The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers

The Invisible Wall A Love Story That Broke Barriers 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 a

  • Title: The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers
  • Author: Harry Bernstein
  • ISBN: 9780345495808
  • Page: 455
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 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.

    • The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers By Harry Bernstein
      455 Harry Bernstein
    • thumbnail Title: The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers By Harry Bernstein
      Posted by:Harry Bernstein
      Published :2019-05-19T08:13:34+00:00


    About “Harry Bernstein

    • Harry Bernstein

      Harry Louis Bernstein was a British born American writer whose first published book, The Invisible Wall A Love Story That Broke Barriers, dealt with his abusive, alcoholic father, the anti Semitism he encountered growing up in a Lancashire mill town Stockport now part of Greater Manchester in northwest England, and the Romeo and Juliet like romance experienced by his sister and her Christian boyfriend The book was started when Bernstein was 93 and published in 2007, when he was 96 The loneliness he encountered following the death of his wife, Ruby, in 2002, after 67 years of marriage, was the catalyst for Bernstein to begin work on his book His second book, The Dream, published in 2008, centered on his family s move to the United States when he was twelve In 2009, he published his third book, The Golden Willow, which chronicled his married life and later years A fourth book, What Happended to Rose, will be published posthumously, in 2012.Before his retirement at age 62, Bernstein worked for various movie production companies, reading scripts and working as a magazine editor for trade magazines He also wrote freelance articles for such publications as Popular Mechanics, Family Circle and Newsweek.Bernstein lived in Brick Township, New Jersey He died at the age of 101, in June 2011.



    673 thoughts on “The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers

    • I LOVE YOU, HARRY!Phew--what a great book. I haven't been that engrossed in - I don't know how long!If I grew up with a such a bastard of a father, and bitch of a sister (I hate you Rose), I would haveI don't know what I would have done--but it wouldn't have been pretty.Harry is able to convey all of the emotions attached to living on a 1/2 Jewish, 1/2 Christian street--all that you'd expect and more. When Lily's father drags her, by her hair, to the factory, thwarting her dream of becoming a te [...]


    • Harry Bernstein was 93 years old when he wrote this tender memoir about his childhood in Manchester, England in the years surrounding World War I. He narrates his family's story from a child's point of view growing up in a poor, working-class neighborhood. The Jewish families lived on one side of the street, and the Christians on the other with an "invisible wall" between. While they avoided the violence that would later oppress the Jews, they suffered persecution in more subtle ways (schoolyard [...]


    • This memoir was started when Harry Bernstein was 93 and was published in 2007 when he was 96. It is the fascinating story, that reads like a novel, of his young life during World War One. In a small mill town in Lancashire, England, Harry’s selfless mother works hard to keep food on the table and shoes on the children. His gambling father has an angry and abusive manner that makes matters worse for the entire family. They live on the Jewish side of a cobblestone street facing the Christians on [...]


    • I found out about this book through my mother-in-law who knew Harry Bernstein as they lived in the same community in Brick, NJ. She obtained a signed copy for me, for which I am very grateful. This is a wonderful love story and it's true! Sort of a Romeo and Juliet I guess. One of the most amazing things about this book was that he wrote it in his late 90's (he died at the age of 101)and the details he remembers. He tells his life story as a Jewish boy growing up in England in the early 1900's w [...]


    • Here's the setup: Jews live on one side of the street and Christians on the other, and never the twain shall meet, in a town in England 100 years ago. A memoir, a cross-cultural love story ahead of its time.The narrator and author is Harry Bernstein, born in 1910 and four year old at the start. His side of the street is populated by families of recent immigrants escaping the pogroms in Eastern Europe. On his side of the street, the fathers toil in tailoring shops. The Christians on the other sid [...]


    • This is my 3rd book in this genre: memoirs, specifically boy's and I am becoming fond of it. Few years ago, Tata J told me to read ANGELA'S ASHES by the late Frank McCourt and it remains one of my all-time favorite books. Then early this year, he also lend me TOAST by Nigel Slater which I also found amazing (5 stars). Now, how could I not like THE INVISIBLE WALL by Harry Bernstein? It is a lot better than the latter - having a more serious theme (anti-Jews) and more poignant (having two tragic l [...]


    • This is a brilliant book written when the author was in his nineties and writtenAs well through the eyes of child. The detail and sense of place and understanding of complex relationships is remarkable. That he could remember his youth and childhood in such detail to paint such a vivid picture of bygone times of the backstreets of Manchester, the poverty, harshness anti Semitism, cruelty and triumph of love and humanity agains such odds is outstanding. This is one of the best books I have read t [...]


