As the people of Annecy in the French Alps meet the Gestapo’s brutality with surprising resistance, a teen-aged girl cannot rest until she solves the mystery of a death in her family. Aurelie watches as her father places a shrouded body on the North side of the roof of the family home. It’s winter, under a Nazi-declared state of siege, and they must wait until the spring thaw for the burial. But who died? And why is no one speaking to her anymore? Aurelie cannot rest until she discovers the truth and fights to prevent the same terrible fate from happening to her best friend.
Debra Moffitt's rare psychic abilities open up a world of unexpected insight into the French Resistance, life beyond death, and reincarnation. She was working on another book in a French farmhouse, when the girl who became Aurelie showed up and opened a world that bridged time and dimensions.
“A dreamlike tale unfolding amidst the nightmare of war, The Girl on the Roof will transport you into another world—and beyond. Debra Moffitt pierces the thin veil that separates life from the afterlife, the hunted from the haunted, the ghost story from the love story. Through her eyes, we are offered a glimpse of the eternal energetic bonds that connect us throughout time and space. An evocative, transcendent, and truly unforgettable book.” – Amy Weiss, Author of the Hay House Novel, Crescendo
Average rating from 39 members
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.
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.
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.
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.
I could write you an essay of the reasons why I love this book and these characters, but I’ll stick to a few paragraphs. The story jumps right in with a funeral, and I was hooked. Just a few pages in and I was left with a slew of questions: 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. One thing I noticed very early on is the Aurelie is a very unreliable narrator. She gets fixated on things and ignores the reality of what is truly happening. This is to be expected given that she is a confused, scared, 15 year old girl, but it leaves us to come to our conclusions far before she does. Something she fixates on is the books at the back of the classroom, and the way her best friend Ginny is now ignoring her despite telling her she would always be her friend only a few pages back. Of course, I also got fixated on that (truly wonderful writing that I got hung up on a pile of books). It’s important. It brought me a strong sense of dread. Is Aurelie dead, I wonder? Was she murdered by this Hans, perhaps? Or perhaps something happened and she has amnesia? These are the conclusions I drew from a pile of books. Again, wonderful writing. I knew what was really going on not long after. The mystery of it all and the way she ignored all the clues and refused to see the truth was frustrating and exciting in equal measure, but what really killed me was the supernatural element (no pun intended). I adore stories with big reveals, and if you pair that with a supernatural element I just about lose my mind in excitement. Even with all the mystery and suspense, the plot just kept going and going and going. Not once did I feel the story slowing down or getting boring, and I hardly wanted to put the book down at all. The writing was superb, a bit of an odd style with the dialogue but I got that figured out after a while, and the tone and the way Aurelie narrates as a spectator was wonderful. You can never really forget who she is, and that you are reading from her perspective even when the story is following the other characters. By the end, I felt I knew these characters, could anticipate their reactions, as though I was Aurelie herself. The only character I could not fully anticipate was Hans, and that was simply because he’s erratic and desperate, and I don’t think we are meant to be able to figure him out. All in all, a fantastic story, with wonderful, well rounded characters, and excellent writing! (I didn’t appreciate the lack of trigger warnings for sexual assault. That seems like something that would be necessary for how much it is a theme in the book. Other than that, all is golden)
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.
Want to thank Net Galley for the Advance copy of Girl on the Roof by Debra Moffitt Rating 3.7 Set in Annecy in the French Alps during World War 2. Young Auralie 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. During this time Auralie is frustrated because it seems her family and friends are ignoring her. I was extremely intrigued by the concept of this story. The blend of the after life and reality being interwoven throughout the story was memorable. I did feel there were three main themes thoughout. The war, spiritual war and a murder mystery. At times I forget I was reading a war story. There is violence and sexual context that is understandable because of the War. Very strong spiritual theme's throughout. I enjoyed the concept of this story although I did feel a little confused at times due to three main themes fighting each other throughout the book. The characters were well thought out. I did get frustrated at times with the main characters attachment to main male character. I felt one moment she is in love, the next hate but I guess in a way that was understandable. The theme of Good and Evil was very evident in this story. This is a very thought provoking read regarding spiritually. As far as historical side, I did feel it lacked.
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.
“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..
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Interesting tale set in France near the border during WWII. The idea of departed souls lingering and seeing what happens in our lives is not new. Having mention of the darkness in the souls of Nazi officers is unsurprising. But, the merging of this with the idea of souls being reincarnated and consistently seeking out the same souls is something that is less common. Overall an interesting read.
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!!
I Enjoyed everything about this book there was nothing I didn't like about the book. I would gladly reread it again. I Would recommend this book to anyone.
This book starts off very confusingly. The first few chapters dragged for me and I pondered giving the book up, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Set in France on the Swiss/French border in World War Two, this book moves between the physical world and the spiritual world. Trapped in the world between life and death, Aurelie, has to finish some task she left undone on Earth before being allowed to continue. Through her eyes we see how and why she died, but we are also exposed to the horrors of the war - both physical and spiritual forces. A dark, thought-provoking read. It'll stay with me for a while. A warning though: more sensitive readers may be disturbed by some of the spiritual scenes as they are very intense. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me the chance to read this book.
this was a really interesting read, the characters were well written and the premise gets you hooked from the start. I really enjoyed reading this book.
The book is a good book for someone who is into historical fiction as it is set in WWII It is well written, while it is not something I would normally pick up I am glad that I did choose this book to read. I found it a little confusing at first with the main character but as I dove deeper into the novel it became quite clear what was going on (no I am not going to say as there is spoilers) The book does go over the horrors of the war which had once plagued the world. I think that Debra did a great job writing this book and I would be happy to read more of her writing.
This was a really interesting read, the characters were well written and the premise gets you hooked from the start. I really enjoyed reading this book. This book highlights many historical events. I liked the first person point of view and my heart ached for Aurelie as she continued to search for answers to all the questions she had. This is a great book for younger readers who are interested in historical fiction.