Friday, January 9, 2015
Across Great Divides
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 son, in order to escape the Jewish persecution by the Nazis. With the help of others they manage to flee to Belgium, but it isn't far enough away from the Nazi's grip. Over many years they must leapfrog across countries trying to find safety and trying to stay together as their family grows. Throughout all the hardships they manage to stay positive by finding the beauty around them and falling in love. When they eventually find safety in South Africa they face a new struggle, apartheid. Even though the discrimination against them is gone they must decide if they are willing to fight the struggle against the new underdogs, Blacks in South Africa.
A compelling tale, great for middle school readers and up. Not only does it talk of Hitler's ascent into power, it discusses the Jewish discrimination, apartheid, and the complexities of the diamond business. Not told through any one particular character, the story offers many different viewpoints and experiences, although at times the characters can come across a little flat.
I received this book for free from the author, in return for mu honest, unbiased opinion.