    • …and no religion tooSpira un’aria alquanto antiquata dalle pagine di questo romanzo e non tanto per l’ambientazione negli anni ’10 del secolo scorso, quanto per lo stile risolutamente lineare, un po’ manierato e virato seppia, che fa dell’approccio semplice alle vicissitudini quotidiane di una famiglia del proletariato inglese, con troppi figli e pochi denari, una delle sue due cifre principali. L’altra risiede nella metafora portante, enunciata fin dal titolo e sottolineata lungo [...]


    • There is an overwhelming sense of nostalgie and melancholy throughout the entire book. The tone is too sombre for my tastes. The author, in his nineties looks back at his childhood in a small Lancashire village outside Manchester. More specifcally the book is about the invisible wall between the Jews living on one side and the Christians living on the other side. The book starts when the author is four and is centered around his older sister's love for a Christian boy on the other side of the st [...]


    • The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers is a wonderful memoir written about growing up in the mill town of Manchester, England, in the early 20th Century. The author's family lived on the Jewish side of a narrow street while Christians lived on the other side, separated by an invisible wall. Harry's father is a tailor who drinks up most of his wages while his mother works hard at home, dreaming of a better future for her children. The Jews and the Christians rarely interacted social [...]


    • Harry has a hard life Jewish and poor in England around WWI in a truly dysfunctional family. Little things bring him joy, many things in his life are scary. Each chapter provides a snapshot of the divided street, Jews on one side, Christians on the other. Harry paints a great picture of times gone by with horses, outhouses, and yet people warring against one another. One wonders how things have changed in the last century, when many considered WWI, the war to end all wars. I could identify with [...]


    • Da due mesi faccio parte del gruppo di lettura del mio paese, che, però, si è formato circa tre anni fa, a mia insaputa, così, ora, sto cercando di recuperare una delle loro letture precedenti!Ho scoperto solo alla fine, documentandomi sull' autore, che il libro è autobiografico. Narra le vicende della sua vita da quando ha cinque anni all' adolescenza."Erano gli unici, nella nostra strada, possedere un grammofono, e lasciavano la porta di casa aperta perché tutti lo potessero ascoltare." Q [...]


    • "ry"Appena finito di leggerlo, solo una parolallo !!Harry, Lily, Arthur, sono solo alcuni dei nomi dei personaggi di questo libro che ho racchiuso nel mio cuore, per non dimenticare la signora Bernstein, grande donna.E ancora una volta sono le donne a essere grandi protagoniste, questa mamma, che siritrova da sola a dover crescere e mandare avanti un'intera famiglia, ben 6 figli, instancabile, fiera e coraggiosa e salda nei suoi principi.Siamo agli inizi del 1900 poco prima che scoppi la prima g [...]


    • Can't say enough about this book, I couldn't wait to read it, then I found it hard to put down and thought about while not reading it and now I'm done can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. Thank you Harry for writing these wonderful stories and making us believe we can accomplish amazing things, even in our 90's! I know these books are based on his childhood which makes them all the more riveting. I'm very glad I've bought my own copy, its a re-read for sure. His mother is amazing and his lo [...]


    • I kept thinking of Call the Midwife and Angela’s Ashesnd of a mash up, but with Jews and Catholics instead. I liked it, it was a quick listen, not quite as tragic, but I think that’s because he didn’t write it with that focus. It was interesting that he lived through both wars, but didn’t personally serve in either. Very interesting childhood.


    • You are never too old to tell your story.And at the age of 96, Harry Bernstein did just that.Growing up in Manchester, England on the eve of World War I, Harry details in stunning prose the “invisible wall” that divides his neighborhood – that of Christians on one side and Jews on the other. His father a drunk, and his mother providing for 5 children (eventually 6), Harry’s childhood was filled with poverty, depravity, and neglect, but also a genuine amount of love.More often than not, n [...]


    • I loved this book! Although it is a memoir it was an easy read and felt more like a novel which made it even more enjoyable for me. It was educational for me to learn more about the prejudices between Jewish and Christian neighbors through WWI era in England. I also found it humanizing in being able to see that despite cultural/religious difference people are very much the same in their basic desires and needs. It made me contemplate my own actions and thoughts towards others who seem different [...]


    • I think I read that someone called this book a sweet memoir; it is not that. It also does not seem to be "a love story that broke barriers" as we are only just barely acquainted with the love story. What it is is a story of poverty, abuse, and a time and place where religious divisions took place. The good or interesting parts of the book included details about Jewish life that I didn't know about, like having a fire goy, the rather sweet relationship between Harry and his mother, and that a por [...]


