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The Invisible Bridge

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Icated relationship with the letter's recipient he becomes privy to a secret that will alter the course of his and his family’s history From the small Hungarian town of Konyár to the grand opera ho. This is not just another wwII holocaust read Although I did hesitate to pick it up but only for a moment as I read several stunning reviews that suggested I better take a look at it I’m so grateful I did This is an epic story It's 1937 pre war Hungary Three brother's lives are diverging At the core is the story of one brother Andras who goes to Paris to study On arrival he finds friendship love and passion Then the horrific war begins The atmosphere is heavy laden with sadness grief devastating loss and yet the impossibility of hope and faithBeautifully and stylistically written this is a valuable read to add to the wwII era of unforgettable novels It is remarkably well written whose 600 pages read as 300Highly recommend but know this will be an emotional one 5 ★

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Uses of Budapest and Paris from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in labor camps The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a family shattered and remade in history’s darkest hou. I will just copy my FBC Review hereINTRODUCTIONAs I mentioned in a recent review sometimes books come out of nowhere hijack my reading schedule and it takes a while until I can un weave the magical spell they had exerted on me and leave their universe usually needing at least one complete reread as well as an immediate reviewThe novelistic debut of the author The Invisible Bridge attracted my attention by its fascinating cover in a Borders bookstore several days ago and the blurb below made me open it; I got hooked on the first page which you can read in the extract linked above and I stayed way way too late to finish the novel since I really needed to find out what happens with the main characters while rereading it at leisure during the next few daysParis 1937 Andras Lévi a Hungarian Jewish architecture student arrives from Budapest with a scholarship a single suitcase and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné As he becomes involved with the letter's recipient his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena their younger brother leaves school for the stage and Europe's unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty From the Hungarian village of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris from the lonely chill of Andras's garret to the enduring passion he discovers on the rue de Sévigné from the despair of a Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond The Invisible Bridge tells the unforgettable story of brothers bound by history and love of a marriage tested by disaster of a Jewish family's struggle against annihilation and of the dangerous power of art in a time of warFORMATCLASSIFICATION The Invisible Bridge stands at about 600 pages divided into five parts and 42 named chapters with an epilogue some decades later The novel spans the turbulent years from 1937 to 1945 with action mostly in Paris Budapest and various labor camps on or behind the Eastern front lines where Hungarian Jewish males were conscripted as forced laborers for the army instead of as soldiers since they were considered unreliable to be given weapons and training to use themThe novel follows the intertwined destinies of the lower middle class Levi family from a village near Debrecen of whom middle brother and architect to be Andras is the main hero though older brother Tibor and younger Matyas play important roles too and the rich Hasz family of Budapest of whom early forties Gyorgy is a Bank President and his son Jozsef a painter to be is studying and partying with of the latter than the former of course in ParisThere is also mysterious early thirties Klara Claire Morgenstern who is a ballet teacher in Paris with a 16 year old strong willed daughter Elisabet to whom Gyorgy's mother the matriarch of the Hasz charges the twenty two year old Andras to secretly deliver a letter when he gets to Paris for his studies in addition to carrying a huge package with goodies for JozsefRomantic epic dark even painfully so at times The Invisible Bridge is historical fiction of the highest caliberANALYSIS The Invisible Bridge succeeds so well because of three aspects1 The characters Andras and Klara first and foremost are such extraordinary characters the young idealistic student who cannot help himself but fall in love with the 31 year old woman with a 16 year old girl and a dark past we get hints about and who somehow managed to make a reasonably successful life for herself and Elisabet despite all; also Tibor Andras' friends the closet gay Polaner and the handsome Ben Yakov the wastrel but good natured Joszef theater manager Zoltan Novak who is Andras' mentor and first employer and the rest of the Hasz and Levi families are all memorable and distinctive characters and you want them to succeed and later to survive though of course the odds were what they were so do not get overtly fond of anyone2 The writing style which is spellbinding; the book is a page turner end to end and it manages to combine the first half cautious optimism of the main characters even in face of the clouds of war and of rising antisemitism in France and violence in Germany and other places with the day to day struggle to survival in the face of the tightening vise of the second half The Invisible Bridge does not descend into melodrama in the first half nor does it descend into despair and darkness without a light in sight in the second half but it maintains a matter of fact attitude throughout that kept me guessing almost to the end what will be the fate of the characters3 The world building as noted at the end of the novel The Invisible Bridge is based on the author's family stories and real life experiences plus a lot of research and it shows The feel of both Paris of 1937 1939 and of Hungary from 1939 1945 is pitch perfect and the Jewish traditions are vividly expounded The Invisible Bridge feels to me right as a book set partly in Eastern Europe in a way few books by Western authors feel and the little details like recipes names ways of speech contribute mightily to that feelingThere are several moments that descend a bit into farce like the story of Ilana the Italian Orthodox Rabbi's daughter that Tibor helps elope to Paris to secretly marry Andras' friend the handsome ladies' man Ben Yakov who is actually in love with Black American student Lucia and of course Tibor falls in love with Ilana while Ben Yakov is desperately unhappy that he cannot marry Lucia so he hopes that Ilana's beauty will 'cure him of his wandering eye so to speak all with predictable results of course but the novel manages to surprise after that But the lighter interludes work well as a balance to the increasing darkness that descends on the world and on our charactersAnother superb touch in the novel was how famous stories like Job's fate are weaved explicitly in the novel first in the story of Andras' father nicknamed Lucky Bella in an ironic and tragic way as he lost everything in life family child inheritance by age 30 and was living in depression and despair on the community's charity until a wise rabbi convinced him to try and turn around his fortunes and then in the tragic story of one of novel's important characters though for this one you have to read the book to find out what's what The last meeting of Andras with the respective character in 1943 