Monday, April 02, 2012


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The Invisible Bridge, Julie Orringer, Alfred A Knopf, 2010, 758 pp

I would characterize Julie Orringer's tome of a novel as comfort reading for women who like historical fiction infused with romance. I used to love this type of novel. It is big, fat, and long; set in Paris and Budapest; filled with richly developed characters one can love; written in a smoothly readable style.

Now in my curmudgeonly late middle-age, I found myself alternately laughing or growling at each romantic moment. It is WWII, the Jews are getting their worst treatment in history, and everyone's lives are severely disrupted. There is hunger, death, fear, and unbelievable loss. Perhaps it is true that love could make everything less horrible but I don't completely buy it.

I have read lots of WWII fiction, Lord knows, in My Big Fat Reading Project. I had not read any so far set in Hungary so that was a new perspective. I didn't mind reading all those pages except it was for a reading group and therefore I had a deadline for finishing it. (I always finish reading group books, mostly to set a good example and also so I can speak intelligently about the book.)

The most telling thing is, I didn't make it to the meeting. I was pretty sure most of the ladies in the group would say they loved it, giving me the choices of either not saying much or being the lone dissenter.

(The Invisible Bridge is available on the shelf in paperback or by order in eBook from Once Upon A Time Bookstore. To find it in your nearest indie bookstore, click on the cover image above.)

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