This story is about his childhood during World War II, set in England. The street he lives on hosts a colorful array of characters that Harry vividly brings to life. On one side of the street live the Christian families, and on the other side live the Jewish families. They rarely if ever mix, and hence the term "Invisible Wall" is coined. The intensity with which both sides live life according to their religion, completely isolates them to their own kind. They don't enter each others homes, the children are discouraged from playing together, and only in times of great desperation do they lend a hand or offer solace.
In our generation where the world to me sometimes seems so gray, there was something a little bit wonderful in the tradition each side clung so tightly to that lead them unfortunately to such disastrous results. Both sides had such pride in who they were and what they believed. Their faith defined them in ways that made them a part of a heritage that was bigger than just the four walls and circumstances they were forced to live in.
I like thinking about that. What it means. Isn't that kind of belonging something every human being longs for? This book made me ponder what invisible walls I might have. Walls inside that keep me from fully experiencing life. Barriers I've wrongfully built to stay safe or keep my family safe. Ways I've judged other people and missed out on the amazing impact they could have had in my life. I keep the term "Invisible Wall" filed in my mind as I walk through life now, looking for where this impacts my thoughts, judgments, decisions.
Fear was a driving force for the people on this street. Fear of how they would be taunted, physically abused, that their children might fall in love with the wrong side. Fear that loving or giving to people that are different than themselves might cause them to have to abandon what they believe. That perhaps was the greatest lie!
Don't you think it's true that when our beliefs are challenged that we come out on the other side so much stronger? I would hope that would cause us to leave behind a life of gray, where we never speak the truths we feel for fear of stepping on someone else. That we could just learn to speak what we believe in love, that others could honor those beliefs, share how they stand in a different reality, and together we could exist not silenced but helping each other navigate this complicated path we all have to walk. I guess when a book causes you to evaluate who you are and how you participate in this world...you've stumbled on to something really special. Thanks Harry! **** Review by Holly
If this triggers a response in you either positive or negative we'd love to read your comment! Thanks so much for stopping by.
To make your life easier there is a link in the right column of our blog where you can choose this book and buy it on Amazon.