is one of the emotional highlights of the second half of the novelIn turns a wonderful love story an epic historical saga in the grand traditions of yore and a dark story of destruction and survival The Invisible Bridge A is one of two awesome mainstream novels that will lead that category in my best of 2010 list Néa: roman nowhere hijack my reading schedule and it takes a while until I can un weave the magical spell they had exerted on me and leave their universe usually Twice Tempted needing at least one complete reread as well as an immediate reviewThe Renato novelistic debut of the author The Invisible Bridge attracted my attention by its fascinating cover in a Borders bookstore several days ago and the blurb below made me open it; I got hooked on the first page which you can read in the extract linked above and I stayed way way too late to finish the Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy + Design novel since I really Chado: The Japanese Way of Tea needed to find out what happens with the main characters while rereading it at leisure during the The Shoe Box: A Christmas Story next few daysParis 1937 Andras Lévi a Hungarian Jewish architecture student arrives from Budapest with a scholarship a single suitcase and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné As he becomes involved with the letter's recipient his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena their younger brother leaves school for the stage and Europe's unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty From the Hungarian village of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris from the lonely chill of Andras's garret to the enduring passion he discovers on the rue de Sévigné from the despair of a Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond The Invisible Bridge tells the unforgettable story of brothers bound by history and love of a marriage tested by disaster of a Jewish family's struggle against annihilation and of the dangerous power of art in a time of warFORMATCLASSIFICATION The Invisible Bridge stands at about 600 pages divided into five parts and 42 The Alexandria Quartet named chapters with an epilogue some decades later The A Vindication of the Church of Scotland: Occasioned by the Duke of Argyll's Essay on the Ecclesiastical History of Scotland (Classic Reprint) novel spans the turbulent years from 1937 to 1945 with action mostly in Paris Budapest and various labor camps on or behind the Eastern front lines where Hungarian Jewish males were conscripted as forced laborers for the army instead of as soldiers since they were considered unreliable to be given weapons and training to use themThe In the Mothers Land novel follows the intertwined destinies of the lower middle class Levi family from a village Bombardiers near Debrecen of whom middle brother and architect to be Andras is the main hero though older brother Tibor and younger Matyas play important roles too and the rich Hasz family of Budapest of whom early forties Gyorgy is a Bank President and his son Jozsef a painter to be is studying and partying with of the latter than the former of course in ParisThere is also mysterious early thirties Klara Claire Morgenstern who is a ballet teacher in Paris with a 16 year old strong willed daughter Elisabet to whom Gyorgy's mother the matriarch of the Hasz charges the twenty two year old Andras to secretly deliver a letter when he gets to Paris for his studies in addition to carrying a huge package with goodies for JozsefRomantic epic dark even painfully so at times The Invisible Bridge is historical fiction of the highest caliberANALYSIS The Invisible Bridge succeeds so well because of three aspects1 The characters Andras and Klara first and foremost are such extraordinary characters the young idealistic student who cannot help himself but fall in love with the 31 year old woman with a 16 year old girl and a dark past we get hints about and who somehow managed to make a reasonably successful life for herself and Elisabet despite all; also Tibor Andras' friends the closet gay Polaner and the handsome Ben Yakov the wastrel but good Essentials of Kayak Touring natured Joszef theater manager Zoltan Novak who is Andras' mentor and first employer and the rest of the Hasz and Levi families are all memorable and distinctive characters and you want them to succeed and later to survive though of course the odds were what they were so do Larry Boots, Exterminator not get overtly fond of anyone2 The writing style which is spellbinding; the book is a page turner end to end and it manages to combine the first half cautious optimism of the main characters even in face of the clouds of war and of rising antisemitism in France and violence in Germany and other places with the day to day struggle to survival in the face of the tightening vise of the second half The Invisible Bridge does Manual de Entrenadores ITTF-IPTTC Nivel 1 (Table Tennis Coaching) not descend into melodrama in the first half GMAT Official Guide 2018: Book Online nor does it descend into despair and darkness without a light in sight in the second half but it maintains a matter of fact attitude throughout that kept me guessing almost to the end what will be the fate of the characters3 The world building as Compromise, Conformity, & Courage noted at the end of the Autobiography of a Yogi (Self-Realization Fellowship) novel The Invisible Bridge is based on the author's family stories and real life experiences plus a lot of research and it shows The feel of both Paris of 1937 1939 and of Hungary from 1939 1945 is pitch perfect and the Jewish traditions are vividly expounded The Invisible Bridge feels to me right as a book set partly in Eastern Europe in a way few books by Western authors feel and the little details like recipes Flight Risk names ways of speech contribute mightily to that feelingThere are several moments that descend a bit into farce like the story of Ilana the Italian Orthodox Rabbi's daughter that Tibor helps elope to Paris to secretly marry Andras' friend the handsome ladies' man Ben Yakov who is actually in love with Black American student Lucia and of course Tibor falls in love with Ilana while Ben Yakov is desperately unhappy that he cannot marry Lucia so he hopes that Ilana's beauty will 'cure him of his wandering eye so to speak all with predictable results of course but the Welder's Handbook: A Complete Guide to Mig, Tig, Arc & Oxyacetylene Welding novel manages to surprise after that But the lighter interludes work well as a balance to the increasing darkness that descends on the world and on our charactersAnother superb touch in the Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity novel was how famous stories like Job's fate are weaved explicitly in the Arrow: Season 2.5 (2014-) novel first in the story of Andras' father Exploration of Himself nicknamed Lucky Bella in an ironic and tragic way as he lost everything in life family child inheritance by age 30 and was living in depression and despair on the community's charity until a wise rabbi convinced him to try and turn around his fortunes and then in the tragic story of one of You Slay Me (Aisling Grey novel's important characters though for this one you have to read the book to find out what's what The last meeting of Andras with the respective character in 1943 is one of the emotional highlights of the second half of the You Slay Me novelIn turns a wonderful love story an epic historical saga in the grand traditions of yore and a dark story of destruction and survival The Invisible Bridge A is one of two awesome mainstream Liczby Charona novels that will lead that category in my best of 2010 list

