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The Invisible Bridge [Paperback]

Julie Orringer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Kindle Edition 4.31  
Hardcover, Large Print 29.70  
Paperback 6.29  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 34.31  

Book Description

29 Mar 2011


Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, an architecture student, has arrived from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to Clara Morgenstern a young widow living in the city. When Andras meets Clara he is drawn deeply into her extraordinary and secret life, just as Europe's unfolding tragedy sends them both into a state of terrifying uncertainty.

From a remote Hungarian village to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labour camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a marriage tested by disaster and of a family, threatened with annihilation, bound by love and history.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141015098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141015095
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julie Orringer was born in 1974 and grew up in New Orleans and Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' workshop and Cornell University. Her stories have appeared in several publications including The Yale Review, and Best New American Voices. She received the Paris Review's Discovery Prize, and her collection of stories How to Breathe Underwater was a New York Times Notable Book. Julie Orringer lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Ryan Harty.

Product Description


Old-fashioned in the best possible way: a big, generously involving story, utterly convincing in its texture and detail. Beautiful and sad (Metro )

Compelling, passionate, tragic (Marie Claire )

Powerful and affecting, crowded with the details of lives led and miseries inflicted (Sunday Times )

There are characters whose fate we care about, and a profoundly moving love story threaded between the tenacity of family and the monstrous grind of war. One that cries for you to linger over page by enthralling page (Simon Schama Financial Times )

Gripping, moving (TLS )

Stunning, gracefully written, altogether remarkable (LA Times )

A sweeping epic, a good old-fashioned page-turner (Daily Mail )

About the Author

Julie Orringer was born in Florida in 1973. She received the Paris Review's Discovery Prize, and her collection of stories How to Breathe Underwater was a New York Times Notable Book.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The war in Hungary...a family's story. 25 May 2010
By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER
In the history of WW2 and the Holocaust, Hungary and the fate of the Hungarian Jews was different than the other European countries that fell under Nazi domination. This is because Hungary, under the rule of Admiral Horthy, was an "ally" of Germany. Because of their allied status, Hungary was not occupied by the Germans until 1944. As an ally, the Hungarian Jews were spared the mass deportations to the death camps that were being done all over German-occupied territories in eastern and western Europe. But the Hungarian Jews were still affected by the war; many of the men were "drafted" into worker orginisations that aided the Hungarian war effort. The Horthy regime was able to go against their German ally's demands until the overthrow of the government and occupation by the Germans in 1944. With German occupation, the Hungarian Jews faced the same fate as their European counterparts. In the space of about nine months, from German occupation until Russian liberation, hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were murdered.

Against this political and social background, Julie Orringer tells the story of the Hasz family. Three brothers, their parents, spouses, and other relatives and friends were tossed by the winds of war and destruction from 1938 until 1956, when the surviving family members were able to flee Communist Hungary for freedom in the US. Orringer is brilliant in her descriptions of Jewish life in Paris, Budapest, and the out-lying Hungarian countryside. This is a long book, about 600 or so pages, but I was never bored. Orringer's writing is so nuanced that she's able to write about the study of architecture in Paris to the intricacies of Jewish life and religious practice to the horrors of the labor camps in eastern Europe.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Invisible Bridge 23 Sep 2010
By Babs
This is a most compelling story. The author involves you in the lives and hardships of the family of Hungarian Jews in WWII. I couldn't put it down. It was the first book I have read that showed the war from the view point of the Hungarians and I found it most moving. I would highly recommend this to any reader.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Perfect 2 May 2012
By Nelly
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wanted this book to finish on the one hand as I was desperate to know if the ending was how I wanted it to be, but on the other hand as I came to the last few pages I began to feel really sad that it was ending. Such a wonderful story, primarily about Andras and Clara, but also entwined into this are the lives of those they love and the influences around them, beginning with how they first meet and then their relationship as the war progresses. I love big books that you can get so involved in and it didnt dissapoint, it was very informative and educational as well as a love story. It wasnt too sloppy, or repetative, it didnt get boring either as some war books can, but pitched at the right level and I would say for men and women. I havent given it a 5 star because I am reserving that for the ultimate book, which I havent found as yet in all my years of reading, at some point though hopefully.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Chronicle of a War 17 Jan 2012
By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
A superbly researched novel dealing with World War II in Hungary, based on the lives of Orringer's grandparents. Andras, a Jewish architect, wins a grant to study in Paris during the 1930s. While there, he falls in love with the mysterious Klara, a dancer and dance teacher somewhat older than him, with a grown daughter. Despite increased anti-semitism, and struggles to make ends meet, Andras does well in Paris, wins the respect of his teachers and, finally and after much turmoil, the heart of Klara. Orringer describes very well Andras's life in Paris, his struggles to earn money to support his studies, and his friendships, largely with other Eastern European Jewish students.

With the rise of fascism at the end of the 1930s Andras's visa is cancelled and he returns to Hungary. Klara, although she knows it is unsafe for her to return to her native land (for reasons that we learn towards the end of the Paris part of the book) goes with him. As World War II begins, Andras is conscripted into a labour brigade, and forced to work for the Hungarian fascists. Orringer writes brilliantly about the horrors of the labour camps, and about the cruelty of the right-wing Hungarian government (something that's not been covered by that many novelists, though Linda Grant, in 'The Clothes on their Backs' also wrote a brilliant account of what World War II was like for the Jews of Hungary). With the war raging, life becomes harder and harder for Andras and Klara, separated from each other. And though Andras ends up being held in the same camp as his brother Tibor (a medical student) he has no news of his second brother, Matyas. The couple keep going by the sheer indomitability of their spirits.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 6 Nov 2011
This was one of our suggested titles for our school staff reading group over the summer holidays. I took the kindle edition of this book with me on holiday this year and found it difficult to put down, including reading it over breakfast each morning before the rest of the family got up. The rest of the group, on the whole, also found it compelling and I have since bought it for a couple of friends, who also enjoyed it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional novel
I have read so many novels about the first and second world wars but this is by far the best I have ever found. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by Cath
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching, yet harrowing story
Why only long listed for the Orange prize?

I found this a wonderful story, in many ways. Unfortunately, I am in poor health, & this has affected my intellectual... Read more
Published 8 days ago by blossom
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I could not put this book down. It is one of the best books I have ever read and I cant stop talking about it. Have sent a copy to my mum who I know will love it too.
Published 15 days ago by pb
5.0 out of 5 stars challenging and thought provoking
Orringer makes you feel as if you were living with Andras and Klara throughout their journey. You laugh with them and you cry with them.
Published 20 days ago by Jacqui
A realistic tale of life in two countries, quite wide apart geographically and culturally. Jewish people that fled after WW1 to France found a pleasant and more or less inclusive... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Peter A. Csango, MD
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend
Very interesting read which included aspects about WW2 of which I was sadly ignorant and am glad to have learnt.
Published 4 months ago by J. SEAMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars the invisible Bridge
Every detail and description brought home the horrors of war and the madness of human beings indoctrinated by manic leaders.
Published 4 months ago by Julia Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that gets under your skin
I read this book a year ago around my trip to Budapest, and find the hardships and challenges of these characters are still frequently on my mind a year later. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Miss B Greenwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written with great characters
This is a compelling novel. I thought it was beautifully written and historically accurate. It is long but in a very comforting way. I loved it.
Published 6 months ago by Suz
5.0 out of 5 stars Le survivant
Julie Orringer wrote my story - what came before, what was and what is now.
I was born in Budapest in October 1944 and when Orringer quotes the Any Case poem as the epilogue... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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