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The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
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The Invisible Bridge (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Julie Orringer (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,9331366,575 (4.16)341
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 complicated 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 houses 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 hour.… (more)
Member:THerb7919
Title:The Invisible Bridge
Authors:Julie Orringer (Author)
Info:Knopf (2010), Edition: 1, 624 pages
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The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (2010)

  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. 10
    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 341 mentions

English (132)  Norwegian (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
Julie Orringer has written a compelling story about two Hungarian Jewish families: one wealthy and one poor, whose lives become intertwined when two of them fall in love in late 1930's Paris despite a significant gap in age. Andras Levi is lucky enough to win a scholarship to study architecture in Paris, but funding disappears causing him to seek work from a fellow Hungarian in the theater. The female lead sets him up with the daughter of a friend, who is beastly, but Andras falls in love with the mother, Claire Morgenstern (a/k/a Klara Hasz), who has fled her native land. They are lots of secrets to be revealed in the 600 pages, and they return to Hungary when Andras' visa is revoked. Andras is then conscripted while the Jewish world in Europe is crumbling under the Third Reich. This reminded me a little of Follett's Fall of Giants, but it is focused on fewer people and character development, rather than explaining world events. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
You know that a book is good when the second you finish it you quickly make a list in your mind of the people you need to tell about it or buy copies for. I felt this way about The Invisible Bridge. I feel a duty to share Ms. Orringer's story of her family with mine. These stories must continue to be told and re-told so that we, especially those of us who were born and raised in the United States and have never seen the ravages of the Second World War, will never forget what happens when avarice and self interest take precedence over our sense humanity. ( )
  ChrisMcCaffrey | Apr 6, 2021 |
An aspect of World War II that I was not familiar with...well researched and well written, but so long and so painful! I don't know how many World War II books I've read now--but I believe it's ENOUGH. ( )
  mlhershey | Feb 14, 2021 |
The Invisible Bridge engages readers from the first chapter while offering an unusual, compelling, and ripping along plot.
Foreshadowing reveals only enough to keep pages turning through one of the best books ever written! ( )
  m.belljackson | Feb 3, 2021 |
I LOVED this book -- the perfect immersive Christmas Day read. I know a bit about Hungary, so delving into the years immediately pre WWII was fascinating. The book had been dinged (unfairly) as being too descriptive or detailed. To the contrary, those details are essential to the rising dread Orringer is able to cultivate as we move toward the war we know is coming. The book is very persuasive in demonstrating how Hungary's (and France's) Jewish population could be so sanguine for so long about what was coming. Until the Hungarian leader was ousted by the Nazis in 1944, the Hungarian leadership really struggled over allowing what was a deep-seated anti-semitism to explode (Orringer handles the forced labor system in devastating detail) or protecting fellow citizens (there's a lovely couple of scenes showing how that could literally save lives). The takeaway is simple and brutal -- we will never truly be able to grasp what was lost in World War II, the Holocaust or the Soviet death camps. And all of us are on an invisible bridge of fate and circumstance we don't really see until we are across. If you loved [b:The Book Thief|19063|The Book Thief|Markus Zusak|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1390053681s/19063.jpg|878368], [b:Sophie's Choice|228560|Sophie's Choice|William Styron|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1356714742s/228560.jpg|2912834] or [b:All the Light We Cannot See|18143977|All the Light We Cannot See|Anthony Doerr|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1451445646s/18143977.jpg|25491300], you may really enjoy this. ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (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 editionscalculated
Kari RisvikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kjell RisvikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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)
Dedication
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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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 complicated 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 houses 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 hour.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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