Julie Orringer å 2 Free download

Paris 1937 Andras Lévi a Hungarian Jewish architecture student arrives from Budapest with a scholarship a single suitcase and a mysterious letter he promised to deliver But when he falls into a compl. I'm trying to remember if a book has ever made me cry this hard The Book Thief maybeAs I assured my little brother when he crawled out of bed to make sure I was okay I wouldn't be so upset if I didn't like the book I only cry for characters that I love My dog who actually came to my aid before my brother didn't seem to care what I was reading He just climbed up onto my bed and snuggled up next to me and licked my tears awayThe Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer begins in 1937 with 22 year old Andras Levi departing Hungary for Paris to study architecture after securing a scholarship at the Ecoles Speciale By chance he is asked to carry a letter with him to France addressed to C Morgenstern with whom he begins a rather complicated relationship as everything in Europe begins to disintegrateOkay I'll admit this first I have never heard anything about the Hungarian Holocaust before I don't think I ever even realized that Hungary was involved in World War II In school you hear a lot about the French occupation and the Warsaw ghetto but not a word about the devastation that was brought on Hungary too Hungary whose leaders allied themselves with Germany and then enslaved their Jewish men and forced them to fight for the Nazi army while their wives and children back home were murderedBack to the story The Invisible Bridge pulled me in to Andras's life in Paris His mentors and friends and loves and enemies The entire first half of this 600 page tome was hardly a light story but it wasn't yet a description of the indescribable horrors that would come later It reminded me almost of Anna Karenina the way that the every day life of the characters was so fleshed out They became real You could understand the souls of these fictional charactersBy the time the events of second half of the story were unfolding in their horrifying detail I was too invested in the lives of the characters to stop reading I did I admit put the book down for hours at a time too afraid to keep reading for what might happen but I always went back and pressed onwards Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace next to me and licked my tears awayThe Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer begins in 1937 with 22 year old Andras Levi departing Hungary for Paris to study architecture after securing a scholarship at the Ecoles Speciale By chance he is asked to carry a letter with him to France addressed to C Morgenstern with whom he begins a rather complicated relationship as everything in Europe begins to disintegrateOkay I'll admit this first I have Down In Texas never heard anything about the Hungarian Holocaust before I don't think I ever even realized that Hungary was involved in World War II In school you hear a lot about the French occupation and the Warsaw ghetto but Men on the Edge not a word about the devastation that was brought on Hungary too Hungary whose leaders allied themselves with Germany and then enslaved their Jewish men and forced them to fight for the Nazi army while their wives and children back home were murderedBack to the story The Invisible Bridge pulled me in to Andras's life in Paris His mentors and friends and loves and enemies The entire first half of this 600 page tome was hardly a light story but it wasn't yet a description of the indescribable horrors that would come later It reminded me almost of Anna Karenina the way that the every day life of the characters was so fleshed out They became real You could understand the souls of these fictional charactersBy the time the events of second half of the story were unfolding in their horrifying detail I was too invested in the lives of the characters to stop reading I did I admit put the book down for hours at a time too afraid to keep reading for what might happen but I always went back and pressed onwards


