The Invisible Wall

The Invisible Wall

A Love Story That Broke Barriers

Book - 2007
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" There are places that I have never forgotten. A little cobbled street in a smoky mill town in the North of England has haunted me for the greater part of my life. It was inevitable that I should write about it and the people who lived on both sides of its ' Invisible Wall.' " The narrow street where Harry Bernstein grew up, in a small English mill town, was seemingly unremarkable. It was identical to countless other streets in countless other working-class neighborhoods of the early 1900s, except for the " invisible wall" that ran down its center, dividing Jewish families on one side from Christian families on the other. Only a few feet of cobblestones separated Jews from Gentiles, but socially, it they were miles apart. On the eve of World War I, Harry's family struggles to make ends meet. His father earns little money at the Jewish tailoring shop and brings home even less, preferring to spend his wages drinking and gambling. Harry's mother, devoted to her children and fiercely resilient, survives on her dreams: new shoes that might secure Harry's admission to a fancy school; that her daughter might marry the local rabbi; that the entire family might one day be whisked off to the paradise of America. Then Harry's older sister, Lily, does the unthinkable: She falls in love with Arthur, a Christian boy from across the street. When Harry unwittingly discovers their secret affair, he must choose between the morals he's been taught all his life, his loyalty to his selfless mother, and what he knows to be true in his own heart. A wonderfully charming memoir written when the author was ninety-three, The Invisible Wall" "vibrantly brings to life an all-but-forgotten time and place. It is a moving tale of working-class life, and of the boundaries that can be overcome by love.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2007
ISBN: 9780345495808
Characteristics: xi, 297 p


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Apr 11, 2020

If I could give this more than 5 stars I would. One of the best of the 63 books I’ve read in the last two years since I retired. I agree with the descriptions from the literary critics and other readers so will not repeat here. I will definitely read The Dreamer as recommended by another IPL reviewer- thanks!

Mar 23, 2020

The Invisible Wall is a book that takes place on the eve of World War 1. It shows the reality of life during that time, while also including a beautiful yet tragic love story. My favorite part was the love story between the Christian and the Jew sending a powerful message of though there was a lot of prejudice and hate against this couple, true love was still more powerful. The part of the novel I disliked was how certain things weren't explained as to why they are that way, an example is Rose in the book was always shown as grumpy, I wish I could've seen other sides of the character and got to know her better or as to why she behaved this way. I feel the overall message of the book is to give readers a look into how life once was and how much division there was among society referring back to the wall created by society but in reality, is invisible and just a wall made by humanity to cause division. Overall the book gave a great look into the past while also having an interesting and modern side to it. 4/5 stars
@HungryHippo of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jan 26, 2015

An excellent read, flowed well, an kept my interest. I felt like I was there in the moment. Highly recommend.

Jun 05, 2013

Wonderful writing, and easily flows. The reader really begins to empathize with Harry and his sister, who dealt with the orneriest father. Would also recommend his book "The Dream"; by the time you're reading that, you'll be able to predict his father's responses to things and you'll have become emotionally invested in these children's lives. His character development is very strong.

Apr 11, 2009

Awesome Book!

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Aug 22, 2016

the_music_girl238 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 21 and 12


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