Cover Image: The Girl on the Roof

The Girl on the Roof

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Member Reviews

This story was very unexpected. I was constantly guessing what would happen next but couldn't predict it. It's historical fiction but with religious and mythological elements weaved in, which makes for an unpredictable story.

Some of the religious elements of the story were very clever in the way they were put into the story but others I liked less. There were certain small moments that I would have taken out of the book or worded another way, purely based on how I interpreted them to be problematic. I also am not too keen on how often violence against women was depicted in the story and how the mythological and religious elements sometimes clashed with Herr Schmid's character and were sometimes used to explain his actions.

However, I really liked Naehelle, Silvie, and Claire; I didn't expect to like Naehelle and Silvie when I first met them, so those characters surprised me.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and was impressed by the how the story unfolded. However, certain elements in the story didn't mix very well and I would have toned down some of the religious aspects.
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Thank you, NetGalley, for letting me read this book. 

It started out strongly, with the heroine's gradual realisation of what had happened to her, but then it just faded a bit. 

I'm sorry, I just found too many little jarring things to really go with the flow of this book. There was a little too much hot chocolate available in the local cafe and I don't think the SS needed supernatural intervention to be evil.
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I wanted so badly to like this book. WWII is my favorite era of historical fiction. I didn't read the full description when I requested it, which is entirely on me, so I didn't realize that the author is a "psychic." I don't believe one way or another when it comes to that, but I'm skeptical of someone claiming that their psychic abilities helped them write accurate historical fiction. 

I loved that Aurelie narrates, rather than someone who knew her. It reminded me of The Lovely Bones in a way, though it took a while for Aurelie to realize that she is dead. However, it was difficult as a reader to believe that she didn't know she was dead; she assumed that the body on the roof (a practice done because the ground was cold) belonged to her grandfather and mourned him, ignoring the obvious and wondering why her family ignored her. Most readers would figure it out quickly, and I was frustrated by her inability to do so.

The author's name seemed familiar to me, so I googled her and learned that she claims to have psychic abilities and that those abilities connected her with the girl who inspired the character of Aurelie, and that's what killed the book for me. Between it being painfully average and some of the more crude sexual matter, it just was not a good fit for me.

2.5 stars, rounded up to 3.
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This is a paranormal account of events in a German occupied French village during WWII.  Aurelia is the girl on the roof and through her eyes we witness many of the atrocities perpetuated by the Gestapo on the French people as well as efforts by some of the French to thwart them. But Aurelia is also consumed by feelings of bothe hatred and affection for Herr Schmid and worried for her sister, Claire, and her friend, Ginny. As a result, she finds herself trying to influence their thoughts and actions from "the other side."
This is a complex tale that crosses the boundaries between the living and the dead.  It is quite dark and in my opinion, depressing.  While the tale completely captures the horrors of war, I wanted more hope and less violence and fear.
Aurelia's obsession with Hans and the details of his sexual perversions also detracted from what I think should have been the focus of the story -- the French resistance.  I wanted more facts and history and less astral visitations and descriptions of the occult.  However, for those who enjoy paranormal accounts, this could be an interesting and satisfying read.
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For a couple of pages into this book, I did not quite get the entire gist of what was happening.

Annecey like most French towns under the yoke of Nazi brutality are trying their best to live. To just survive. In this scenario we have an ordinary family - one young daughter working for the Nazis in town - hates them but pretends to be subservient just to get as many secrets as she could to help the resistance. A young brother working for the Resistance and a little sister who gets murdered by a sadistic paedophile who is a Nazi but where it cannot be proved that he is the murderer.

Aurelie is the restless spirit in this story who for sometime has to be convinced she is dead and that none of her beloved family can actually see or hear her. Those like her sister Claire and her best friend Ginny sense her presence and what she says to them in a dream but then they brush it away as a figment of their imagination.  Aurelie is one of the girls found dead but then other bodies also come up and Aurelie senses that Ginny is next.

The focus of the book then shifts as to how Aurelie is going to protect and warn Ginny of the danger she is in from the Nazi officer who has befriended her and whom Ginny is infatuated with. The dangers of espionage in Nazi occupied France are also highlighted in the story and this also forms the backdrop to the suspenseful tale.