10 thoughts on “The Invisible Bridge

  1. says:

    I have a theory about why some people love this book and others myself included struggled to slog through it First I think it depends on your personal tolerance for sentimentality Given that the first half of the book is a love story base on Love with a capital L which itself is based on beauty magical first glances a forbidden element and an ever mysterious woman you'd better be content with a sentimentality meter reading that's over the moon I have a number of reader friends who would love to wrap themselves up in this kind of thing and take it homeand that's great For them If you're of the cynical persuasion who raises an eyebrow at a college freshman professing his undying fidelity to the older woman who is his first love wondering what kind of emotional backlash might ensuedon't bother ducking There is no backlash This is LOVE If the main character Andras wrings his hat and he does this a lot in an emo fashion over his intended's perceived infidelity rest assured that all tension shall be based on complex yet innocent misunderstandings Because this is LOVEAnd while we're on the subject of sentimentality let's talk about the characterization The large cast of co protagonists in Andras' circle of family and friends are GOOD people noble and innocent with few exceptions Even when the sky itself is on fire and raining down on them they are insufferably selfless starving themselves to feed children nursing each other back to health and so on They are even anachronistically Modern in their beliefs of course only Fascists with a capital F would have the nerve to harass a perfectly harmless Gay character while all our co protagonists lovingly embrace him As He Is no uestions asked As all the good non fascists were wont to do in the late 30's But the point of good characters is that we sympathize with them right? Even if it makes them predictable and dull? I suppose and yet somehow I resent being emotionally manipulated by this kind of forced sympathy it's just too easy when unspeakable horrors happen to good people for no reason especially when children are involved Of course I KNEW this was a holocaust saga going in correct? Isn't that the very definition of the genre? What right do I have to complain about this anyway? I'll just mention that Suite Francaise was full of petty ignoble interesting characters but somehow I cared about some of them anywayOne of the biggest barriers to my appreciation of the story was its relentlessly heavy tone of overwrought momentousness Even in what should have been lighter moments the characters are wracked with angst and poetically purpled profound thoughts The result uite simply is that it's exhausting And repetitive The characters are caught in a cycle of expressing their dramatic emotions shocked disbelief breast beating sorrow ecstatic professions of love misplaced tearful apologies for situations beyond their individual control The few instances of attempted humor fell flat and I so wanted them to work Even an epic saga needs humor needs the grit of sarcasm and understatement needs to turn occasionally away from the epic before we are beaten over the head with itWhich leads me to one of my biggest issues with this book that the superfluous overwrought prose waters down what is deep down a moving story The author feels compelled to EXPLAIN everything not counting on the reader to GET IT on her own The author relies too much on interpreting for us every little uiver of body language lest we somehow miss the point of their next unsubtle outpouring of emotion The result of all this unintentional? telling is that it caulks up the hazy void where subtext tends to dwell When an author insists on spelling out the meaning behind every little look glance and line of dialogue we readers suspect our intelligence isn’t trusted Some of us don't mind but some of us resent it I noticed this sort of excessive interpretation in The Invisible Bridge not just once but consistently A prime example of this occurs when the willful Elisabet stays out all night while her mother Klara and the main character search for her “but when they opened the door they found Elisabet on the doorstep holding a pair of evening shoes in one hand a cone of spun sugar candy in the other Klara standing in the doorway took a long look at her at the shoes the cone of candy; it was clear she hadn’t come from an innocent evening with Marthe” I would argue that the entire second sentence semi colon and all is unnecessary The fact that she’s carrying her shoes that someone bought her candy signals that she’s been out dancing with a boy and not at Marthe’s house We don’t need Klara’s prolonged double take the repetition of “shoes” and “candy” for this to sink in and certainly not that patronizing phrase “it was clear” “It was clear” signals to me that the writer fears the opposite that it is not clear at all which it is but instead of adding a few extra details to Elisabet’s appearance to bar any imagined confusion—smudged makeup or a man’s handkerchief hanging from her belt or whatever—she lays everything out for us “It was clear” reappears throughout the novel and is always used to similar effect as in the following “Now she held her back rigid while another woman leaned close to her ear; it was clear that the other woman was narrating the progression of Novak’s tete a tete with Klara” or even “Soviet planes—or what had appeared at first to be Soviet planes but might have been German planes in disguise—had bombed the Magyar border town of Kassa The message was clear Hungary had no choice but to send its armies into Russia”To be fair there were some very powerful moments in this book In particular I was emotionally struck by the part in which Andras and his friend are punished for creating a humorous reactionary newspaper in one of the labor camps and literally forced to eat their words During the scene Andras has a chilling realization that he hasn't even seen the worst of the horrors which are to come But while this should have been a turning point for Andras in which he should have either been galvanized into action or frightened into complicity neither comes to pass Apart from a few uips that you should have seen what they did to us this scene may as well have never happened for all the impact it has on Andras' characterization He is still his same Good self still willing to conduct a bit of passive resistance without holding his neck out too far I think I'm being a bit harsh Few of us are aware of the Hungarian role in WWII and Orringer's meticulous research into the details of everyday life in Paris and Budapest are laudable although the wikipedia esue summaries of battles and broad political developments that pop up every time a character sits down to read the paper could have been better incorporated I'm still feeling than a bit guilty about this review because I know the characters are based on the remarkable experiences of the author's family and of course one never wants to show one's ancestors in a bad light unless they deserve it At the same time in FICTION I want to read about tortured flawed characters who don't always think politically correct thoughts or are likewise always charitable and forgiving And not for an unending 700 page slogDon't think that a short book could possibly do justice to a weighty subject like WWII? Then I recommend the tiny incredibly powerful 85 pg novella Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal about Czech resistance to the German Occupation It's hilarious and brutal and takes just one afternoon to read


