Thursday, February 3, 2011

Memoirs & Coffee Book Group to Meet

The next meeting of Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, February 22 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Coordinator for the library, will lead the discussion The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers (2007) by Harry Bernstein.

The book, written when Mr. Bernstein was 97 years old, tells the story of his family’s struggles to make ends meet on the eve of World War I in a small Lancashire mill town in England where there was an “invisible wall” dividing Jewish and Christian families. His father was a tailor, who spent most of his wages drinking and gambling. His mother was illiterate, fiercely devoted to her children, and persistently begging relatives in Chicago to send money for the family’s passage to the United States. The “love story” is about Bernstein’s older sister who did the unthinkable: falling in love with a Christian boy. The New York Times reviewer wrote of the book, “A Romeo and Juliet drama gradually unfolds…The small events of family life and the daily dramas on the street take on a shimmering, timeless quality… Mr. Bernstein, with great economy and skill, maneuvers an extensive cast of characters onto his small stage and lets their stories play out within the larger historical and social context. In the end, that little street turns out to be very big indeed.”

There is no charge to attend the book discussion, and no sign-up is needed. For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

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