    • This is a truly charming "misery memoir" that ends with hope. There are several things that amaze me about this book:1. That Harry Bernstein had a keen enough mind and talent to write a book when he was 93 years old (published when he was 96).2. That Harry Bernstein had a keen enough mind to recall memories from the age of four (or earlier?). I guess I always thought that our early childhood memories would fade with time, especially after several decades. I suppose those experiences can be so po [...]


    • An incredibly touching and tragic memoir published when the author was in his 90s, but telling the experiences he had as a young boy growing up as a Jew in England just before and after World War I. The Invisible Wall refers to the street on which he lived -- Jews lived on one side, Christians on the other. In the prologue, author Harry Bernstein says, "It was a quiet little street, hardly noticeable among all the other larger streets, but what distinguished it from all the others was the fact t [...]


    • This book is the first in a series of memoires and was published when the author was 96 - an astounding 92 years after the book itself begins. And not only was this book an interesting look at life in small-town Yorkshire in the early 20th century, showing a whole host of difficulties which were everyday life for the majority of the population back then, but it also pulls you in and makes you truly care for the characters.Then, in the last few pages, it stomps all over your heart.But in spite of [...]


    • Apart from being a fascinating glimpse into the religion barriers that shaped an early twentieth-century impoverished British industrial community, the narration is surprisingly innocent and pure. Bernstein, writing in his 90s, remembers a past almost a century old. Yet his five year old self paints a story in such beautifully refreshing tones that the tragedies of want, fear, bitterness, and betrayal are tempered with the hopeful view of childhood. Not to say that the tragic parts of the memoir [...]


    • My grandfather came from a Lancashire mill town and so I was immediately drawn into Bernstein's description of life there. I felt that I was sitting at his knee, listening as he told story after story about growing up. Some of the stories would break off suddenly--like the story of Florrie and Mrs. Green's great fight--and Bernstein would go off onto another story. Much like an elderly person reminiscing. Which, for me, made the book all the more poignant. Bernstein's point of view, as a young b [...]


    • I thought this book was beautiful, poignant, tragic and melancholy all wrapped together in this memoir by 93-year (at the time of its writing) old Harry Bernstein. He recounts his life in a poor, working-class neighborhood near Manchester, England in the early 1900's. He tells of growing up Jewish with the invisible wall being the street that divides them from the Christians on the other side. It's a story of a dysfunctional family, of bigotry that cuts both ways, of World War I, love and forgiv [...]


    • I enjoyed the book immensely, but it was constantly disturbing and challenging. The book deals with a neighborhood with Christians and Jews living on different sides of the street in a poor section of an English town. Many difficulties, adventures and conflicts arise throughout the book. I am trying not to give too much away. A final comment: Those of us who have strong faith and beliefs struggle with those who have different beliefs that are just as strong. Read the book!


    • I thoroughly enjoyed this look into the life of a young boy and the culture of his impoverished Jewish family in the Pre and post WW1 England. Wondrously well-written and intriguing, it grabbed my heart and hung on. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves history and learning the viewpoints of those who have been raised in another time or another culture. It is a memoir that reads like a novel.


    • Definitely worth reading. A memoir about a little Jewish boy in England during WWI. His side of the street is Jewish and the other side is Christian. The Jews' and Christians' lives do mix in some respects--they go to the same school, shop at the same candy store--but are completely separate in other respects. The major plot development is when Harry's older sister falls in love with a Christian boy. A very well written book. A meaningful story.


    • I loved this amazing story written by a 96-year-old man (his first book!). He tells the story of his family living in a village in England in the early 1900's, in which the people who lived on one side of the street were Christian and the people living on the other side were Jewish. Therein lies "the invisible wall." His family was Jewish. He tells of some of the persecution the Jewish families endured in the neighborhood, and he and his friends at school. But the major part of the story was abo [...]


    • This book reminded me of Angela’s Ashes in so many ways only this time a poor Jewish family in England instead of a poor Catholic family in Ireland. Bernstein writes about his childhood street in a small English mill town- one side Jewish, one side Christian during World War I. Amazingly, he finally wrote his story at ninety-six years old. How he remembered such vivid details is beyond me. (I can hardly remember what I did yesterday). So much of the story is tragic- the cruel alcoholic father, [...]


    • This is hard for me to rate. I liked it when I was listening but it took me about 3 months to finish. I could NOT get into it for some reason. 🤷‍♀️


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