  2. says:

    I'm trying to remember if a book has ever made me cry this hard The Book Thief maybeAs I assured my little brother when he crawled out of bed to make sure I was okay I wouldn't be so upset if I didn't like the book I only cry for characters that I love My dog who actually came to my aid before my brother didn't seem to care what I was reading He just climbed up onto my bed and snuggled up next to me and licked my tears awayThe Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer begins in 1937 with 22 year old Andras Levi departing Hungary for Paris to study architecture after securing a scholarship at the Ecoles Speciale By chance he is asked to carry a letter with him to France addressed to C Morgenstern with whom he begins a rather complicated relationship as everything in Europe begins to disintegrateOkay I'll admit this first I have never heard anything about the Hungarian Holocaust before I don't think I ever even realized that Hungary was involved in World War II In school you hear a lot about the French occupation and the Warsaw ghetto but not a word about the devastation that was brought on Hungary too Hungary whose leaders allied themselves with Germany and then enslaved their Jewish men and forced them to fight for the Nazi army while their wives and children back home were murderedBack to the story The Invisible Bridge pulled me in to Andras's life in Paris His mentors and friends and loves and enemies The entire first half of this 600 page tome was hardly a light story but it wasn't yet a description of the indescribable horrors that would come later It reminded me almost of Anna Karenina the way that the every day life of the characters was so fleshed out They became real You could understand the souls of these fictional charactersBy the time the events of second half of the story were unfolding in their horrifying detail I was too invested in the lives of the characters to stop reading I did I admit put the book down for hours at a time too afraid to keep reading for what might happen but I always went back and pressed onwards


  3. says:

    Whew What a book This book was very very good This is NOT however a book you would race through If you want a book that is going to be a uick read this is NOT it However if you want a thought provoking beautifully written story that will wash over you like a warm baththen this is for you There were times in this book where I had to set it asidebecause I just felt like I needed a break this book was pretty lengthy I am a very speedy reader too This book however was not a book I wanted to rush through It felt as if the author wanted to take me on a journey and I was going to let her I wanted to savor this book Take away Take your time on this one Let the story sink in You will be happy you didThe book centers on Andras Levi a young Jewish man living in Hungary at the start of WWII This book spans throughout the entirety of the war We meet different characters that are pertinent to Andras Levi's life such as Klara a love interestWhat I liked most about this book was the character development between Andras and Klara They were characters you just want to love and root for Ultimately this is a book I will not soon forget If you are a lover of historical fiction than this book is for you Further I'd recommend this to fans of We Were the Lucky Ones


  4. says:

    This is not just another wwII holocaust read Although I did hesitate to pick it up but only for a moment as I read several stunning reviews that suggested I better take a look at it I’m so grateful I did This is an epic story It's 1937 pre war Hungary Three brother's lives are diverging At the core is the story of one brother Andras who goes to Paris to study On arrival he finds friendship love and passion Then the horrific war begins The atmosphere is heavy laden with sadness grief devastating loss and yet the impossibility of hope and faithBeautifully and stylistically written this is a valuable read to add to the wwII era of unforgettable novels It is remarkably well written whose 600 pages read as 300Highly recommend but know this will be an emotional one 5 ★


  5. says:

