The Invisible Bridge

The Invisible Bridge

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A novel set in 1937 Europe tells the story of three Hungarian Jewish brothers bound by history and love, of a marriage tested by disaster, of a Jewish family's struggle against annihilation by the Nazis, and of the dangerous power of art in the time of war.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, Vintage Books, 2010
ISBN: 9781400041169
Call Number: ORRINGER, J


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 22, 2020

Marvelous book - Hungarian families during WWII - Hard to put down - Recommend highly!! bookwoman & Abby Tabby

HCL_staff_reviews Dec 28, 2018

I didn't know much - if anything - about Hungary during World War II, but after reading The Invisible Bridge I know a little. It's the story of Andras Levi, a young Hungarian architecture student who moves to Paris to attend school on a scholarship. The novel follows Andras, his brothers, his future wife, her family and their children throughout the war, from Paris, back to Budapest, through stints in the Hungarian Labor Service, throughout the siege of Budapest, and to the aftermath of the war. Although the time period is different, the book reminded me of Doctor Zhivago with its important historical background, family saga, and enduring love story. Orringer makes you care deeply for these characters. The author based her novel on her grandfather, a Hungarian Jew who studied in Paris, had to return to Hungary, and was conscripted into a forced labor company. A memorable and powerful novel. — Kim B., Ridgedale Library

RogerDeBlanck Jul 24, 2018

Julie Orringer’s epic novel The Invisible Bridge captures a glorious and heartbreaking story about the bonds of family, the power of love, and the horrors of war. Spanning the events that led up to and through the Holocaust, Orringer’s narrative immerses you in both the joy and pain of a wide cast of memorable characters as they confront the brutal forces of history. Foremost are three brothers from a middleclass Hungarian-Jewish family. The novel’s central figure is the pensive middle brother, Andras Levi, who wants to be an architect. His high-minded elder brother, Tibor, seeks to study medicine, while the youngest of the three, Matyas, a free spirit, yearns for success as an entertainer. The inevitable war and the crimes inflicted upon the Jewish population halt each of the brothers’ dreams. But before the war derails the normalcy of everyone’s life, the love story that endures between Andras and Klara ranks among one of the most enthralling in all of modern literature. Along with many other fascinating side stories that chart family secrets and lasting friendships, this brilliantly-composed novel is a triumph of survival and a celebration of the human spirit to retain dignity and hope during some of the world’s darkest years. The spellbinding beauty of Orringer’s prose makes every page a marvel of detail, insight, and intrigue. Splendid in every literary facet, The Invisible Bridge is the type of mesmerizing experience that pulls at the heartstrings and alters how we remember the past.

Apr 29, 2018

In 1937, a poor Hungarian Jewish man travels to Paris to study architecture, falls in love, and has his entire world torn apart by World War II. In this lengthy epic, Orringer has crafted a very detailed and very realistic recreation of two great European cities: Paris, and Budapest. The first half of this book is truly excellent, but the last half drags on too long before swiftly finishing in a mad rush; Orringer should have cut a few hundred pages from the hefty mid-section of this tome. The plot is, at times, unrealistic; however, it seems that at least some parts of this tragically beautiful tale are deeply rooted in Orringer's own family history.

Jun 10, 2017

Marvelous book - Hungarian families during WWII - Hard to put down - Recommend highly!! bookwoman & Abby Tabby

Aug 17, 2016

I got half way through the book and was so bored by it, I didn't bother completing it. Author is too wordy and the plot is too slow. There are far better reads in this genre.

WCLSDemingLibrary Jul 18, 2015

This is a great next read after "All the Light We Cannot See" if you are yearning for more dear characters struggling through the hardships and injustices of WWII.

Beautifully written book full of hope and heroics. As others have suggested, some editing would sharpen the plot development, it was 'a tad long'. Would highly recommend.

KindianaJones Dec 16, 2014

I loved it. I loved the intersection of history and family history. I loved the main character, Andras, and the strong bonds he has with his brothers and family. I loved his relationship with Klara and her daughter Elisabet. I loved the descriptions of Hungarian life; the evocation of time and place. I loved the descriptions of the forced labour camps and the near-impossible journeys people took in the name of survival. I loved it all. Loved it.

Jan 27, 2014

This was really really good! This story follows the lives of three brothers and how they start out on their own in the world. You live with the boys as they go to college and the loves that they find. The major themes through out the book are love and family. However it is 1939 in Europe, so it walks you through the beginning of the WWII to the end and beyond. It follows the lives of these boys and how the war really affects a Jewish family during this time period. She made the stories and the characters very personal to the point to where you really connected with the characters and their lives. It has a lot of history in the pages with a large amount of French, Hungarian and German names (places, streets, buildings etc...) that I had trouble pronouncing so I could really picture where they were. That was the only real difficult I had with the book but it was a beautifully written story.

View All Comments


Add a Summary
JODI ARONOFF Jun 25, 2012

Julie Orringer's astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater ("fiercely beautiful"-- The New York Times; "unbelievably good"--Monica Ali), is a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris, an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are ravaged by war, and the chronicle of one family's struggle against the forces that threaten to annihilate it. Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. As he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter's recipient, he becomes privy to a secret history that will alter the course of his own life. Meanwhile, as his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena and their younger brother leaves school for the stage, Europe's unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. At the end of Andras's second summer in Paris, all of Europe erupts in a cataclysm of war. From the small Hungarian town of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andras's room on the rue des Écoles to the deep and enduring connection he discovers on the rue de Sévigné, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a love tested by disaster, of brothers whose bonds cannot be broken, of a family shattered and remade in history's darkest hour, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war. Expertly crafted, magnificently written, emotionally haunting, and impossible to put down, The Invisible Bridge resoundingly confirms Julie Orringer's place as one of today's most vital and commanding young literary talents.

kala73 Dec 22, 2011

Story of 3 brothers - social and political persecution - a dark story but well written with great historical background.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DCL

To Top