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Download The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers Audiobook, 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: November 2007 ISBN: 9781455186853
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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.”

    AudioFile

  • 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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen Evans | 2/10/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down. It was so beautifully written, and the story pulled me in right away. A love story in the midst of WW1, between the Christian and Jewish sides of the street. A must read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Darcy | 2/8/2014

    " One of my groups had picked this for the BOM, I thought it could be interesting so I grabbed it. However as I started reading it I realized that this one just wasn't for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz Hedgpeth | 2/7/2014

    " Short read. Enjoyed this. I really like WW2 stories, and this one is from WW1. I haven't read many from that era, but will have to try. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 2/1/2014

    " This book was written by a man in his 90's remembering growing up in England pre WWII and being a Jewish boy. It was well written and very interesting. Our book club read this for March and all the ladies liked the book. A good discussion on mental illness, family, Jewish culture vs LDS culture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberley | 1/20/2014

    " Well written, easy to read. Love that the author was 96 when he wrote this. That said it's extremely depressing. Nothing good happens for anybody in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candida | 1/17/2014

    " I bought this book not realizing it was a memoir. Half-way into it I discovered that it was, and even more amazing is that Harry Bernstein was 97 when he wrote it. The story is of his childhood, growing up in England during WWI, and telling of the hardships his family faced. Great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margene Edwards | 1/14/2014

    " I loved this book, the more I think about it the more I like it and remember all the parts I liked so much. wouldn't you have liked to have known Harry when we was a young boy growing up? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sera | 1/7/2014

    " The beginning of the story did not really grab my attention, but as the story went on, I couldn't wait to find out what happened. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kitty Tomlinson | 1/2/2014

    " True story of street in English ghetto before WWI where Jews lived on one side and Christians on the other. Jewish girl falls in love with Christian boy and creates havoc. Awesome book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mim | 12/17/2013

    " A true story about Christians and Jews living on opposite sides of the street in Manchester, England in the 1930's. For the 92-year-old, first time author, a great read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marci Hyman | 12/11/2013

    " Amazing that this book was written by a 93 year old gentleman "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dev | 6/14/2013

    " Wow! This author has to be proud of himself -finally published in his twilight years. This book has to be one of the most interesting stories about growing up during WWI and WWII; the author's memory is amazing! Good read . . . I wanted to keep reading! I will have to read his sequel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy W | 5/27/2013

    " Really enjoyed this. Look back into tough times in England and how people and communities survivied. Really enjoyed and connected to the character. Highly Recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 1/2/2013

    " nonfiction about life on a divided (one side Jewish, one side Christian) street in WWII London "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rikke Donaldson | 5/22/2012

    " Love how he immediately transported me in to his world. His storytelling skills are fantastic. Once again I am amazed of how hurtful religion can be, and how many lives the segregation changed! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steph | 12/14/2011

    " Amazing descriptions ...a must read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan Wolthusen | 11/29/2011

    " Loved this book. Provides lots to think about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 6/25/2011

    " Loved this true story of Harry Bernstein growing up in the 1900s in abject poverty. His street in England had Jews on one side and Christians on the other and his story is so real I can see the street. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tammy | 6/21/2011

    " Very interesting true story about a Jewish boy growing up in London on a street that was one-side Jewish homes and across the street Christian homes. The story starts right before WWII and details how being in that culture of separation but still as neighbors affected him and his family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debfiddle | 6/12/2011

    " A touching, sad WWII period story that is very heartbreaking. But very much worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vasaige | 5/28/2011

    " I like books that I learn something and stay entertained this book did both I will read his next book.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lys | 5/14/2011

    " A facinating look at Christian and Jewish families living on the same street around the time of WW1. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Darcy | 5/13/2011

    " One of my groups had picked this for the BOM, I thought it could be interesting so I grabbed it. However as I started reading it I realized that this one just wasn't for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 5/12/2011

    " So good - I can't imagine such a dim childhood. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 5/9/2011

    " Good memoir about a hard life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 5/9/2011

    " I really liked this book! More than I thought I would. It was amazing that a 92 year old was able to recall the stories. He used vivid details to really show what life was like at that time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 5/7/2011

    " This is a really interesting memoir and an truly remarkable writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 5/5/2011

    " I kept having to remind myself that this was a memoir. It read like fiction, but then I would stop and realize that these were real people! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lahni | 5/4/2011

    " This memoir reads like a novel. Bernstein has continued his story in two other books that I look forward to reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diena | 4/27/2011

    " It was ok. Not good, not bad, just there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 4/13/2011

    " I'm always interested in how different people and times manage their differences. Enjoyed this very much. "

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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.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.