Ursula’s Yahrtzeit Candle

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Ursula Frank, an 87-year-old woman, who has lived and seen it all from Nazi-scorched Europe to pre-Castro Cuba, was looking for a clever exit from her mortal coil by going into East L.A. at night looking for trouble. Unintentionally she interrupts the gang initiation of Reuben Montanez, a 17-year-old good guy who was simply hoping for a better life than his honest hard-working (deceased) brother. Little does Reuben know that Ursula just might have the answer to his hopes of a better life, if only she can share it with him before it is too late—for either of them.

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If Ursula’s Yahrtzeit Candle was a movie, it might be directed by Ron Howard.

Sample Chapters

To download sample chapters, right-click/Control+click/long-press on the appropriate file below and select “Save file/target/link as” and open in your ereader’s native program, or on your computer.
The Kindle file (.mobi) is for Amazon Kindle and the Kindle App. The .epub file is for all other ereaders (Nook, iPad, Kobo, etc.) and their apps. The .pdf file is for all computers that have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed.

Customer Reviews

6 thoughts on “Ursula’s Yahrtzeit Candle

  1. Engaging store with three interesting characters.
    I enjoyed spending time with them. Well drawn characters improbably brought together. We get to know them as they get to know each other. Delightful.

    1. This short novella is engrossing beause of the cultural pieces, the religious, social, and urban parts of all our lives whether we’re old or young, Jewish or not. I was touched by the layering of the parallel stories, learned a lot about a religious tradition that is so very special, and was touched by the humanity of the work–and all in 98 pages. THe story is SO visual it would make a great movie because the characters are real and the details are precise. A great holiday gem.

      1. Connection across cultures and stages of life…Steven Berger has written a lovely book that does three things quite well.

        He has created a story that brings individuals from two disparate cultures together respectfully and believably. In addition, and more uniquely he has brought individuals together who are also of vastly different ages, in a way in which their interaction has a kind of logical kindhearted naturalness to it. And in creating this structure he has allowed an old woman to tell the story of her very early life, and to do so in a way that meets her needs and those of the young people she shares some of the richest and most meaningful days of the last stage of her life.

        i found the story believable and touching, and strongly suggest that the time spent reading this novella are well worth it. I applaud the author for creating this simple tale of humans connecting with each other in a warm-hearted way and highly unusual way.

        1. Ursula’s Candle is a well written, entertaining book. I enjoyed the character development which provides a great background to Ursula and Reuben’s present situations. It is a good story for readers of all ages and reminds us to be more considerate of others. Today, too many believe their hardships are impossible to overcome, then you can meet someone that puts your world back into the correct perspective. I look forward to reading more from Mr. Berger!

          1. Ursula is a determined elderly Jewish lady that definitely has it all together. She knows her own mind and will follow her chosen course, no matter what the consequences. The gifts she gives the two young people with whom she becomes associated are gifts from which we all can benefit. The twists and turns the author leads you through are fun, although, somewhat predictable. All in all, it is a quick delightful read with some really important underpinnings.

            1. Gripping, germane, and if anything, too short. The coming together and communication/understanding between two disparate cultures is excitingly presented.

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