ACROSS GREAT DIVIDES
by Monique Roy
Publication Date: June 19, 2013
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
@hfvbt @MonWriter1 @roomwbooks
Across Great Divides is a timeless story of the upheavals of war, the power of family, and the resiliency of human spirit. When Hitler came to power in 1933, one Jewish family refused to be destroyed and defied the Nazis only to come up against another struggle—confronting apartheid in South Africa.
Sixteen-year-old Eva and her twin sister, Inge, witness their lives in Berlin change before their eyes. Their best friend, Trudy, betrays them when she becomes a member of the Hitler Youth. A valuable family heirloom, a beautiful emerald and diamond pendant necklace, is confiscated by the Nazis as they continue to harass Jewish families and businesses.
Their younger brother, Max, a member of the underground resistance, sees even greater danger ahead. Their father, Oskar, a diamond merchant with a thriving business, refuses to leave his beloved Germany and believes Hitler will eventually fail. Their mother, Helene, the elegant matriarch of the family, holds her family together.
The family is conflicted whether they should leave home. But after the devastation of Kristallnacht in 1938, they finally flee Germany with the help of the underground resistance after hiding many diamonds. They seek refuge in Antwerp, but war follows them as Belgium is occupied by the Germans.
A young German man, a nun, a countess conspiring against the Nazis, and a winegrower secretly hiding Jewish children, help them to escape Europe. They hike over the Pyrenees Mountains while eluding German patrols and Spanish informers. Then, they spend agonizing days on a ship bound for Rio de Janeiro that is targeted by a German U-boat. As Rio’s diamond business is corrupt, they decide to go to South Africa, another diamond market.
In Cape Town, Eva encounters an impoverished colored woman, Zoe, who is in need of work. The family hires Zoe as their maid and shields her and her daughter, Zola, from the dangers they face in the slums of District Six and from the horrors of apartheid, which are all too reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
But, when Max gets into trouble with the South African police over his participation in an anti-apartheid march, will he be subject to imprisonment?
In a thrilling conclusion, the family comes to terms with the evils of society, both in their memories and current situation in South Africa.
“Monique Roy writes an rousing story about a Jewish family leaving Germany during the start of WWII with the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) hot on their tails. The author must have paid attention at SMU because her prose is excellent.” – Rick O
“The story in this novel is its best feature. It’s a fascinating look at one family’s survival of the Holocaust and their experiences on the other side of the fence in apartheid South Africa. It’s that dichotomy that makes this story so intriguing.” – Sarah Gruwell
“Across Great Divides” is a wonderful tale of resilience, family, and following your moral compass. Author Monique Roy, based this inspiring story on her own grandparents journey across countries, continents, and beliefs to try and find safety from the Nazis. – Madame Librarian
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Across Great Divides by Monique Roy in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Across Great Divides by Monique Roy is a very complex story of one family’s journey from Nazi Germany to South Africa’s Apartheid era and how it impacts them from generation to generation.
I must admit it was a difficult read at times as Across Great Divides puts the reader directly in the path of the Nazi’s atrocities. This has come to affect me more deeply than ever before as my husband’s mother is of Jewish descent and my feelings are more involved the more I try to find out about where her people came from.
Ms. Roy does a great job of developing these complex characters and telling their story through difficult times in history is an astronomical undertaking. Ms. Roy intertwines her characters with these events with great care.
It saddens me to know that Ms. Roy is writing from a familial family history but it also takes a brave woman to attempt to write a story of fiction from the facts of a family’s life.
I recommend you take the time to immerse yourself in history and Across Great Divides by Monique Roy. I give Across Great Divides four hot cups of Room With Books coffee.
© June 21, 2015
Monique loves writing that twitches her smiling muscles or transports her to another time or place. Her passion for writing began as a young girl while penning stories in a journal. Now she looks forward to deepening her passion by creating many unique stories that do nothing less than intrigue her readers.
Monique was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and her grandparents were European Jews who fled their home as Hitler rose to power. It’s their story that inspired her to write Across Great Divides, her debut, historical fiction novel.
Monique holds a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is also the author of a children’s book Once Upon a Time in Venice. In her free time, she loves to travel, play tennis, pursue her passion for writing, and read historical fiction. In 2008, she was chosen by the American Jewish Committee’s ACCESS program to travel to Berlin, Germany, on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, to explore German and Israeli relations along with 20 other Jewish professionals from across the U.S.
Across Great Divides Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, June 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Wednesday, June 17
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Thursday, June 18
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, June 19
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Monday, June 22
Review at Room With Books
Tuesday, June 23
Review at Book Babe
Wednesday, June 24
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, June 25
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews