The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Title: The Invisible Bridge
Author: Julie Orringer
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Source: Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Invisible Bridge Book Cover

I enjoyed Julie Orringer’s short story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, so thought I would enjoy her debut novel as well.  The book flap described The Invisible Bridge as the epic tale of three brothers and for a long time I wondered when the other brothers would enter the story.  For a hundred pages or so I waited for alternating view points about each Levi brother.  It didn’t happen and once I set aside that expectation I came to enjoy it.

This could easily be made into a mini-series and if ever made into a movie would be very condensed.  Andras Levi, the middle brother, receives a scholarship that allows him to leave Hungary to attend architecture school in Paris, France.  It is 1937.  He is full of hope for his future not knowing World War II is around the corner.

Two things that make this novel about the Holocaust unique is (1) it’s about the Hungarian Jew experience and (2) it takes a look at what happened to homosexual Jews (although it’s only a small portion of the novel).  Orringer’s tale addresses the entire Hungarian Jew experience – rich, poor, country, city, pre-war and post-war. 

The character arcs are truly remarkable.  It’s easy to tell a lot of hard work and research went into the novel.  Read this one when you have a bit of extra time on your hands and don’t have to rush through it.

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