Unusual storyline, the background of occupied France and rural Annecey all add to a very good story.
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When I began The Girl on the Roof, I was initially interested because I gravitate toward historical fiction, WWII in particular. I quickly realized that the story was more than historical fiction- much more. There are so many elements that make this story a fascinating read that it is difficult to know where to begin.
The reader is not in the story long before he or she is drawn to the main character, Aurelie, a young girl who is tormented by the mysteries that swirl around her. in her Annecy home during the Nazi occupation. Her family will not acknowledge her, there is the question that plagues her about the death of a family member no one will speak about, and while she struggles with these  issues and more, she is also trying to help her best friend but is being thwarted in this endeavor, as well.
Debra Moffitt tells this story in such a way that the reader is drawn along in both a mystical and dramatic way, leaving us almost breathless and weak from the journey she takes us on. Ms. Moffitt is a compelling writer, and she has written a novel that is thought-provoking, challenging the reader to poke at any confines of existing truths or beliefs.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Books Go Social for this advanced reader's copy. Interesting story with compelling and engaging characters. Interesting perspective on good versus evil.
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I received a free electronic copy of this ARC from Netgalley, Debra Moffitt, and BooksGoSocial.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.  I have read this novel of my own volition, and my review reflects my honest personal opinion of this work.  An interesting peek into the French resistance and life during the war on the French side of the Alps.  

The Girl on the Roof is set in WWII in German-occupied Annecy, France, a small town in the French Alps. It is a story told in the first person by 15 years old Aurelie, recently deceased and stored on the roof of her home until spring thaw before she can be buried.  Aurelie's older sister Claire, father, and brother Alain are deeply involved in the resistance but Aurelie was not, just a youngster with her mind on books and boys, time spent with her schooling and her best friend Ginny.  She is the first of the local girls found strangled and raped in the community during the winter months.  

Aurelie doesn't realize that she is among the dead until about 1/3 of the way through the book, and I found that I was able to suspend disbelief through that portion of the book. Some of the other flights of fancy I couldn't buy, for the most part, contained in Chapter 28.  Still, an interesting story presented well.  And the startling look into the French Resistance was also very Informative.  I found Claire the most sympathetic character of the story although the relationship between Aurelie and Ginny is very interesting.
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Set during World War 2, in Annecy, France. Young Aurelie is trying to figure out who the covered body is that her father put on the roof due to the ground being too cold to bury. Her family and the locals in the village are crying. 

Why is everyone ignoring Aurelie? 
She realizes that person on the roof is herself and finds herself struggling to communicate. She wants to protect her sister and best friend Ginny who are in danger from the evil German Nazis. 
Very intriguing novel. It took me a bit to realize what was going on. And then I couldn't stop reading. Very fascinating, suspenseful read. 

Thank you to publisher and NetGalley for the eARC
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This is quite good. It starts in a compelling way, and kept me mostly engaged. Well formed characters along with an interesting plot, and good dialog made this a good pick. The author must have done some research due to the setting, which helped keep it interesting. While hard to categorize, it might be best for historical fiction fans.

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
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The Girl on the Roof is different from any book that I have read about World War 2. Aurelie’s story is beautifully told and it is easy to visualise every part of it. This story is about good and evil and whether we should forgive those who have wronged us. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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“The Girl on a Roof” held my attention from the very first chapter.  Often, books start off slowly and gradually build the story and develop the characters. This novel quickly develops.  I was intrigued by the body suspended from the roof of a home during a cold winter in occupied France during World War II. Aurelie, the main character of the novel, is the dead girl on the roof. She is puzzled at first when the people around her seem to ignore her when she tries to speak to them. She soon discovers that she is that dead body on the roof. 

She loves her dear sister Claire and her best friend Ginny, She struggles to communicate with them from the in between world that she finds herself in.  Her sense of frustration in trying to warn them of the dangers they are facing makes her character seem real and empathetic.  While often anything supernatural and spiritual can seem contrived, I felt as though her in between world really existed..  

This book would be a great book club pick.  There are discussion questions at the end of the novel that would be helpful to readers, examining their own feelings about the afterlife, good and evil, as well as the possibility of reincarnation. Thank you Netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this unique novel..
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From very early on in this book I knew exactly what had happened and it was so thinly veiled it wasn't even a mystery. Which was a bit disappointing. Not only that but the way it was narrated by the girl is so unreliable. She's already denying everything that happens even when it's plainly said to her ears not just once but over and over and over again and she's so adamant it's not true. I think the best part was her sister Claire's storyline with the French resistance, even if it was through Aurelie's eyes. But as the book goes on it just keeps making up rules and the story spins out further and further and by the last sentence I was glad it was finally over. I hate that I was so frustrated reading this the whole time because I wanted to like it.
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Silent Presence

This book "The Girl on the Roof" was quite a different story for me, not like any I have read before. At first I didn't understand about Aurelie, but after reading for a while it was clear that she was a spirit.

In the cold the dead were put on the roof until the ground thawed and they could be buried, thus the girl on the roof.

Her best friend Ginny and her sister Claire are in danger and although she is no longer living she wants to protect them from the evil German Nazis especially Herr Schmidt.

She is in a between place not in Heaven, nor on earth, but must remain there until she completes her duty.  Silvie and Naehelle are also spirits in the between place.

