Julie Orringer's astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, is a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris, an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are ravaged by war, and the chronicle of one family's struggle against the forces that threaten to annihilate it.
Paris 1937. Andras Lvi, 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 Svign. As he falls into a complicated relationship with the letters recipient, he becomes privy to a secret history that will alter the course of his own life.
Meanwhile, as his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena and their younger brother leaves school for the stage, Europe's unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. At the end of Andrass second summer in Paris, all of Europe erupts in a cataclysm of war.
From the small Hungarian town of Konyr to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andrass room on the rue des coles to the deep and enduring connection he discovers on the rue de Svign, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a love tested by disaster, of brothers whose bonds cannot be broken, of a family shattered and remade in history's darkest hour, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.
Expertly crafted, magnificently written, emotionally haunting, and impossible to put down, The Invisible Bridge resoundingly confirms Julie Orringer's place as one of todays most vital and commanding young literary talents.
©2010 Julie Orringer (P)2010 Random House
"To bring an entire lost world....to vivid life between the covers of a novel is an accomplishment; to invest that world, and everyone who inhabits it, with a soul, as Julie Orringer does in The Invisible Bridge, takes something more like genius." (Michael Chabon)
“Profound love, familial bonds and the deepest of human loyalties play out against the backdrop of unimaginable cruelty. . . . A stunning first novel.” (Los Angeles Times)
“One of the best books of the year.” (Junot Diaz)
Couldn't finish the book because of the narrator
I can only listen to this an hour at a time because of the narrator. Time will tell if the story is good enough to put up with it until the end.
The book has a lot of build up to the "action" of the war, and I've heard some negative comments about the sentimentality of the writing. However, I found it beautifully written and wonderfully performed!
This is a very long story and should not be read unless one is willing to put in the time. However it is well worth your time. It is a story about a young man who leaves Hungry to go to Paris on an academic scholarship to become an architect. it shows his struggle with assimilating from pre-war to then during the war and how his life is completely turned over due to his status of being a Jew and also as he embarks on a new marriage and family. It is very detailed and the writing is absolutely beautiful. I found I liked the book more and more as it went along and the ending will not disappoint you.
I love books!
First time author for me, debut novel for the author, she also being a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop.
Sometimes when you think of World War II stories, you think to yourself, enough already, it has all been told. But, then you think that WWII is like a Rubik's Cube, you turn and twist it a bit and you have a new and different look at it. The war was so encompassing there will likely always be a new angle to it.
This story is a bit different in that it's mainly set in Hungary. You learn that prior to WWII people from eastern Europe flocked to Paris, just like many Americans and other Europeans, to study and enjoy the Paris lifestyle, just live. But then the war gets in the way and many returned to their home countries and suffered through the war there. Being Jewish wasn't safe in any country. The Jews of Hungary had it better than many of their brethren across the rest of Europe but the war caught up to them, too.
This story is of one Hungarian Jew, Andras, and his family and how they fared. It's a good one and really well written. Enjoy!
This book contains a story that represents the experiences of my family during WWII and thereafter. While readers might believe it is fiction, to their dismay it is not. Incredibly written and read.
The prior reviews about the long droning narrator are correct. The story and writing this amazing epic novel is worth the hours of listening. A story centered in Hungry during WWII is less popular than than many of this genre. A spectacular novel of historical fiction, including love, action, crime, family dynamics, all during European unrest. I recommend this to a WWII fiction lover. A must. Yes narrator could be better, not the worst by far. Click purchase🙂
Most stories involving WWII in Europe contain dark themes and difficult to hear details. But This one is told with an incredibly interesting storyline of a young Hungarian Jew who begins as a student in Paris. Important historical fiction for us to hear again today and stay aware of to avoid past mistakes.
I cannot understand why this reader didn't pronounce so many words correctly. I would think that when preparing to do a story with so many unfamiliar words that you would do your homework. Really spoiled sections of this story for me.
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