Mike Kellogg, narrating, The Golden Willow by Harry Bernstein

The Golden Willow
By Harry Bernstein
Narrated By Mike Kellogg
5 hrs and 45 mins

The Golden Willow by Harry Bernstein, audiobook image
 The Golden Willow by Harry Bernstein

Mike Kellogg has a wonderful voice and is the perfect choice to read The Golden Willow. He emotes warmth,  kindness, and sensitivity without being maudlin or patronizing. His voice is mellow and cultured. His reading is smooth and flows along at a steady pace. He does not have lags between sentences or words. He doesn't linger overly long at poignant or sensitive parts. Mike Kellogg's reading of this book is special because he has a good balance of tone, clarity, and delicacy. He really captures the essence of a deep love and a life time of experiences.

The Golden Willow by Harry Bernstein, photo image
Harry Bernstein Author

Harry Bernstein was inspired to write the The Golden Willow after the tragic death of his beloved wife. Both he and his wife Ruby were in their 90's when she came down with leukemia and died. After nearly 70 years of marriage Harry was so devastated that he thought often about killing himself. He just could not see any reason at his age to continue on without Ruby. Harry and Ruby were very much in love through out their entire marriage sharing everything life handed them. Losing Ruby was more than Harry could bare.

Harry had always wanted to be a writer but his life path did not allow him to do this. He wrote some short stories that were published but as a career it just never came about. After Ruby was gone he revisited this interest and started writing about his life growing up in a Lancashire mill town. This was his first book, The Invisible Wall telling about the poverty and separation between the Jews and the Christians who lived across the road.

From this book came the continuation of his story in The Dream and his migration to the United States and adjusting with eager anticipation to a new life away from England. In The Golden Willow, Harry covers more in depth the love story between him and Ruby. Everyone seeks that one true love of their life and Harry found it in Ruby.

With divorce at all time highs, and so many children being shuttled back and forth between parents with new spouses and children, it emphasizes the vast difference between popular culture of the past 40 years or so and the time Harry grew up. Fewer people in Harry's time threw in the towel at the slightest provocation but stuck out the tough times and worked through things together.

It is pure magic the way Harry writes about his life and there is nary a dull moment. Which ever book you read and you should read them all you will catch a glimpse of history from a perspective that is not revisionist or what a historian pieced together and thinks it was but a first person experience.

Thank God that Harry has lived long enough to share not only a wonderful love story but history as it was lived. Harry is about 98 now and wrote The Invisible Wall when he was about 92. I sincerely hope even at the age of 98 that Harry Bernstein has yet another book in him.

Sadly the following month after I posted this Harry Bernstein passed away. He had a long and productive life and is now with his beloved Ruby. Rest in Peace Harry
    Born: May 30, 1910, Stockport, United Kingdom
    Died: June 3, 2011, Brooklyn, New York City, NY

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