This story is about Aurelie, her gaining knowledge that she is dead, finding out how she died and trying to keep her friend Ginny from suffering the same fate at the hands of the same Nazi officer.  It is also about Aurelie's love /hate relationship with this German officer.  She loved him until he killed her, now he is after her best friend Ginny who has been drawn into his web.

It is also the story of Ginny, Claire, their brother Alain and Claire's boyfriend Jean-Michel. Their work with the resistance and their escape from the Nazis with the help of the spirits of Aurelie, Silvie and Naehellie.  The experiences they encounter while fleeing the Nazi's  and the work that Claire does to get information from the German's for the resistance while making the German's think she is working with them as a maid and getting them food supplies.  She than passes that information to her boyfriend and brother.  The demons that officer Schmidt has and how his ending comes about.  

It was a riveting read although very different. It was interesting and engaging.  I would definitely recommend this book.

Thanks to Debra Moffitt, Book Go Social, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of the book for an honest review.
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I was initially drawn to this book because I enjoy reading historical fiction.
who puts a dead body on a roof? Why is everyone ignoring Aurelie? Who actually died and why doesn’t Aurelie know? Why does Claire feel guilty? Why is Ginny acting so strange? What is up with this Hans guy?

Despite all my questions, there are actually 3 Big questions asked in this book. The who, the why, and the how. Believe it or not, they all get answered well before the end, and we are left with another question: what now? It keeps you on your toes, it truly does.
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This is a book that is hard to categorize. Is it fantasy, mystery, or historical fiction? In a way, it is all three. Set during  World War 2, in Annecy, France, the book follows Aurélie, a 16 year old girl. Although at first she doesn't know what happened, it is pretty clear that she is dead and is trying to get a grip on her new existence in the 'in-between'. As she is trying to uncover what happened to her, she is also trying to help her family members, in particular her sister Claire, and best friend Ginny. 
Parts of this book are historical fiction, giving a fascinating look at French resistance in the Haute Savoie region, the difficulties ordinary people were facing during the German occupation and the evil nature of the German officers. It is a mystery, as Aurélie and her friends are trying to uncover what happened to her and to other victims of the same perpetrator. There is a very strong spiritual element as well, which is quite unusual in books written of this period. While we see good and evil battling it out in the ongoing war, there is a parallel battle between good ad bad at the spiritual level too. It makes it for a very interesting and gripping read, which makes it hard to put down, especially towards the end.
Overall, I loved this book. The only issue I had was with the number of typos, which may be understandable given that this was an ARC.
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I was drawn to this book because I love historical fiction, especially books set in WW2. 
Set in Annecy in the French Alps, the opening drew me in instantly. First person pov, young Auralie wonders who it is that has died, as her family and the local people in the village gather around, crying. Of course I soon realised who the body was, but the opening chapter is so engaging, vivid, and real. I did find the use of the word, 'Mom' interesting, as it's not the way a French girl would address her mother, it's more American and it did jar me slightly from the story. 
Whilst set during the war, the war is not the main focus of the story. There is an emerging spiritual theme along with a murder to solve. It is an intriguing concept,  well written and plotted. 
Thank you NetGalley and Debra Moffitt for having the opportunity to read this wonderful story.
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Following young Aurelie on her journey to help the ones she loves. It isn't an easy task, and she faces many obstacles, but she does whatever it takes. 

I didn't knew right away if this was a book I hated or loved. Once I read more I got sucked into the story and wanted to know how the story would continue. At that moment, I knew I loved the story. Every time if I thought I knew which way the story went, it would go in a completely different direction. I liked that a lot! It wasn't predictable.

I do wish the end was a bit longer. I wanted to know more about Claire, Ginny, Aurelie and Jean-Michel. But then again it did made me very curious about the next book, Immunity. 

Really great job, Debra! I enjoyed the story so much! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to read it in advance.
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I was initially drawn to this book because I enjoy reading historical fiction, but this is not your typical WWII novel. Set in German occupied France, the story follows a small town's resistance to German occupiers. The more unique aspect of the storytelling here, is that it primarily focuses on the spiritual realms and their influence on the physical world (there is a lot of mentioning of energies, the after life, spirits, etc.). A lot of thought is given to the inner and spiritual struggles of good and evil. Throughout the book, the main character, Auralie's naivete and immaturity made it hard to believe that she is 16, which was a bit distracting. Overall, it was an engaging story with enough intrigue to make it hard to put down, especially toward the end.
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A teenage girl, stuck unknowing in the in-between, discovers she has died. How? Who? Why?
Set in France during the Nazi occupation, it’s difficult to know who you can trust. The allure of safety, food, and love causes a girl to trust the wrong man. 
From beyond death she sets out to help her family and best friend avoid the same fate as herself. Through this she discovers what happened to her. 
Switching between the two realms, this book brings the reader to question where do we go after death and how much are we willing to forgive in order to move on.
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