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Across Great Divides

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  36 reviews
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...
Paperback, 222 pages
Published September 7th 2013 by Monique\Roy (first published June 20th 2013)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  111 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it

Review also left on my blog at

Across Great Divides

Monique Roy

Received from Author

ACROSS GREAT DIVIDES is the story of Eva and her family in Berlin. Life is grand for them and Hitler has just come into power. But then, little by little they start to witness and feel the anti-semitism and finally, they decide it's time to leave Berlin and they head to Antwerp. From there they go to Rio and then to South Africa. Ms. Roy introduces you to this family and you
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

As the book opens, the author depicts how life gets increasingly difficult for the family with the rise of Hitler. There are detailed descriptions of events in Berlin such as the book-burning and violence of Kristallnacht. I did feel that one or two sections read more like straight history rather than being illustrated through the experiences of Eva or her family. The author has clearly undertaken extensive research because as well as a wealth of information about events in Germany
Terry Tyler
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber's Review Team

This is the story of Eva, a Jew living in Berlin, and her family. It starts in 1932/3, when Hitler first came to power, and moves on to the family's escape to Antwerp, then to Rio, and their next move to South Africa.

It starts off well, describing teenage Eva's life before the Nazis, and her initial fear of anti-semitism. However, it soon becomes more like a quite basic history book or newspaper article, told mostly from the point of view of
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it
It is easy to be overwhelmed by first impressions of Across Great Divides by Monique Roy. The cover art is, unfortunately, far too busy and the book synopsis is so long that it presents what could be perceived as a complicated read. When I was first presented with the opportunity to read Across Great Divides I was tempted to decline it because I was concerned about the story being too involved for one novel but I have a great love for fiction inspired by World War II so I tentatively accepted. ...more
I got this book in exchange for an honest review

A Jewish family is on the run for their lives to get out of Europe and away from the Nazis, but then land in South Africa and are witnesses to the injustices of Apartheid. An interesting read about a family who witnessed two of humanity's worst "low lights". See the whole review on my blog if you are interested:
Tony Parsons
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
1932, in Germany Eva (16) & her twin sister Inge (16) were attending a symphony concert at the Berliner Philharmonie. The PPL of Germany had no faith in the Weimar Republic. Adolf Hitler was in attendance. They were in hopes President Paul von Hindenburg would make him chancellor. Conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler started with Beethovens Symphony # 9. The parents; Oskar & Helene had introduced the 2 girls to the joys of music. Their brother is Max (14). Trudy was the girls BFF. Oskar ...more
Gayle Pace
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ms. Roy has written a wonderful debut novel. She knows first hand since her family went through the horrible life. Many readers will know all well about the tragic story. Hitler's persecution of the Jews where only a mere few lived through it, but will never forget.

The story of a wealthy German Jewish family who went to South Africa, a new life, they thought but it was a cruel Apartheid system. Based somewhat on Nazism.Part two , Ms. Roy's own experiences is as different as black and
Maureen Timerman
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
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
Marius Gabriel
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant debut novel by an author who knows what she's talking about -- her own family lived through the horror and drama she describes.

Some of the story will be tragically familiar ground to many readers -- the persecution of the Jews under Hitler and their eventual almost complete destruction, with only a tiny handful escaping the net. Monique Roy's novel follows the fortunes of a wealthy German Jewish family who found refuge in South Africa, a strange new land where they
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a fan of WWII era genre I was excited to pick up this book. I really enjoyed the well developed characters, detail and story. The authors writing style keeps me engaged in a genre that is flooded with some just so-so average books - this book is wonderful and I highly recommend it. Nice work and looking forward to a third book by Monique Roy.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I really enjoyed this book. Interesting to read about Jewish refugees in South Africa. I had never thought about Jewish refugees ending up in other places, especially not South Africa. I would recommend this book!

