charlotte's story while weaving factual events that painted a good picture of what led to World War II and the aftermath of its survivors.”

F. Roberts

“Very nice sure to read Horse by he same author.”

barbara matranga

“Great Book!!! I enjoyed the book very much. I like the way the author went back to the past then back to the present.”

Linda M. Desalvia

“A story of courage. Charlotte endured so much over her 9 decades of life. Despite all the emotional concerns she encountered, she remained true to herself. She upheld the standards she'd learned through her lifetime. She would have been a joy to know.”


“This was an awesome and very inspiring book. There were times that I laughed and times where I cried. I could feel her fear and accomplishments.”

Donna Toole

“Beautiful. What an amazing and heart-felt story!”

Amazon customer

“A must read. It was a very good book.”

Amazon customer

“Five stars. This was a beautifully written tribute of friendship.”

Tracy B.

“Charlotte's story touched me.”

Sue Herman

“Beautifully written. Loved it, couldn't put it down. Very moving story, rich in history.”

Joann t

“I’m glad Leon Berger invited me to lunch with Charlotte. It's an honor to get to know someone like her. We got to know her at the deepest level. In her self revelation we see her courage and fear, her confidence and insecurities. We also see parts of our self and are made better by the lunch.”

Bob Duffer

“Interesting, thought-provoking book. I liked the slow reveal of Charlotte's story, and her layers of protection.”


“Grace and courage uner pressure. What an inspiring story of courage and the will to survive and the determination of the human spirit. Charlotte will stay in my memory. Thank you for telling her story.”


“Five stars. Excellently written, and the story of Charlotte's life was so interesting!”

Marilyn Schillroth

“Engaging story. Lunch with Charlotte is an intriguing story about a complicated woman and time in world history.”

Maureen D.

“Really well written. This was a really well written story which talks about a difficult subject but handled tastefully. The transitions between past and present were really well done. You really care about Charlotte.”

Surfer and Surfette

“Fantastic book! I read this in one sitting. Charlotte seemed like such an amazing woman. I feel honored to have read her life story.”


“One of the most engaging and beautifully written books I've read in a really long time. Leon Berger has captured his friend Charlotte's story with grace, honesty and dignity and he brings Charlotte, her family and her story to life in a way that is so riveting and I would get so engrossed reading it that I'm surprised I never missed my stop on the train.”

H. S. Steinberg

“My several days with Charlotte and Leon. The description of this book from Amazon appealed to me because as the daughter of an immigrant mother with whom I frequently discussed her experiences. Fortunately my grandfather left Russia at the time of the Russian Revolution (1905), went to Austria where he met and married my grandmother and where my mother was born, decided to come alone to the United States to make enough to bring his wife and daughter here. Unfortunately for Charlotte, her parents stayed.

This book is so moving because it is so real. There was no sugar-coating to any of the events, and the reader enters the story with the author. Without any question, "Lunch with Charlotte" was one of the best books I've read this year, and I thank Leon Berger and Grey Gecko Press for sharing Charlotte's story. Please keep writing Mr. Berger!”

R-B C Amazon Customer

“Fantastic book! I read this in one sitting. Charlotte seemed like such an amazing woman. I feel honored to have read her life story.”


“Five Stars. Excellently written, and the story of Charlotte's life was so interesting!”

Marilyn Schillroth

“A story of strength and survival. Such a touching life story filled with a unique insight into a history the world of today can only guess at. A gift to humanity.”

Janice L. Phillips

“A wonderful tribute to a beautiful lady. Everyone has a story. Charlotte's deserved to be told. A wonderful story of loss and survival. I am thankful to have been able to read it. She deserved to be remembered.”

Kindle customer

“One of the best books. I read many books about Holocaust survivors. This was a little different as it was also about their escape after Germany invaded Austria. Very interesting to hear how some of them managed, what they faced and their resilience and at times despair. I learned so much. Inspiring and sobering to learn their stories.”

Kindle customer

“Touching and captivating. A raw and touching story set in WW2, reminding me that you never know a person's story. I highly recommend.”


“Read it! Excellent biography about a survivor from Vienna during World War II.”

Kelly Jadon

“Five stars. A great story, well-written.”

Peg K.

“Great read of an intense life that needed to have an listen. Fascinating tale of love, loss, and coming to terms with ones life.”

gretchen lobas

“Five Stars. Loved hearing about Charlotte, her family and the history behind it all.”

C. Bertheny

“A mystery. A different kind of survivor story, kind of a mystery that makes you want to continue reading. Sad but funny, very human.”


“Very moving book. I truly enjoyed reading this book, it brought tears to my eyes as I read each event in this dear woman's life. I highly recommend this book.”


“Well written book with a powerful story. Very enjoyable reading. You really felt you knew Charlotte when you finished reading the book.”


“Simply put, I loved this book.”

Amazon Customer

“Could not put this book down. You will not be disappointed. I'm a big reader.”


“Five stars. Great story with a different look at the holocaust. I enjoyed this very personal journey.”


“Excellent. I really enjoyed this book. Ii wasn't just a history of Nazi atrocities, but also a beautiful story about a beautiful person. Very touching.”

James M.

“I just finished your wonderful book.  I was so moved by it.  So much emotion - all that she endured and survived.  I have read a lot about the Holocaust and World War II; this one was very informative and well written.  I do think her mother loved her - no doubt; I just think her mother never had a chance to experience other things.  She probably wasn't that aware of her daughter's infatuation and of course never expected to get caught.  So glad Charlotte confided her feelings and story to you.  Thank you.”

Bernadette Reed

“Five stars. Excellent book—real page turner.”

Marian Librarian

“Five stars. Great story”

Gino Olivieri

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written and I felt as if I personally knew Charlotte. Very well done.”


“A gem. This is a delightful account, a real story, of how a young Jewish author was able to relate to and encourage an aging Jewish survivor of the Holocaust to tell snatches of her story. I found it charming and as pages turned, my interest increased. A gem of a story.”

Kindle customer

“I liked this book very much.It's happened that I knew Brizeli family, which

lived in Charlot's building on Van Horne for many years. I find story in this book is amazing.”

Jane from Montreal

“I really enjoyed this book, made up of lunchtime conversations of the writer with Charlotte. It's not a typical Holocaust book in the sense that Charlotte manages to escape Vienna on the Kindertransport, but it still gives you a sense of what it was like living under those circumstances and the long lasting trauma they lived with. Leaving that aside, it also gives an understanding in general how the actions of parents can influence their children long into adulthood.”

Freda Verbaenen

“Living history. A superb account of conditions in Nazi Austria and other aspects of WW2. A moving personal history of a traumatic time.”

John Needle