Had I read Julie Orringer’s collection of short stories How to Breathe Under Water published in 2005 the beauty of her first novel The Invisible Bridge released in 2010 would have been no surprise. “Don’t even ask, just read it,” proclaimed my bookseller as she handed me a copy. My anticipated question, who is Julie Orringer, will never cross my lips!
The Invisible Bridge is an adventure, an unlikely love story, an incredible insight into a family which in fact is partly her own. Set in Paris and Budapest as the Second World War unfolds, the book is alive with memorable characters that evolve and continually exceed all expectations. The panorama of place and time is vividly portrayed.
I had the opportunity to meet Julie Orringer after reading The Invisible Bridge and learned that the novel was in fact partly about her grandparents and great uncles. The family was among the Hungarian Jews living in Budapest deceived by Hitler and their own government. I am getting ahead of your read!
From Budapest to Paris and back to Budapest, the knowledge and fear of the impending reality of war sears through the dialogue as the chapters unfold. Orringer guides the reader through this incredible story of highs and lows . Through it all, The Invisible Bridge never looses its romance, sense of family and the evolution of personal character through the best and worst of circumstances.
Orringer spent seven years writing and researching the book including two years in Budapest and the effort paid off. The Invisible Bridge is a riveting love story crafted with historical accuracy that creates realism for the reader.
I have a shelf in my library of books I think worthy of a Pulitzer. The Invisible Bridge is there !