    The Twelve Days of Reading The Invisible Bridge A NovelOn the first day of reading this the thought occurred to meIt starts off engaginglyOn the second day of reading this the thought occurred to meMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the third day of reading this the thought occurred to meUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the fourth day of reading this the thought occurred to meWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the fifth day of reading this the thought occurred to me ThisisaHARLEUINWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the sixth day of reading this the thought occurred to meJewish inconsistencies ThisisaHARLEUINWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the seventh day of reading this the thought occurred to meTwo dimensional villainsJewish inconsistencies ThisisaHARLEUINWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the eighth day of reading this the thought occurred to meExcess detailTwo dimensional villainsJewish inconsistencies ThisisaHARLEUINWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the ninth day of reading this the thought occurred to meCringe worthy humorExcess detailTwo dimensional villainsJewish inconsistencies ThisisaHARLEUINWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the tenth day of reading this the thought occurred to meWikipedia historyCringe worthy humorExcess detailTwo dimensional villainsJewish inconsistencies ThisisaHARLEUINWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the eleventh day of reading this the thought occurred to meHolocaust exploitationWikipedia historyCringe worthy humorExcess detailTwo dimensional villainsJewish inconsistencies ThisisaHARLEUINWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasBut it starts off engaginglyOn the twelfth day of reading this the thought occurred to meWhy did I slog through this?Holocaust exploitationWikipedia historyCringe worthy humorExcess detailTwo dimensional villainsJewish inconsistencies ThisisaHARLEUINWay anachronisticUnrealistic plot twistsMary Sue personasWell it started off engagingly


  6. says:

    This book is WONDERFUL Julie Orringer is both a great storyteller and a great writer Excellent Historical FictionUPDATE 2015 Here is another book I read 5 years ago soooo good I remember every detail Read it when it first came out then a couple years later with my Jewish book club I'm sitting here today reading while on the bike at the gym at the moment and a GR's sent me a note about how much she loved this tooThen I had the pleasure to read many of my friends reviews I'm not sure we had been friends on this site yet when area read it If you've not read it You just won't be bored for a second actually reminds me of another book I finished just 10 minutes ago The Debt of Tamar As far as lush storytellingTreat yourself and read all the many great reviews Better yet if in the mood for a page turning historical fiction You won't go wrong with this one And WHY has the author not written another book yet? I'd read her in a second


  7. says:

    It isas though I layunder a lowsky and breathedthrough a needle’s eyeWG Sebald UnrecountedHowever this lengthy debut novel with epic aspirations promisingly enough starts with a gripping uote by WG Sebald and despite the noble intentions of the author partly inspired by her grandparents’ experiences in their survival of the Holocaust as a whole this book in the end frustrated and slightly exasperated me even if my expectations on it actually were not very high When I heard my real life reading group chose it as our opening read for the new reading year assuming at that moment the novel entirely fictionalised – I admit wrestling with my own personal bias towards the book thoughtlessly inclined to classify it as another book by a young American author having written a fictionalised Holocaust tale with a syrupy love story at the centre or another novel in the line of The Book Thief or Everything is Illuminated Unfortunately basically it turned out to be such a tale be it maybe less sentimental than Markus Zusak’s – and far serious in tone than Jonathan Safran Foer’s – less imaginative also As apparently not sharing the positive consensus on this novel in the group discussion last week and bearing the rave ratings here on GR in mind it seems unwise to expound further on the story itself other readers have already substantially explained elouently than I can why reading Orringer’s novel can be a frustrating experience My thoughts pretty much concur with Wendy's and Katie's in depth analysis of the story and Orringer’s style Wondering why this novel didn’t work for me I came across this uote ‘On the floor was a thick red rug that smelled of woodsmoke; on the bed a butter colored bedspread made from a torn theatre curtain And beside the hearth was a deep low armchair of faded vermilion plush a reject he’d found one morning on the sidewalk in front of the building It had been lying facedown in a posture of abject indignity as though it had tried and failed to stagger home after a night of hard drinking The chair had a droll companion a fringed and tufted footstool that resembled a shaggy little dog’ Maybe it is just me cringing at such sentences – maybe other readers would too as Orringer perseveres in this level of detailistic description throughout the whole novel smothering the relevance of her subject the pace of the story and the reader’s willingness and ability to empathize with the protagonists in her oddly overwrought style her adjectivitis her extravagant use of colour her adorning every ray of light with silver and gold her unfaltering illumination of the elegance of the hats and stylishness of her characters even when threatened by deportation and death The novel painfully illustrates what distinguishes a lavish delightfully lyrical or musical style from purple prose vexingly spackling up every possible crack or crevice still left in the reader’s imagination Orringer’s style and the supremacy of the mawkish love story are regrettably detrimental to her pursuit for verisimilitude notwithstanding her admirably thorough research on the persecution of the Jews of Hungary during WWII the gradual deprivation of their rights their forced service in labour camps munkaszolgálat and the eventual deportation to the extermination camps once Horthy couldn’t resist the pressure of his Nazi allies any longer from March 1944 on on this on In our reading group there was a certain irritation with the high degree of accidentalness to the story the numerous lucky strikes saving some of the characters in the story which however struck me as not such an uncommon viewpoint in the context of the Holocaust Survival even if not altogether random after all in some respects was a matter of sheer coincidence which is poignantly evoked by the famous poem Any Case by Wislawa Szymborska which Julie Orringer integrally includes to close the story and which could be seen as a poetical summary of the plot of the novel It could have happenedIt had to happenIt happened earlier LaterNearer Farther offIt happened but not to youYou were saved because you were the firstYou were saved because you were the lastAlone With othersOn the right On the leftBecause it was raining Because of the shadeBecause the day was sunnyYou were in luck there was a forestYou were in luck there were no treesYou were in luck a rake a hook a beam a brakea jam a turn a uarter inch an instantYou were in luck just then a straw went floating byAs a result because although despiteWhat would have happened if a hand a footwithin an inch a hairsbreadth froman unfortunate coincidenceSo you're here? Still dizzy from another dodge close shavereprieve?One hole in the net and you slipped through?I couldn't be shocked or speechlessListenhow your heart pounds inside of me Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh The Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial in Budapest by Can Togay and Gyula Pauer to honour the people who were killed by a fascist Arrow Cross militia in Budapest during World War II They were ordered to take off their shoes and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the riverObserving that many other readers were deeply moved by Orringer’s fictional Jewish Hungarian family I humbly admit I wasn’t If reading on the Holocaust I’d rather recommend Tzili The Story of a Life by Aharon Appelfeld Austerlitz by WG Sebald Mendelssohn is on the Roof by Jiří Weil and Vielleicht Esther Katja Petrowskaja’s account on her family and the Babi Yar massacre to be published in English in November


