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Group Book Discussion > (Dec/Jan 2010-11) The Invisible Bridge

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments The Invisible Bridge A Novel by Julie Orringer The Invisible Bridge: A Novel by Julie Orringer

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message 2: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I just started this book and find myself really drawn into the story. I'm not sure where the story is going yet, but it is beautifully written and very enjoyable so far.


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy | 18 comments I just finished this one ... wow! I really enjoyed it. 5 stars from me. My review is below.

I was a bit worried about this book despite the rave reviews I'd read from a few other bookish friends ... the size of the book was intimidating and I'm not sure I was up for another Holocaust book. But, wow, was I surprised! This book was nothing like I'd imagined. It was a wonderful read that I didn't want to put down for a moment. The novel was the perfect combo of great writing, storytelling and historical information! The book is a commitment due to its size but I felt the time was well spe...moreI was a bit worried about this book despite the rave reviews I'd read from a few other bookish friends ... the size of the book was intimidating and I'm not sure I was up for another Holocaust book. But, wow, was I surprised! This book was nothing like I'd imagined. It was a wonderful read that I didn't want to put down for a moment. The novel was the perfect combo of great writing, storytelling and historical information! The book is a commitment due to its size but I felt the time was well spent!

I cannot believe that this is Julie Orringer's first novel. She is quite a talented writer and I cannot wait to see what she has for us as she grows as a writer. She has a way with words ... she kept a very long novel compelling to me in part because I wanted to keep reading her prose. Her writing is simply fantastic! Her ability to spin a tale is excellent. Orringer's ability to balance the optimism of the book with the inherent despair and darkness surrounding the characters without resorting to melodrama really makes this novel something special. It has all the elements of a good melodrama but none of the overdone emotion.

The novel is romantic, epic, painful, dark, difficult while also being informative. The characters were one of the things that made this novel just 'sing.' The dimension that each character (major and minor) have just jumps off the page! Yes, it is a Holocaust novel but it is also so much more. And, I would venture to say that its a Holocaust novel that is not like most other Holocaust novels that I've read. There is something special about this one! I had never fully understood Hungary's role in World War II so the historical aspects of the novel were quite new and interesting to me.

Although I certainly loved the book, there were flaws ... the book was not perfect. I think it could have been edited a bit and some of the novel could have been condensed without taking away from the overall novel. Although I didn't find the relationship in the novel to be sappy, I can see why some have described it that way. Sometimes the language did venture into the excessive - but I was not bothered by that because I really loved her writing overall. I enjoyed the level of detail. However, I can see why someone might be put off by that aspect of the novel, particularly given its size.

And so ... in the end, I recommend this book with a note that it is a commitment to read this book. It's not a quick, easy read. But, if you put in the effort, I think you will be pleasantly surprised!


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I picked this up from the library yesterday. Now, to finish the three books I already have checked out, so I can get a start on this one. I'm looking forward to it after Amy's glowing review.


message 5: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I put this one on hold at my library. Not sure where I am on the list but I have a feeling it may be awhile. I can't wait to get to this one, it sounds great!


message 6: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I'm only halfway through (life has not let me read much lately), but I agree with Amy's comments. Great book so far!


message 7: by Barb (new)

Barb | 75 comments Loved this one, too. I also can't believe it is her first novel. I learned a lot about Hungary's involvement in the war, as well as some things about the holocaust despite having read pretty widely about it. I think you won't be disappointed!


message 8: by LynnB (new)

LynnB 5 stars, 5 stars! There are so many Holocaust stories that I was leery of all the hype I had heard about this book ... but it really is that good. This is the author's first novel and an incredible story. Set in Hungary for the most part, it is the story of Andras Levi and all the people around him. The details are beautifully written, and unlike many stories with factual details, the author writes them so that they flow into the story. It wasn't until the end, in the acknowledgments, that I realized that this is the story of her own grandparents.


message 9: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I started this today and love the writing.


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I'm about a third of the way into the book, and finding the characters and scenery captivating. I had a Hungarian exchange student live with me during the 2008-09 school year, so I was eager to learn more about Hungary. We also have other Hungarian students at the school now that I have grown fond of.

I was reading that Andras, Tibor and Novak sat down and finished off a bottle of Tokaji, when I remembered that my student had given me a bottle of Hungarian liquor. I got up immediately to visit my liquor cupboard, and sure enough, there sat a bottle of said Tokaji. I was tempted to open it and toast the characters, but decided I'd wait until another time.


message 11: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Lisa wrote: "I'm about a third of the way into the book, and finding the characters and scenery captivating. I had a Hungarian exchange student live with me during the 2008-09 school year, so I was eager to le..."

One of the things that interested me about this book was the setting in Hungary. We don't often get novels (Holocaust or not) that are set there.


message 12: by Lisa (last edited Jan 16, 2011 11:37AM) (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments The Invisible Bridge is one of the most amazing novels I've read in a long time. Orringer has written a spellbinding epic romance and family drama set at the cusp of WWII. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architect student, embarks on a journey to Paris, where a chance encounter and the fates of history alter his life forever. From the backstage sets of a Parisian theatre to the Jewish quarters of Budapest and the labor camps of Eastern Europe, Lévi's story unfolds, and holds you in its grip.

Orringer is the master architect of this story. She has constructed a vivid world with her descriptive prose, and fully realized characters. I felt the thrill and adventure of walking the streets of Paris, the joy of first love, the fear of unwarranted hatred and discrimination, the satisfaction of friendship, and the suffering of forced labor in the work camps. Her attention to detail makes this world come alive. Some may find her wordiness and the sheer volume of the novel daunting, but I savored the richness of every word. She told me everything I needed to know. It is not often I find myself so wholly immersed in a novel. It was an exquisite experience. I highly recommend putting this at the top of your TBR!

5 Stars!!!


message 13: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I have NOT read any of the previous posts about this book because I just started it and am already madly in love. It's big, and I still have many pages to go, but I will be sure to come back when I finish.


message 14: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I'm planning on reading it in March, right after a short challenge i'm involved in...can't wait!!


message 15: by Cathy (last edited Apr 08, 2011 05:13PM) (new)

Cathy | 482 comments Several comments on this novel have mentioned the commitment for this read due to the length of this book. I committed to tackling this on audio...a very good choice. The audio production was fabulous, but alas, no shorter. It consisted of twenty-two parts most about 1:10 plus in length which works out to twenty-five hours plus of listening pleasure.

I have no regrets. I suspected this would be an epic tale due to the length, but was totally satisfied with Orringer's debut. I had to do some at home listening, in addition to my daily commute to work, but was always happy to do so. Of course, my husband was getting tired of seeing me constantly plugged into my Ipod trying to conduct my daily life.

I have read many holocaust-based novels and am always saddened by this dark chapter in human history. "The Invisible Bridge" provides the perfect blend of the evil human element with the soaring redemptive power of love and family. It was hard to tear away from this worthy read. The character development draws the reader in and causes one to invest deeply into their lives. The plot is diverse and journeys to many parts of the globe. I enjoyed the Hungarian aspect of the story and have desired to visit this country for a long time, preferably seeing the Danube on a Viking European River Cruise(I wish).

Anyways, I would like to encourage all to try to fit this wonderful read in, however you can complete it. It is worth the time investment for this story does not disappoint. A master storyteller imparting a stunning tale that will appeal to many readers.


message 16: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Still working on this one...I got sidetracked by Cutting for Stone and Anna Karenina!


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