“Profound love, familial bonds and the deepest of human loyalties play out against the backdrop of unimaginable cruelty.... A stunning first novel.”
Los Angeles Times

“Truly breathtaking.... A sensual feast.”
San Francisco Chronicle

The Invisible Bridge is a tale of war-torn lovers, family and survival of the luckiest rather than the fittest.... Wonderfully evoked.”
Chicago Tribune

“Orringer’s writing is glorious.”
The Oregonian

“At the risk of oversimplifying things, this novel shows how Michael Chabon would write if he grew up a ballet-dancing girl instead of a comic-book-loving boy.”
The Plain Dealer

“[Orringer] make[s] us care so deeply about the people of her all-too-real fictional world. For the time it takes to read this fine novel, and for a long time afterward, it becomes our world too.”
The New York Times Book Review

“One of the best books of the year.”
— Junot Diaz

“An unforgettable, important work.... Extraordinary.”
Miami Herald

“Heartbreaking—and inspiring.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Brilliant.... Remarkably accomplished.”
The Washington Post Book World

“Dazzling.... A story simultaneously epic and intimate.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Beautiful, breathtaking, and vital.”
— NPR, “Books We Like”

“The word ‘epic’ seems inadequate to describe Julie Orringer’s phenomenal first novel, The Invisible Bridge. You don’t so much read it as live it.... Profoundly moving.... This is one that cries for you to linger over it, page by enthralling page.”
Financial Times

“Powerful.... So mesmerizing that in spite of the book’s heft, its ending comes too soon.”
Miami Herald

“The Invisible Bridge is dense with a master’s intelligence.... The stuff of classic novels.”
Kansas City Star

“With The Invisible Bridge, Julie Orringer has built a large novel in the grand old style, and out of that rubble made something new and beautiful.”
The Onion’s A. V. Club

“Engrossing.... The Invisible Bridge follows Hungarian Architecture student Andras Lévi and his older lover, Klara Morgenstern, through some of the most fraught and consequential years of 20th-century history, but Orringer never seems out of her depth.”
Time Out New York

“Orringer’s great achievement here is to give us the Holocaust anew, to remind us of the scale of what was lost and to cherish what survived.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“A Tolstoy-esque novel of the Holocaust, one that tracks the passage of quotidian life and the flutter of the human heart against the implacable roll of history. . . . The love story that unfolds in Orringer’s pages is as romantic as Doctor Zhivago and the seamless, edifying integration of truckloads of historical and topical research.”
Newsday

“As rich in historical detail as it is human in its cast of sympathetic characters.... Speaks to the power of love and the steadfastness of the heart.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Andras’s Europe is fully realized: its cornices and cobblestones, its frigid winters and chance meetings in cafés.”
Bookforum

“A work of impressive scope and powerful depth.”
BookPage

“In a field as crowded with artistic representations as the Holocaust, it’s easy to assume that there is nothing new to say. Julie Orringer reminds us that there always is, so long as there are individual stories to tell.... Brilliant.... As in her modern stories, here Orringer covers the darkest matters with a tender authority while imbuing her characters with the subtle, endless dimensions of love and suffering.... Gripping, fresh, and worth remembering... this novel will endure.”
Forward magazine

“A fine first novel.... Has much to say about war, and how it affects individuals indiscriminately, changing their dreams.”
Dallas Morning News

“The sheer joy of storytelling fills each moment of Orringer’s novel. Like Tolstoy and Eliot’s work, it transports us completely into its world—that of young Andras, his friends, family and loves—and a landscape of war and redemption. Thrilling, tender, and terrifying; a glorious reminder of how books can change our lives. It is the novel of the year.”
—Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Story of A Marriage

“To bring an entire lost world—its sights, its smells, its heartaches, raptures and terrors—to vivid life between the covers of a novel is an accomplishment; to invest that world, and everyone who inhabits it, with a soul, as Julie Orringer does in The Invisible Bridge, takes something more like genius.” —Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