  8. says:

    For a long time I thought the author was writing about members of her own family so idealised and sentimentalised were the depiction of all the relationships in this novel When she isn’t writing about relationships she writes really well so it was the only explanation I could find for this relentless alienating sentimentality Further enhancing this idea was the strange structure – the first 300 pages are set in Paris Then suddenly the entire cast is uprooted to Hungary Paris the euivalent of a central character is completely dropped Sometimes you have to wonder if setting a novel during WW2 and employing Jews as central characters isn’t just an easy way for an author to shoehorn into the narrative a huge amount of pre supplied dramatic tension Klara and Andras’ rather clichéd romance only held my interest because I knew the Nazis were coming The Invisible Bridge is an old fashioned conservative and somewhat predictable novel The prose is weighty the narrative is chronological and loaded with long descriptive passages Every character is intensely earnest always guarding his or her dignity We never see any character with his or her trousers down; we never see any character mucking about Those moments that reveal the vulnerable and touching humanity of characters are completely absent in this novel At the same time it bears all the hallmarks of romance fiction He’s poor she’s rich; she has a mysterious secret; he is passionate than most; they are both beautiful and uncommonly gifted Andras’ relationship with his professor is ideal Andras is the best student his relationship with his brothers is ideal his love for Klara is ideal Klara is the best dancer in her company Everyone in this novel is uncommonly gifted They weren’t like real people; like automatons programmed to always behave in an idealised way Also I can’t think of a single reason why this novel needs to be 758 pages long It takes ages to get going and then it takes ages to end When war begins for real the author has no further need of emotional melodrama and the novel massively improves as a result Unfortunately for me the damage had already been done I didn’t like the two lead characters at all I was weary of all the rather crude manipulation the author had resorted to in order to make them loveable When she isn’t writing about relationships she writes really well So I was left bewildered why she focused so heavily on the corny romance theme Basically you’d have to be a diehard romantic to enjoy this and I’ve discovered I’m not


  9. says:

