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Download The Golden Willow: The Story of a Lifetime of Love Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Golden Willow: The Story of a Lifetime of Love, by Harry Bernstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (293 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Harry Bernstein Narrator: Mike Kellogg Publisher: Oasis Audio, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“The golden willow was the first tree we had planted when we came here to live, and Ruby and I had good reason for doing that. Only it was a secret that we kept to ourselves.”

Harry Bernstein started chronicling his life at the age of ninety-four, after the death of his beloved wife, Ruby. In his first book, The Invisible Wall, he told a haunting story of forbidden love in World War I–era England. Then Bernstein wrote The Dream, the touching tale of his family’s immigrant experience in Depression-era Chicago and New York. Now Bernstein completes the saga with The Golden Willow, a heart-lifting memoir of his life with Ruby, a romance that lasted nearly seventy years.

They met at a dance at New York’s legendary Webster Hall, fell instantly and madly in love, and embarked on a rich and rewarding life together. From their first tiny rented room on the Upper West Side to their years in Greenwich Village, immersed in the art scene, surrounded by dancers, musicians, and writers, to their life in the newly burgeoning suburbs, Harry and Ruby pursued the American dream with gusto, much as Harry’s late mother would have wanted.

Together, through a depression, a world war, and the McCarthy era, through job losses and race riots and the joyous births of their two children, Harry and Ruby weathered much and shared an incredible love. But then the inevitable happened. One of them had to go first. When Ruby was ninety-one, she contracted leukemia and died. Alone for the first time in his life, Harry felt the loss acutely and terribly, and for a long while, despite continued good health, he was uncertain about whether he could go on without Ruby. It was then that he turned to the past for solace—and ended up fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

Delightful and hopeful, tender and moving, The Golden Willow is Harry’s tribute to his beloved Ruby, to their long, happy life together, to the impact her parting had on his heart and his soul, and to the surprises and unexpected pleasures that continue to await him.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This sweet, inspiring story illustrates the power of dreams and the everyday virtue of an average American family.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Kellogg’s versatile range and vocal skills portray a marriage built on love and respect that grew deeper and richer with every passing year. The story also affirms that belief in oneself is important at any age.”


  • “Mr. Bernstein’s success in writing may have come late in life, but his success in life began in 1935, the moment he met Ruby. The Golden Willow is a loving tribute to her. For those of us who fear old age, Mr. Bernstein’s memoir reminds us that even growing old has its own rewards. Writing this book is one of them. So is reading it.”

    Jane Juska, author of Unaccompanied Women

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kristalyn | 2/19/2014

    " Beautiful! Read all three in the series - The Invisible Wall, The Dream, and then this book. Amazing story - would make a WONDERFUL movie or mini series. I want to meet Harry Bernstein and give him a big hug. I think he's still alive... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kathy | 2/13/2014

    " I liked this book. It was a slower read---I didn't have any problems putting down, but it was interesting. It was written by a man in his 90's, which is a rare thing. He had such an amazing relationship with his wife and I liked reading about their journey together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Devon | 1/25/2014

    " This book was good but I can relate to another reviewer's review of one of his other books where they said that his writing didn't really evoke a lot of emotion out of the reader. The story was nice but the writing was pretty simple and I felt like he repeated a number of events to try and make it more passionate but it didn't really work (for me). I also didn't really feel like it was the story of their love but rather a story of his life before and after her death. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dusk Junker | 1/10/2014

    " Probably a must read to finish off Harry's memoir, but it repeated too much and was quite sad. "

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About the Author
Author Harry Bernstein

Harry Bernstein immigrated to the United States with his family after World War I. He has written all his life but started writing The Invisible Wall following the death of his wife Ruby. His second book, The Dream, was published in 2008. He lives in Brick, New Jersey.