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Silver Petticoat
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read this review and others at The Silver Petticoat Review: Across Great Divides

An ambitious historical fictional novel, Across Great Divides is a beautiful story worth every minute of your time. The book will captivate you from the very start all the way to the finish leaving you wanting more and disappointed when the story reaches its conclusion. In an epic tale from talented writer Monique Roy about a Jewish family who overcome prejudice and persecution in Berlin during World War II only to
Karen Ingalls
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very touching and moving story following the lives of a Jewish family in the 1930's and their escape from the Nazi's. There are historical facts, relatable characters, cities and countries are well described so the reader could think she/he were there.
A wonderful book I highly recommend.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting and quick read. It's a great story about one family's escape from Nazi Germany via an unusual route through Rio to South Africa. If you like a lot of character development then this book may not be for you. It is more about the story of how they got out of Germany with a focus on the importance of family. I thought it was a great historical account of the events without the usual storyline of most Jews that escaped.
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. Persecuted in one part of the war and part of the elite on the outset of that same war, the family's struggles, both inner and outer with this huge difference, kept me engaged throughout the novel. Knowing that the events in the novel were based off ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
N.A. Granger
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Across Great Divides chronicles the lives of a Jewish family living in Berlin from before the beginning of World War II, through the rise of Nazism and the war itself and finally to their transplantation in another country with equal social dystrophy, South Africa. The subject is one of great poignancy and distress, and anyone, even those too young to know anything about the plight of the German Jews during that war, will be riveted by the story.
The book focuses on Jewish twins Eva and Inga and
Reeca Elliott
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Lindsey Roberts
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Original Review Here

Across Great Divides left me with very mixed feelings.

On one hand, I always feel that any writing about the war and the struggles people went through is worthwhile. The more people know about this era, the more chance there is of avoiding atrocities happening again. The content deserves credit.

From a story-telling and writing perspective, however, I had issues with this novel.

Roy has clearly researched what she is writing about which is admirable! There were passages that
Alastair Walker
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it

Right from the start you get a real sense of time and place in this book, which opens just as Hitler and the Nazis have come to power in Germany during the 1930s. Monique builds up the pace steadily, introducing the reader to Oskar, a diamond cutter and dealer, his wife Helene, plus his twin daughters Eva and Inge, and their brother Max. From the first few chapters you can feel the foreboding, as the Nazis gradually tighten their grip on political power and then Hitlers long term plans for the
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Across Great Divides chronicles the story of 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
Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it

During the rise of Nazi Germany, one Jewish family refuses to be separated and controlled by the Nazi regime. Twins Eva and Inge live a privileged life along with their brother Max in Berlin, Germany. Their father, Oskar is prominent in the diamond business and is able to provide for the family; but as Hitlers influence grows, Jewish business owners are forced to close, and families are forced to give up their belongings. Discrimination against the Jews grow and it becomes harder to live day to
Ruth Hill
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It seems that I never tire of historical novels during the time of WWII. And this is one that is inspired by a true story. Not only that, but the time period extends to other time periods and countries. No matter how many times I read the horrors the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews, I still find it nauseating. This book does not include the grisly details of the Holocaust, but enough detail is implied to still insinuate the terrors of this period of history. The characters that the author has ...more
Erin Cataldi
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
"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.

Told through many viewpoints, and over many years, this tale is about the lengths one must go in order to keep family together. Oskar, a successful diamond business owner in Berlin, must flee with his wife, two twin daughters, and young
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story follows a family from Germany to South Africa and highlights the various trials they encounter. Audible's summary explains the storyline nicely. This book is not long, therefore, there is not too much detail covering the backstory or setting but there is the right amount to make this story go smoothly. There is not any explicit sex or violence described.
This could be the story about a real family who lived during the Nazi and Apartheid era. Despite their hardships, they are some of
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Im not a fan of historical fiction, but the blurb caught my attention and I didnt want to pass this book up.

This is a very emotional story that gives a glimpse of what it was like to live through Hitlers reign in Europe and the Apartheid in South Africa. The characters were so well developed and it seems as if the author did extensive research because the story seemed to be real. I had to keep reminding myself it was a work of fiction.

At times the book was hard to read because you know that so
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: free-books, 2014
Preachy, & a little too tidily wrapped up (everyone finds a love-at-first-sight mate, for example). Plodded through to the end, but just too saccharine, especially considering the subject matter - Nazism AND Apartheid, in the same book.
Karen G Clesen
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Pretty unbelievable that this family was able to escape the tentacles of Hitler, but they did. I guess if you dealt with diamonds there might be a way.

I couldn't help compare this story with "Woman in Gold".
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Across Great Divides

too many story lines, details provided about characters-but too many to connect with, family Jewish during Holocaust, travels end up in South America, much info about geography but simplistic sentences ruin most descriptions.
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Pump Up Your Book: Across Great Divides by Monique Roy 2 9 Mar 24, 2014 04:42AM  

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Monique's 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 middle-grade book Once Upon a Time in Venice, historical fiction novel Across

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