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The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

The Invisible Bridge (2010)

by Julie Orringer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4161075,344 (4.15)315
  1. 20
    The history of love by Nicole Krauss (SimoneA)
    SimoneA: Both of these books are beautifully told novels, set in World War II.
  2. 20
    22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both novels deal with Eastern Europe during WWII and with the stress that war and separation puts on a marriage.
  3. 00
    Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Milda-TX)
  4. 00
    Four Mothers: A Novel by Shifra Horn (TomWaitsTables)

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» See also 315 mentions

English (103)  Norwegian (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
Wow. This book took me three months to finish. I had to stop reading it halfway through because there's just a LOT to absorb. But after finishing it just now, I feel really, really glad to have read such an amazing book. Simply put, Julie Orringer is a phenomenon. I don't know how to describe books and feelings like other reviewers do, but I can say that I've never read such masterful work before. And I wholeheartedly agree with what Simon Schama says about the book: "You don't so much read it as live it". ( )
  novewong | Jul 8, 2015 |
Jewish brothers in Budapest leave to study, reunite, marry, suffer in work camps, bombing, life goes on. Moving, engrossing, immersive, lots of action. You care about all the characters. ( )
  jenzbaker | Jan 13, 2015 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
  JosieRivers | Dec 28, 2014 |
I love big books and I can't lie!!

This is a great one to sink into on a summer vacation afternoon...and I was lucky enough to do just that today! Sat out on my porch with a diet pepsi cooling on the coffee table and this book in my hands! It was wonderful!!

This is a WWII story of love and hardship and death and survival. It's one of those that is sometimes hard to read because we know the events in history that this is going to have to bump up against. But, you can't stop reading because of the characters, because you truly care about them, you want to see if they make it and come together again!


The main character is Andras Levi, a Hungarian Jew who has won a prize to become a student of architecture in Paris. That is how the story begins - Andras getting ready to leave Hungary for Paris and his brother Tibor sending him off. But, there is a chance meeting with two people before he makes it to Paris. One is a mysterious older woman who asks him to mail a letter to C. Morganstern in Paris and the other is a kindly gentleman on his way back to Paris from Hungary, a Mr. Novak.

Like all great books - these encounters set up important events and characters. As chance sometimes happens in the interconnectedness of the Jewish world - these encounters lead Andras to life long love and occupation.

It was really interesting reading this from the Hungarian perspective - one that I don't think I have read before. I kept waiting on pins and needles for the awful Paris Jewish roundup that is the basis of Sarah's Key - another amazing WWII book. But, that didn't happen in the scope of this tale. Thank goodness!

Instead, this told the story of what it was like to be a Jew in a country that was part of the Warsaw pact, part of the losing team against the rest of the world. It also told of the kindness of Hungarians and the incredible cruelty. It portrayed the deep divides in the Jewish classes of excess before WWII. This is a story of love and survival.

I LOVED this book! I was transported to an uncertain and emotional world where humans can do so much more that we ever thought - both for good and evil!!

Highly Recommend this one!!! ( )
  kebets | Nov 1, 2014 |
Love story set in Hungary and Paris before/during WWII. Appreciated the family tales and the trusting bonds between friends. As this is a really huge book, start it only when you've got a few days' time and don't have to put it down for too long. ( )
  Milda-TX | Aug 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
"The Invisible Bridge" is a stunning first novel, not just in the manner that Orringer's acclaimed short stories seemed to predict, but in a wholly unexpected fashion. Her short fiction is resolutely contemporary, closely — almost obsessively — observed and firmly situated in the time and place we now inhabit. "The Invisible Bridge," by contrast, is in every admirable sense an "ambitious" historical novel, in which large human emotions — profound love, familial bonds and the deepest of human loyalties — play out against the backdrop of unimaginable cruelty that was the Holocaust.
Ms. Orringer’s long, crowded book is its own kind of forest, and not every tree needs to be here; her novel’s dramatic power might have been greatly enhanced by pruning. But Andras’s most enduring wish, it turns out, is to create a kind of family memorial. And Ms. Orringer, writing with both granddaughterly reverence and commanding authority, has done it for him.
added by SimoneA | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (May 19, 2010)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julie Orringerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kari RisvikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kjell RisvikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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O tempora! O mores! O mekkora nagy córesz.

O the times! O the customs! O what tremendous tsuris.

-from Marsh Marigold,
a Hungarian Labor Service newspaper,
Banhida Labor Camp, 1939

From Bulgaria thick wild cannon pounding rolls
It strikes the mountain ridge, then hesitates and falls
A piled-up blockage of thoughts, animals, cars and men;
whinnying, the road rears up; the sky runs with its mane.
In this chaos of movement you're in me, permanent,
deep in my consciousness you shine, motion forever spent
and mute, like an angel awed by death's great carnival
or an insect in rotted tree pith, staging its funeral.

-Miklós Radnóti, from "Picture Postcards,"
written to his wife during his death march from Heidenau, 1944

It is
as though I lay
under a low
sky and breathed
through a needle's eye.

-W.G. Sebald
from Unrecounted)
For the Zahav brothers
First words
Later he would tell her that their story began at the Royal Hungarian Opera House, the night before he left for Paris on the Western Europe Express.
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An unforgettable story of three brothers, of history and love, of marriage tested by disaster, of a Jewish family's struggle against annihilation, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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