Author: Monique Roy
Publisher: Monique Roy
Type of book: 1930s-1940s? Germany, WWII, Young Adult, Africa, apartheid, escape, help, jewelry, diamonds
Year it was published: 2013
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—apartheid in
. South Africa
Sixteen-year-old twins, Eva and Inge, witness their lives in
Their younger brother, Max, a member of the underground resistance, sees great danger ahead. Their father, Oskar, a successful diamond merchant, refuses to leave his beloved
After the devastation of Kristallnacht in 1938, the family flees
A German man, a nun, a countess, and a winegrower help the family escape
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
Buy the Book at AmazonCharacters:
The author tries to make characters three dimensional as well as show that yes, they did grow up over time and learned valuable lessons, but again the characters are a bit on the flat side, and I feel that it wasn't explanatory as to why the father wasn't for abolishing apartheid. The main characters would be twin sisters named Inge and Eva who have "Aryan" appearance of blond hair and blue eyes. Its mentioned that they are very close and they tend to be good natured as well as generous. There is their younger brother Max who has activist blood in that he tries to get rid of unfairness wherever he sees it. Helene is the elegant and beautiful mother while Oskar is the father who is good with diamonds.
You have more in common than you think
This is written in third person narrative from what seems to be everyone's point of view, or at least mostly from Eva's and her friend's point of view. The stories themselves are interesting, but I often felt as if I was looking or reading something that seemed simplistic instead of something that should have been complex. I liked learning and reading about the culture of South Africa as well as thoughts and mindsets, but again, the message and whatnot is a little too simplistic for me. The book as well is more of told rather than show, which rather means that I didn't get a good grip on the characters or their surroundings.
(From the Kit I was given)
Monique Roy 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 holds a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University in
and is the author of a middle-grade book Once Upon a Time in Dallas . Monique 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 Venice ,
on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, to explore German and Israeli
relations along with 20 other Jewish professionals from across the Berlin, Germany U.S.
Monique was born in
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
newest novel. Cape Town, South Africa
What attracts Monique to historical fiction is taking the factual record as a structure and letting imagination run wild to fill it all in. Historical fiction lets you escape to another time and place; and Monique likes to explore the past so that we can potentially better understand the future.
Her latest book is the historical fiction, Across Great Divides.
Visit her website at www.monique-roy.com.
Connect & Socialize with Monique!
Despite the amazing premise and summary, this book didn't really capture my imagination as I had hoped. I am trying hard to figure out a way to explain why without sounding insulting, which isn't my intention. Still, before doing that, let me mention some of the positives: I liked the research that went into the book as well as mention what was going on and how shocking it was for the main characters. I also found the comparison between apartheid and what the main characters suffered from 1930s up until 1938 to be an interesting one. Its not a combination that one often hears about as well as dares to make. What I found confusing as well as frustrating is that I am unable to decide if the book is written for young adults or for adults? For me the writing style tended to be reminiscent of a young adult novel and there is a lot of "told" scenes. I am also in a bit of disbelief that in Germany during 1930s a Jewish family that deals with diamonds is considered "middle class". Perhaps more of a clarification is needed? I will say this though; if I should have children, this will be one of the books I'll use to introduce them to the history of Holocaust as well as 1950s.
This is for Pump Up Your Books Tour
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)