By Monique Roy
Genre: Historical Fiction
Across Great Divides is a timeless story of the upheavals of war, the power of family, and the resiliency of human spirit, centered in one of the darkest periods in history. 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.
Across Great Divides chronicles Eva and Inge, two identical twin sisters growing up in Nazi Germany. As Jews, life becomes increasingly difficult for them and their family under the oppressive and anti-Semitic laws of the Nazis. Then, after witnessing the horrors of Kristallnacht, they realize they must leave their beloved homeland if they hope to survive.
Unsure of where to go, they travel to Antwerp, Belgium, and then on to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, chasing the diamond trade in hopes of finding work for their father, a diamond jeweler. Finally, they find a home for themselves in the beautiful country of South Africa and begin to settle down.
But just as things begin to feel safe, their new home becomes caught up in its own battles of bigotry and hate under the National Party’s demand for an apartheid South Africa. Eva and Inge wonder if they will ever be allowed to live in peace, though they cling to the hope for a better day when there will be “an understanding of the past, compassion for all humanity, and …hope and courage to move forward across great divides.”
Across Great Divides is truly an emotional and intense novel. I don't read many historical fictions, but Across Great Divide was definitely worth a shot. The reader can really form an emotional bond with the twins and their family. I actually learned more about where Jews would flee in this novel then anywhere else, which is really awesome. I do wish that the book was in first person, I feel like that would've really made it so much more hooking. But overall Across Great Divide is a great and beautiful novel, I give it four stars!
Monique loves writing that 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 Dallas and is the author of a children’s book Once Upon a Time in Venice. She is working toward completing her next novel, which is also a historical fiction story that takes place during World War II and present day England.
Monique works for a large software company as a senior marketing communications specialist. 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. 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.