Friday, December 30, 2011

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

This book is not for the faint of heart. It's a tearjerker and will leave you pissed off that anything like this can even happen.

Ok, so now that we got that out of the way... ;)

I read this book for Emily's book club over at The Many Thoughts of a Reader - she has been keeping this book club going for TWO YEARS now and although I play along only occasionally, I really enjoy the discussion when I do!

This year could be dubbed the year I studied WWII in depth. Seriously. Who reads a depressing Holocaust novel the week of Christmas?! This girl.

I swear, I am not a depressing person. I'm a bubbly, happy, annoyingly positive person that will drive you nuts with her idealistic (although, not naive) ideas. I really enjoy learning about this period of history, though, and I learn history best through historical fiction. You better believe that if it's possible, I will incorporate it somehow into my curriculum someday when I have my own classroom.

You can read my Goodreads review of this post here. If you're not on Goodreads, you should be. It's perfect for adding the books you're reading, the books you want to read and for connecting with others and finding out what you want to read next. It's definitely the FIRST place I turn to when trying to decide if I want to read something. They even have a mobile app (who doesn't these days?) that is pretty awesome. I use it almost daily. Yep, I am a total and complete bookworm. I am not ashamed.

Now that I am done pushing Goodreads... The Invisible Bridge. This book follows three Jewish brothers that are from Budapest, Hungary in the late 30s and early 40s. The author focuses most of its attention on the middle brother, Andras, and it is so hard not to fall in love with Andras. He is such a well-rounded, neat person. This would be one character that I would NEVER want to see on the big screen, because the idea I have in my head of what he looks like cannot be ruined. Do you know what I mean?

Andras moves from Budapest to Paris to attend college and study architecture on a scholarship. Then the war happens and his visa is suddenly void due to his religious heritage, and he has to move back to Budapest leaving behind the love of his life, Klara. Klara is also from Hungary, but cannot return because of something that happened in her past, and if she does, she will be arrested.

At the train station, she decides she cannot let Andras go without her and she decides to risk it. Together they travel back to Budapest as the war begins to ravage Europe under Hitler's reign. Andras is called to serve three times, and life continues to get worse and worse for both families.

I highly recommend this book if you're interested in the Holocaust, and if you're interested in the differences for Jews in each country of Europe. In school, all I ever really learned about was Poland and Germany. There are so many facets to this era in history that you could study it for ages and still learn more about it.

The Invisible Bridge is so well written and the description is simply gorgeous. The text can be dense and long at times with little dialogue, as descriptive novels are, but it's too rich to ignore. I don't typically ADORE texts that have such solid passages, which is why I didn't give it five stars, but once you're past the first part, putting it down and ignoring Andras and Klara will be impossible.

If you're a fan of Sarah's Key, it's likely you will enjoy the The Invisible Bridge as well.

After all of these WWII books in 2011, I'm definitely ready for more light reading in 2012!

Do you tend to read books with heavy topics like this, or do you avoid them?


Shoshanah said...

I think growing up I read every single youth Holocaust book. I remember being at the Holocaust museum in DC in middle school, and having a hard time finding a new book in their gift shop because I had read almost all of them.

It's funny though because considering how often I used to read them, I tend not to read a lot anymore. Every once in a while I will pick one up, like Sarah's Key, but it isn't quite the obsession it used to be.

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria said...

ooo sounds like my kind of book. i LOVEd sarah's key. i am a sucker for history though.

plus it stops me from reading another chic lit book or murder mystery thriller :)

happy new year!

cute blog you have!

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pinkflipflops said...

I really enjoyed it, even though it was super long!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I really liked that book! You are right, the WWII books have been frequent this year! I read The Book Thief, The Postmistress, Shanghai Girls, and The Invisible Bridge, all in a couple of months! Whew!

Heather said...

That does sound like a great book! I'm saving all tear jerkers for after pregnancy though, haha.

Wiz said...

This sounds like a great book. I am adding it to my list. Love your blog!