“The Invisible Bridge,” is the second book by author Julie Orringer and was released by Vintage Books. It is a novel of 800 pages that many would be discouraged to read. However, the pages quickly fly by. A long book will seem short when its content is captivating and intriguing.
Orringer, an American writer, sets her novel in Europe. She transports the reader to Hungary. There, she makes the reader feel part of its families, places, and people. the author introduces a world of smells, tastes and sounds that for most, is foreign.
Two brothers, Andras and Tibor, leave their homeland and family in order to find intellectual freedom and personal growth. They move to bigger cities in Europe that offer better opportunities, but later on find themselves in a journey of unimaginable adversity.
The book also portraits Klara, a real, unique and unconventional woman, who falls in love with the right man. They have a wonderful relationship, but being Jewish denies them the happiness they both wish for and deserve. Their Jewish heritage, which should make them proud, is what places them at a constant risk and danger. They are not persecuted for who they are or what they have done but for those circumstances over which they had no control.
Orringer subtly plants ideas in the reader’s mind that can challenge convictions. Through other characters she shows that hate, violence and rage can be the reaction of people who feel vulnerable, insecure and inferior. These feelings make them do horrible things in order to empower themselves. They torture who they admire and reject what they don’t understand.
Putting the book down, which I’m sure the reader will do reluctantly, is similar to having to leave a place where you badly want to stay. The story will make the reader long for its characters and crave for the next chapter. Orringer has succeeded in delivering the perfect mix of plot, characters, background and every single element of narrative.