I went for an early morning walk with my neighbor and friend, Leslie yesterday. We did our usual up to the top of Orchard and around Balfour both directions before coming home. It was great as always.
But, I’m hijacking my own blog today to talk about an amazing experience I had at the Mandell JCC last night. My friend Susan and I went to the book festival, primarily to hear Julie Orringer speak. Julie Orringer is the author of “Invisible Bridge.” It was such an awe-inspiring night. It left me with such a sense of community. I felt intellectually recharged and emotionally recharged. I am so grateful to my friend Abby Alter and everyone else on the Book Festival committee who put on such an amazing night.
Now, back to Julie Orringer. She is freaking brilliant; beyond brilliant. Her book is one of the best books I’ve ever read (and I read about 20 books a year). The pacing of the book is so unique. It’s about Hungarian Jews during the pre-World War II period and through World War II. The book gives you the unique perspective of how people felt as they were moving through the intensity of the times. I’ve read many “Holocaust” books but never that left me with this unique perspective.
I knew it was a special book when I read it. But, hearing Julie speak made me realize just how special the book is. She dedicated seven years of her life to writing it! As Susan leaned over and whispered to me, “She started writing this book when you were pregnant with Brady.” Brady will be eight next week.
The research that went into the book boggles my mind. Julie spent time in Paris and Hungary. She studied architecture. She read New York Times archives and Paris newspaper archives. She hired a Hungarian translator. She studied clothing and customs and colloquialisms of the times. SHE SPENT SEVEN YEARS WRITING THE BOOK! This book is a gift to mankind. A true gift.
Anyways, I was obviously so moved that I had to share it with anyone who reads this. Do yourself a favor and go out and get the book. Also, make sure you get involved in the amazing cultural things that your area has to offer. It takes a little effort but the payback is always way worth it.