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Extended Audio Sample The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers, by Harry Bernstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,781 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Harry Bernstein Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This enchanting true story, written when the author was ninety-three, is a moving tale of working-class life, social divide, and forbidden love on the eve of the first World War.

The narrow street on which Harry grew up appeared identical to countless other working-class English neighborhoods—except for the invisible wall that ran down the center of the street, dividing the Jewish families on one side from the Christians on the other. The geographical distance may have been yards, but socially, it was miles. Families on either side did not speak or meet. But when Harry’s older sister fell for the boy across the street, Harry became a go-between for the lovers, crossing the great divide to hide their secret. When the truth inevitably came out, Harry had to decide, at a very young age, what he believed was morally right.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Young Harry serves as a wide-eyed guide to a world since dismantled…True to a child’s experience, it is the details of domestic life that illuminate the tale…Yet when major world events touch the poverty-stricken block, the individual coming-of-age is intensified without being trivialized, and the conversational account takes on the heft of a historical novel with stirring success.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A groundbreaking story of family secrets and forbidden love told in plain, beautiful prose through the eyes of a young Jewish boy…the chapters are tense with danger and with tenderness.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Bernstein’s remarkable memoir…would be a daunting task for any narrator. John Lee superbly captures the intricacies of various accents—the young Russian rabbi, the guest from Leeds, the headmaster of the fancy school, the drunk shopkeepers.”


  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Julie Lindsey | 2/15/2014

    " Sad view into religious boundaries that were present in the early 1900's and still seen around the world today. Book was intriguing enough to make me want to read the sequel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Anne | 2/13/2014

    " Beautifully written memoir by Harry Bernstein at 93 years old recalling his life growing up (beginning at 4 years old) in the ghettos of England; the street was divided with Jews on one side and Christians on the other. The cultural divisions, dependencies, and interactions are so well described, you can envision the neighborhood and its residents. It takes a constant reminder that you're not reading a novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sharman | 2/12/2014

    " Harry Bernstien you lived an amazing life! This is a powerful story of love and prejudice. Most of it takes place on a street in Manchester, England. Although there was no physical wall down the middle of the street, there was a tremendous division between the Jews that lived on one side of the street and the Catholics on the other. The story is told through the eyes of Harry as he watches the relationships of the neighbors on both sides of the street, his abusive father, his browbeaten mother, and siblings. It especially focuses on his oldest sister, Lily, who falls in love with a Catholic boy from across the street. The tale is so poignant and so true of today as well as of then. Are we not still seeing those prejudices in other forms today? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/11/2014

    " I knew I wanted to read this book the minute I saw it and read the synopsis on the back at Target. I went in with high expectations which is usually a huge no no for me since I always come out disappointed. I'm glad to say it was everything I was hoping for. Sweet story filled with love, history, humor, and an underlining message on the ignorance of prejudice. Although the prejudice in this book is between Jews and Christians, it is one that can still be applied in today's society, whether it be religion, race, or wealth. This was a quick read that I would recommend. "

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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.