Across Great Divides is a timeless, World War II story of the upheavals of war, the power of family, and the resiliency of human spirit. When Hitler comes to power in 1933, one Jewish family refuses to be destroyed and defies 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 harass Jewish families and businesses. Their younger brother, Max, a member of the underground resistance, sees even greater danger ahead. Their father, Oskar, refuses to leave his beloved Germany and believes Hitler will eventually fail. They finally flee Nazi Germany with the help of the underground resistance —a young German man, a nun, a countess conspiring against the Nazis, and a winegrower secretly hiding Jewish children. War continues to follow them until they arrive in Cape Town, South Africa. The family hires an impoverished colored woman, Zoe, as their maid and shields her and her daughter, Zola, from the dangers they face in the slums and from the horrors of Apartheid, which are all too reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Across Great Divides illuminates a Jewish family in Germany in WWII caught in significant 20th century travesties: the Nazi occupation of Europe during World War Two and Apartheid in South Africa.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As most of you know, WWII is one of my favorite time periods to read about. So, I jumped on this book when asked to review. This is a good read. There is really nothing new and unique to the story except their travels and escape from Germany. How they ended up in Brazil then in Africa makes this tale unique. However, the story is just a little too convenient . You will need to read this story to find out what I mean. I do not want to give away a spoiler. This is a story about family and strengths to get through the trials of life. It still amazes me...Mans inhumanity to man!! I received this novel from the author for a honest review.
I for one never connected the two similar horrible historical events. I of course am familiar with WWII, and the Nazi Government. The evil that appeared as Hitler, and what he did, is almost unspeakable. Monique Roy has presented a family that we can relate to, and how our personal thinking, things will get better, and it can't last forever. Until it is almost two late! We experience a brief look at Germany, just before Hitler comes to power. We are with a family of Oskar, his wife Helene, their son Max, and identical twin daughters Inge and Eva. Trying to put myself in their shoes, is almost impossible! Hitler convinced the Country that the Jews were responsible for the depression. Oh how gullible they were, and they wanted answers, so lets blame the Jews. We travel with this family over two continents and end up in South Africa. This is where history seems to be repeating itself in Apartheid. Lets blame the Black population for all that is wrong...and so it starts again. We meet new characters, and there is a necklace that seems to tie all of this together. I enjoyed reading this book, and would give it 5*, except I felt the ending was rather rushed. There needed to be a bit more. I do recommend this as a great read! I received this book through Pump Your Book Virtual Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review
Across Great Divides offers a richly detailed historical fiction. Based on the actual experinces of her family, Roy weaves the story of a German jewish family and their escape from Nazi Germany. It is a quick yet historically informative read.