Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers

Harry Bernstein's memoir, The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers was famously published when he was 96 years old, a vicarious triumph for greybeards everywhere. Bernstein is certainly not a new writer. This memoir is a result of decades of writing and the retelling of his unique childhood experiences.

Though often compared to McCourt's Angela's Ashes, this memoir describes people living in the same neighborhood who cannot cope with conflicts born of their unique, religious heritage. Jewish families deal with their gentile neighbors on the opposite side of the street. The demands and tragedies of life serve to break down these barriers and reveal the humanity of neighborhood families, both good and bad to a young boy and his sister. As in Angela's Ashes, the glue in Bernstein's story is a powerful, loving mother.

I am looking forward to reading his follow on book, The Dream about his immigration to America in the 1920's.

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