    I will just copy my FBC Review hereINTRODUCTIONAs I mentioned in a recent review sometimes books come out of nowhere hijack my reading schedule and it takes a while until I can un weave the magical spell they had exerted on me and leave their universe usually needing at least one complete reread as well as an immediate reviewThe novelistic debut of the author The Invisible Bridge attracted my attention by its fascinating cover in a Borders bookstore several days ago and the blurb below made me open it; I got hooked on the first page which you can read in the extract linked above and I stayed way way too late to finish the novel since I really needed to find out what happens with the main characters while rereading it at leisure during the next few daysParis 1937 Andras Lévi a Hungarian Jewish architecture student arrives from Budapest with a scholarship a single suitcase and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné As he becomes involved with the letter's recipient his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena their younger brother leaves school for the stage and Europe's unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty From the Hungarian village of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris from the lonely chill of Andras's garret to the enduring passion he discovers on the rue de Sévigné from the despair of a Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond The Invisible Bridge tells the unforgettable story of brothers bound by history and love of a marriage tested by disaster of a Jewish family's struggle against annihilation and of the dangerous power of art in a time of warFORMATCLASSIFICATION The Invisible Bridge stands at about 600 pages divided into five parts and 42 named chapters with an epilogue some decades later The novel spans the turbulent years from 1937 to 1945 with action mostly in Paris Budapest and various labor camps on or behind the Eastern front lines where Hungarian Jewish males were conscripted as forced laborers for the army instead of as soldiers since they were considered unreliable to be given weapons and training to use themThe novel follows the intertwined destinies of the lower middle class Levi family from a village near Debrecen of whom middle brother and architect to be Andras is the main hero though older brother Tibor and younger Matyas play important roles too and the rich Hasz family of Budapest of whom early forties Gyorgy is a Bank President and his son Jozsef a painter to be is studying and partying with of the latter than the former of course in ParisThere is also mysterious early thirties Klara Claire Morgenstern who is a ballet teacher in Paris with a 16 year old strong willed daughter Elisabet to whom Gyorgy's mother the matriarch of the Hasz charges the twenty two year old Andras to secretly deliver a letter when he gets to Paris for his studies in addition to carrying a huge package with goodies for JozsefRomantic epic dark even painfully so at times The Invisible Bridge is historical fiction of the highest caliberANALYSIS The Invisible Bridge succeeds so well because of three aspects1 The characters Andras and Klara first and foremost are such extraordinary characters the young idealistic student who cannot help himself but fall in love with the 31 year old woman with a 16 year old girl and a dark past we get hints about and who somehow managed to make a reasonably successful life for herself and Elisabet despite all; also Tibor Andras' friends the closet gay Polaner and the handsome Ben Yakov the wastrel but good natured Joszef theater manager Zoltan Novak who is Andras' mentor and first employer and the rest of the Hasz and Levi families are all memorable and distinctive characters and you want them to succeed and later to survive though of course the odds were what they were so do not get overtly fond of anyone2 The writing style which is spellbinding; the book is a page turner end to end and it manages to combine the first half cautious optimism of the main characters even in face of the clouds of war and of rising antisemitism in France and violence in Germany and other places with the day to day struggle to survival in the face of the tightening vise of the second half The Invisible Bridge does not descend into melodrama in the first half nor does it descend into despair and darkness without a light in sight in the second half but it maintains a matter of fact attitude throughout that kept me guessing almost to the end what will be the fate of the characters3 The world building as noted at the end of the novel The Invisible Bridge is based on the author's family stories and real life experiences plus a lot of research and it shows The feel of both Paris of 1937 1939 and of Hungary from 1939 1945 is pitch perfect and the Jewish traditions are vividly expounded The Invisible Bridge feels to me right as a book set partly in Eastern Europe in a way few books by Western authors feel and the little details like recipes names ways of speech contribute mightily to that feelingThere are several moments that descend a bit into farce like the story of Ilana the Italian Orthodox Rabbi's daughter that Tibor helps elope to Paris to secretly marry Andras' friend the handsome ladies' man Ben Yakov who is actually in love with Black American student Lucia and of course Tibor falls in love with Ilana while Ben Yakov is desperately unhappy that he cannot marry Lucia so he hopes that Ilana's beauty will 'cure him of his wandering eye so to speak all with predictable results of course but the novel manages to surprise after that But the lighter interludes work well as a balance to the increasing darkness that descends on the world and on our charactersAnother superb touch in the novel was how famous stories like Job's fate are weaved explicitly in the novel first in the story of Andras' father nicknamed Lucky Bella in an ironic and tragic way as he lost everything in life family child inheritance by age 30 and was living in depression and despair on the community's charity until a wise rabbi convinced him to try and turn around his fortunes and then in the tragic story of one of novel's important characters though for this one you have to read the book to find out what's what The last meeting of Andras with the respective character in 1943 is one of the emotional highlights of the second half of the novelIn turns a wonderful love story an epic historical saga in the grand traditions of yore and a dark story of destruction and survival The Invisible Bridge A is one of two awesome mainstream novels that will lead that category in my best of 2010 list


  10. says:

    This is an old fashioned novel even an epic in the tradition of War and Peace great storytelling set in a tumultuous time developed characters and good writing It's obvious that Orringer did a lot of research and the time period and the places are alive with details that fill all the senses I found it hard to ever put the book down The writing is elegant two tiny rabbits browsed the clover The first light of day came through the delicate endive leaves of their ears the round blue tin that held a minestrone of buttons His a baby's hands opened into starfish These are just passages I remember offhand; I didn't mark anyIf I have any complaint it's that the love story before the war was too romance y for me though I understand why it was vital to the development of the characters and the hardships of the plot


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