Friday, November 20, 2015

The Invisible Bridge

Invisible Bridge is a historical novel based on the author's relatives who were Hungarian Jews living in Europe during WWII.  I don't think it's a spoiler alert to tell you...some bad stuff is going to happen. Hey there smarty, you just figured out that someone must live long enough to become the author's progenitor. There were no sperm banks in 1938.  Wow, I'm really glad there wasn't because: Baby Hitlers.

Julie Orringer admits the romance part of this book is totally made up, and frankly, it shows. Unfortunately this section is two to three hundred pages of overly sentimental romance. Yuck. She got a National Endowment of the Arts grant to write Invisible Bridge....shhh...don't tell the politicians. This book is ok, but the history part, while a bit grim, was a much better section. I'm thinking: Do I hate historical fiction and just like history?  But then I remembered All the Light We Cannot See.  Which was amazing. Maybe that book was the LeBron James of historical fiction; you only get one of those in a generation.

This very first part of this book is fantastic...our narrator gets a scholarship to study architecture in Paris in 1938.  Fish out of water going to school in Paris, cool, cool, needs more wizards, but ok. Then he meets a lady (250 pages of a romance novel), then the war breaks out and we get a history lesson. While I think every educated person should know the events leading to and after the war, you really don't need to do that with a less than sexy bathtub scene in the mix. Holocaust history made sexy! Pass.

Before the grim part, our narrator's life was pretty sweet. How about a champagne cocktail? Southside Royale: 2 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce lime juice, 3/4 ounces simple syrup. Put these ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake and strain into a champagne flute and top with champagne.

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