Read Review
The Invisible Bridge
by Julie Orringer
fiction
From The Jacket:The Invisible Bridge opens in September 1937 as Andras Lévi leaves his brother Tibor to study abroad. Andras has a scholarship at architecture school in Paris, while Tibor remains in Hungary until he too is granted entrance to medical school in Italy. At the École Spéciale, Andras is one of a small number of Jewish students. He had experienced anti-Semitism in Hungary and feels it in Paris as well, but when a new Hungarian law forbids granting scholarships to Jews studying abroad, he comes face-to-face with the tide of ethnic hatred spreading throughout Europe. A job at a theater run by a fellow Hungarian gives Andras just enough money to stay in school—and leads him to Klara Morgenstern, a beautiful and enigmatic Hungarian émigré. Despite Klara’s secretiveness about her past, their love flourishes and survives a risky return to Hungary in the late summer of 1939. Tibor, forced to leave Italy when his visa expires, returns to Hungary with his Italian wife. As a German ally, Hungary is quickly building up its military forces, and soon after the beginning of the Second World War, Andras, Tibor, and their younger brother, Mátyás, are drafted into the Hungarian Labor Service, which supports the country’s army. As Hitler’s armies march across Europe, the brothers and their families in Budapest see their world disintegrate. Amid reports of mass killings of Jews in Eastern Europe, they grasp at the possibility of emigrating to Palestine. But their dream of escape seems to perish, first in 1942 when Andras is deported to the Ukraine and then finally in 1944 when German troops flood into Hungary and impose their virulent anti-Semitic agenda. Jews throughout the country are corralled into bleak ghettoes or deported to concentration camps. Andras, Tibor, and the other Jewish men in the Hungarian Labor Service are designated prisoners of war and packed into boxcars for transport to work camps. In the turmoil that follows the Soviet advance into Hungary, the brothers lose track of one another. After months of horror, Andras is liberated by Soviet troops and returns to Budapest to face what the war has cost his family and his beloved country. An intricate mélange of historical events and personal dramas, The Invisible Bridge is a stunning portrait of a world at war and an unforgettable story of love, courage, and survival. Knopf - May 4, 2010 – 624 pages - Fiction - ISBN-10: 1400041163
Well researched historical fiction with characters that are easy to connect with. The author really shows what day to day life was like for the Hungarian Jew, the realities of war and the role of Hungary in World War II. The book could use some serious editing, but overall a compelling book for those that enjoy a more literary read.
by-Linda-PBR 2012/04/01, 07:16 PM
 

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