I have read The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer three times. When asked which book I would take to a desert island, this is the one. My copy is well worn and has been passed around to countless people. When asked by patrons at the library which book I would recommend, this is the one.
In my opinion, The Invisible Bridge is the true gold standard of World War 2 fiction. It tells the story of Andras Levi and his wife Klara. It spans decades, countries, continents, fascism and communism. It is truly shocking to consider how much trauma Europe has gone through in just the past 80 years when you read a book like this one. One that truly touches on the historical impact of Hitler and Stalin. The story is rich, the characters have layers that you rarely see in a book and the descriptions make you feel like you are there. The story is truly heartbreaking, but ends with hope and a bit of a happy ending. I don’t want to give too much away, because I want everyone to read the book.
Julie Orringer did a masterful job of researching her topic and interviewing her subjects. Over the years I have read interviews with her. This story is very loosely based on her grandparents experiences in the war. However, she has stated that far more of it is fiction, not fact and that many of the characters in the book are a blending of people her family knew.