Across The Rift: World War II Novel

Across the Rift: World War Two Novel in Rhythmic Prose (Colonial Historical Fiction Series) by H. Ann Ackroyd is set at the backdrop of World War 2 that explores the lives of the members of the same family living at different countries during the war.

It explores the impact of the war on them, the society and on people around. It builds on the theme of love, loss, hope, family, and redemption. It also investigates the similarities and differences of experience with changing locations, local politics and class. This exact narrative makes this book immensely compelling and utterly moving. It instigates your mind and provokes your thoughts. It makes you dissect the historical events through a completely unique lens.

Like her other books, the author has thoroughly researched on the topic before writing on it. That combined with her knowledge and understanding of the African heritage and culture, made reading it an experience in itself. The book will challenge your preconceived notions at every stage and completely consume you emotionally.

Another thing that makes the book stand out is the refreshing style of writing. It is written in a very different but nonetheless intriguing style that the author calls the ‘rhythmic prose’. It made my reading experience even more pleasant. Will definitely recommend this book to everyone.

The Moving Words Review

For lovers of Colonial Historical Fiction and World War Two Histories, Ann authored Across the Rift which you must read!!

And trust me, you are in for a different reading experience because this Colonial Historical Fiction and World War Two Fiction Book is written in Rhythmic Prose! Here is the deal…

The story line follows the lives of members of the same family living in three locations during World War Two: Britain, Nazi-occupied Austria and Southern Rhodesia in Africa. On the British side, Malcolm is present at Dunkirk and his mother, Helen, experiences the bombing of London. Nell, British, Rudi, Austrian, and their daughter Acorn sit out the war in Southern Rhodesia, but nonetheless, war touches every aspect of their lives.

The Austrian contingent consists of Amelia, an aristocrat, who is mother of Rudi and two teenagers, Werner and Sofie, who live in Nazi-occupied Vienna. The family is anti-Nazi but pays lip-service to the Nazi overlords, while helping to run a Monarchist Resistance group. Werner, an ambulance driver, is injured in Normandy. Sofie creates a problem for her family by falling in love and secretly marrying a Nazi officer who participates in Hitler’s Russian Campaign.

The story follows the British members of the family through to the euphoria of VE-Day and, at the same time, the Austrian members through to the Allied bombing of Vienna. Rudi and Nell in Africa are caught between the winners’ euphoria and the losers’ humiliation.

Despite the dark times, humor, hope, love and redemption feature in equal measure. This is a book you should read and all you need to do is hit the buy now button at your right side to get a copy of this unconventional work of fiction.

Here are some of the perfect five starred reviews from Amazon readers:

Steve Alm:

I was looking for something to read. Going down a list, this title caught my eye because it was written in “rhythmic prose”. I wondered what that was and I thought I would give it a try. I was hoping for a light snack of a read. What I got, to my delight, was a sumptuous feast! The rhythmic prose style encourages a kind of reading that allows the tale to flow over and around the reader rather than presenting a linear, analytic approach where details must be kept in the reader’s mental filing system. After looking at some of the reviews, I understand that this could be frustrating for some people. For me, this style increased the pleasure.

Ackroyd examines a number of rifts in this textured tale. The characters are members of a family living prior to and during World War II in Scotland, Austria and that part of Zimbabwe formerly called Rhodesia. The focus is upon the common Viennese ties. Hitler’s propaganda takes root in Austria with its militarism and eventually convinces a goosestepping people to elect annexation to Nazi Germany. Some are dismayed by the eventuality of war this move foretells. Everyone must find a way to deal with the new, albeit ersatz countrymen.

When war begins, there is a marked contrast among the characters in terms of commitment and suffering. In the end, Austria suffers the most while Rhodesia endures some guilt in not suffering at all. Among the characters, there is death, betrayal, suspicion and love. Emotional range includes the worldwide and the very personal. This one sticks to the ribs. I will always savor parts of this one.

Darlene H.:

Adored Across the Rift by H. Ann Ackroyd. When I first began reading, I had no idea how “close to home” this book would be. Members of my family were in Austria at the time of the Nazi invasion and lived through the horrors that war brings. This book in many ways delved into areas that I have only heard mentioned briefly. There were many times when reading the book, that I had to stop, take a deep breathe and ponder awhile before I could continue reading.

My thank to H. Ann Ackroyd for the insight I was in many ways lacking.