“Orringer avoids bathos and has a gift for re-creating distant times and places: a Paris suffused with the scent of paprikas and the sounds of American jazz, the camraderies and cruelties of the work camps. The ticking clock of history keeps it urgent and moving forward, and the result is, against all odds, a Holocaust page-turner. Buy it.”
New York magazine

“What begins as a jewel-box romance soon breaks open into a harrowing saga of war. Orringer, drawing upon assiduous research into Hungarian history (and her own), conveys a piercing sense of what it means to be fated by one’s blood, as well as a rich understanding ot the capricious nature of survival.”
Vogue

“Orringer’s stunning first novel far exceeds the expectations generated by her much-lauded debut collection, How to Breathe Underwater. . . . Orringer’s triumphant novel is as much a lucid reminder of a time not so far away as it is a luminous story about the redemptive power of love.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review, pick of the week)

“A long, richly detailed debut novel from prizewinning short-story writer Orringer. . . . Her story develops without sentimentality or mawkishness, though it is full of grand emotions. Though the events of the time, especially in Hungary, are now the stuff of history books and increasingly fewer firsthand memories, Orringer writes without anachronism, and convincingly. Written with the big picture view of Doctor Zhivago or Winds of War—and likely to be one of the big books of the season.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“A hugely ambitious undertaking, but [Orringer] has every detail under control, from the architectural currents in Europe in the 1930s to the day-to-day struggle to survive. . . . Completely absorbing . . . an astonishing achievement.”
—Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist (starred review)

Publisher's Weekly Pick of the Week:

Orringer's stunning first novel far exceeds the expectations generated by her much-lauded debut collection, How to Breathe Underwater. In this WWII saga, Orringer illuminates the life of Andras Lévi, a Hungarian Jew of meager means whose world is upended by a scholarship to the École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris. There, he makes an unlikely liaison with ballet teacher Claire Morgenstern (née Klara Hász), a woman nine years his senior whose past links her to a wealthy Hungarian family familiar to Andras. Against the backdrop of grueling school assignments, exhausting work at a theater, budding romance, and the developing kinship between Andras and his fellow Jewish students, Orringer ingeniously depicts the insidious reach of the growing tide of anti-Semitism that eventually lands him back in Hungary. Once there, Orringer sheds light on how Hungary treated its Jewish citizens—first, sending them into hard labor, though not without a modicum of common decency—but as the country's alliance with Germany strengthens, the situation for Jews becomes increasingly dire. Throughout the hardships and injustices, Andras's love for Claire acts as a beacon through the unimaginable devastation and the dark hours of hunger, thirst, and deprivation. Orringer's triumphant novel is as much a lucid reminder of a time not so far away as it is a luminous story about the redemptive power of love.
— Publisher's Weekly



Booklist (Starred Review):

Andras Lévi wants to study architecture, but since opportunities for Jews are limited in Hungary, he goes to Parisinstead. There he lives among other students at the Ecole Spéciale, makes ends meet by working in the theater, and falls in love with Klara, a fellow Hungarian with a dark secret in her past. With war looming, Andras is forced to return to Budapest, and Klara follows him. Soon, their lives are swamped by history. Andras is conscripted into the labor service, and in an act of defiance, he and a friend produce a series of subversive newspapers. As a result, just when the Lévi clan is about to immigrate to Palestine, he and his whole batallion are loaded on a train and shipped to the Ukraine. Back in Budapest in 1944, Andras reflects that the Jews of Hungary had been relatively lucky. Then the Nazis invade. Orringer’s first novel (her short story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, won several awards) is a hugely ambitious undertaking, but she has every detail under control, from the architectural currents in Europe in the 1930s to the day-to-day struggle to survive in a work camp. The early sections set in Paris, in particular, are completely absorbing, and if sometimes the emotional force of this long, long book gets lost in the march of events, it is still an astonishing achievement.
—Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist