Book Review: My Father’s Gardens by Karen Levy
Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto
My Father’s Gardens is a memoir written so eloquently it reads like poetry. Levy tells the story of her upbringing and coming of age. She is an Israeli native torn between her home land and the United States just as she is torn between her warring parents. Levy writes: Beautiful families keep ugly secrets, contained in pretty boxes. Yet Levy herself keeps no secrets from her readers. She shares her lessons and her love through her art of storytelling. My Father’s Gardens is beautifully written and will tug at your heartstrings from cover to cover.
Levy’s style of writing reads like the loveliest poetry. I found myself highlighting sentences and phrases because of the pictures I was able to conjure through her words:
· Bolts of electricity mythological in proportion rip through the night skies…
· I can’t remember what you said that made me feel beautiful. Maybe because you were beautiful too, there under the olive trees…
· …was gone, but like water streaming into a freshly dug hole in the sand, someone else steps right in to take his place.
|Author, Karen Levy
My Father’s Gardens is written in cinematic short meaning short scenes with the focus on showing the reader instead of telling the reader. I absolutely love this style as it allows for so much emotion from the reader. I was able to envision the beautiful landscape of Israel but what amazed me most was Levy’s ability to draw me in. I am a native of the United States and she somehow managed to help me feel as though I was looking at my own country through new eyes. The passion of Levy’s story and her passion for writing come through very strongly on each page.
For anyone who has ever felt they did not belong, or has felt torn about where they belong, the moving memoir, My Father's Gardens will really hit home. Levy questions whether she is more Israeli or American and she works through finding herself and realizing where she really belongs. She comes to the calm and confident realization as her worry fades and she arrives, no longer conflicted! I would certainly recommend this book and have ranked it on Amazon with five stars!
Thank you to Karen Levy for contacting me requesting
I read and review her memoir.
My Father's Gardens is the story of a young girl who comes of age in two languages, and on two shores, between warring parents and rules that change depending on the landscape and the proximity of her mother. Struggling to find her voice and her place in the world as a result of her frequent travels between her native Israel and the United States, she feels that she must choose a place to call home. As her scenery alternates between warm Mediterranean and snow capped mountains, loud-mouthed Israelis and polite Americans, so do her loyalties: Is she more Israeli or American? How will she know when she has arrived? And while she chooses she is slowly transplanting bits of her father's gardens on foreign soil.
Karen Levy is an Israeli-American writer. Born in Israel, Levy spent her childhood traveling between her native land and the United States. Following her military service, Levy returned to the U.S. where she earned her B.A. in Comparative Literature and an M.A. in English, Creative Writing. Her memoir, My Father's Gardens is a candid account of a life divided between countries, friends, languages and alliances.