Friday, 12 August 2011

Review: The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Paperback, 758 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (first published 2010)

Primary language: English
Original title: The Invisible Bridge
Literary awards:  Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2010)
Historical fiction

Paris, 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 war.

This book is not for the light at heart. If you are looking for a quick and easy read I do not suggest you pick this one up. With over 750 pages this book deals with love, heartbreak, tragedy, war and the efforts to survive in the most primal and unthinkable circumstances. I found it started a little slow but once I got into it I found I couldn't put it down. I have always been a fan of historical fiction and this one did not let me down. The characters in this book endure an unthinkable amount of challenges and I found myself needing to know what would happen to each of them. Just  when I thought I was nearing the end of the book so much happens that it is just astounding. The best way to describe this book would be haunting. It stayed with me long after the last page was turned.
           Kristine's rating

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