BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Informative,
Insightful,
Interesting

8 reviews

The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers
by Harry Bernstein

Published: 2008-02-12
Paperback : 321 pages
17 members reading this now
23 clubs reading this now
13 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 8 of 8 members
“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 ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

“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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Religion and culture-unite or divide?
Family love or family terror in book?
by maril (see profile) 10/16/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

find and serve some ginger beer
by maril (see profile) 10/16/13
Find and serve up some of the foods and drinks found in this book

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by arizonamom (see profile) 04/03/16

 
  "The Invisible Wall"by Carolynr (see profile) 02/02/16

written in 2008 when the author was 92! He wrote this after his wife died. time period is right before WW I , set in England, where Harry's family can barely make ends meet. His father pre... (read more)

 
  "invisible wall"by maril (see profile) 10/16/13

Read this book before when it first came out and I liked it so well that recommended and read again for book club. Good discussion book and informative book about 'the good old days' that weren't all... (read more)

 
  "great discussion book"by mindysauve (see profile) 06/01/12

Our group found a lot to talk about after reading this book and it rated an average of 3.55 out of a scale of 5 with 10 reviewers.. One of the truly remarkable aspects is the age of the author!

 
  "The Invisible Wall"by MGabe (see profile) 06/01/12

 
  "Interesting book"by hopewellmomschool (see profile) 05/03/11

Jews in England before and immediately after WWI from a young boy's perspective. Very moving and interesting.

 
  "The Invisible Wall"by zamak (see profile) 10/02/10

 
  "The Invisible Wall"by loreninez (see profile) 03/30/10

What a wonderful true story about a Jewish family and how life was for them in England. Mr. Bernstein is a brilliant author and I was so glad he shared his childhood with me. I read the book in 2 days.... (read more)

 
  "The Invisible Wall"by sydmad (see profile) 06/07/09

Beautifully written.Insightful, as to strong feelings in the early 20th century. So very different now in the 21st century

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search
FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...