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Description - The Dream by Harry Bernstein

On a narrow cobbled street in a northern mill town young Harry Bernstein and his family face a daily struggle to make ends meet. This is the true story of those harsh years, overshadowed by the First World War. Amidst the hardship and suffering, Harry's devoted mother clings to a dream - that one day they might escape this grinding poverty for the paradise of America. But the regular pleas to relatives in Chicago yield nothing, until one day, when Harry is twelve years old, the family looks on astonished as he opens a letter which contains the longed-for steamship tickets. But the better life of which they'd dreamed proves elusive. Deprivation follows them to Chicago - and for Harry, life becomes more difficult still as he finds himself torn between his responsibilities to his mother, and his first love...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099517863
ISBN-10: 0099517868
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 20mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 1-May-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Dream by Harry Bernstein

US Kirkus Review » Lugubrious memoir from the nonagenarian author of The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers (2007).Bernstein was 12 in 1922 when steamship tickets to America from an unknown donor mysteriously arrived, sending the family - hardworking, long-suffering mother, hard-drinking, foul-mouthed father and six children - to join relatives in Chicago. The father, depicted as thoroughly despicable, swiftly alienated the grandmother, and they were all thrown out of the grandparents' home. But the '20s were relatively good times, and the young author got a high-school education. Surprisingly, his grandfather, a family embarrassment because he made his living as a street beggar and was the focus of loud, invective-filled family arguments, revealed that a guilty conscience over past injustices to Bernstein's mother had prompted him to provide the tickets to America. With the Great Depression, family fortunes nosedived, and Bernstein's plans for higher education ended when his father stole his and his mother's savings. The author beat up his father and persuaded his mother to flee with him to New York, where his two older brothers helped them settle in Brooklyn. In time, his odious father rejoined them, and the author ran into his eccentric grandfather, who was plying his trade on the streets of New York. Odd family members move in and out of the narrative, and Bernstein inserts episodes from their struggles into his own. Life took a turn for the better when he married his beloved Ruby and took a job as a script reader for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. But for his much put-upon mother, full of disappointed expectations and longings, the dream of a good life in America never materialized. When she discovered that she had been supported for years by the takings of a beggar whose earlier gift she had never been able to repay, she died of a stroke. After her funeral, Bernstein never saw his father again.A harsh story so filled with anger and bad feeling that reading is tough going. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Harry Bernstein

97-year-old Harry Bernstein emigrated to the USA with his family after the First World War. He started writing THE INVISIBLE WALL after the death of his wife of 67 years, Ruby. THE DREAM is his second book. He lives in Brick, New Jersey.

Books By Harry Bernstein

Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein
Paperback, November 2007
Golden Willow by Harry Bernstein
Dream by Harry Bernstein
Paperback / softback,