Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A View Across the Rooftops” as Want to Read:
A View Across the Rooftops
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A View Across the Rooftops

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  406 ratings  ·  91 reviews
‘Heart wrenching… I really struggled to put this book down, particularly the end of the book which I sat up until 2am reading and trying hard not to wake my husband with my crying!’ Goodreads Reviewer

1941, Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. An unforgettable story of love, hope and betrayal, and a testament to the courage of humanity in history’s darkest days.

As Nazis occupy
Kindle Edition, 398 pages
Published October 25th 2019 by Bookouture
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A View Across the Rooftops, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A View Across the Rooftops

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  406 ratings  ·  91 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A View Across the Rooftops
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Romance and resistance in Amsterdam. What matters to you enough that you would sacrifice your own life? Widowed math professor, Josef, is faced with a decision to help a student, Michael, when the Jewish raids begin. Yet when Josef’s niece, Ingrid, becomes involved with the Nazi’s, Josef not only must decide where him and Ingrid’s relationship stands but he must also choose to follow his moralistic principles or surrender his values to solidify his own safety. Michael’s girlfriend, Elke, is ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: As Held walked home that evening, he bought a bottle of wine with his groceries as he dwelled on his day. The loss was acute. He knew it was just a wireless, a thing, an object, but it was what it represented to him. Hadn't the Nazis already taken so much? Their town, their way of life, their hope. Why was one more thing so important? They were already stripped and surrendered. What was the point of taking even more? And what would they do with his wireless? The sting of resentment ...more
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A View Across the Rooftops is a very moving book set during the period of World War II in Amsterdam. These are hard times and only love and compassion provides (some) solace.

Josef Held is a professor teaching mathematics, whose life seems to hold no charm after the passing of his wife Sarah many years ago. He finds Hannah Pender at the university charming and yet cannot find the urge to take the relationship forward. The Nazi occupation and their treatment of Jews, brings more pain. His neighbor
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The cover is gorgeous it attracted me then the story plus this is a new author for me someone I plan on reading more about.
The roller coaster of emotions I went through while reading is amazing from sadness, joy, hate, and anger. Rarely has a book made me actually cry /weep.
For the author to make me literally cry the story is just incredible. Plus, finding out this is based on an actual true story that makes it more human.
I want to thank NetGalley for this free book for a honest review and to
Karren  Sandercock
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and Suzanne Kelman for my digital copy of: A View Across The Rooftops.

Professor Josef Held had never recovered from the loss of his beloved wife Sarah who tragically died 20 years ago giving birth to their first child and he had no intention of ever letting anyone else into his life. He's a man stuck in a rut, after he finished teaching maths at the university, he walked home every day taking the same route, he fed his cat, ate a simple meal, opened his kitchen
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25 rating
How many heart-wrenching WWII books can one read? Well, if they are like this book, I will keep reading them. Set in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, we meet mathematics professor Josef Held as life is starting to change all around him. He has been living a simple life with his cat devoid of any real emotion as he has never recovered from the death of his wife twenty years earlier. Only the simple pleasure of listening to his neighbor Mrs. Epstein play her piano is all he allows
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s 1941, Amsterdam is occupied by the Nazis. Professor Josef Held is a Mathematics Professor at the local University. Josef has never gotten over his wife Sarah dying 20 years previously but, he doesn’t let it show to others.
As the war goes on, his pupils are disappearing due to being Jews. They are either captured by the Nazis and sent off to the concentration camps, killed or are in hiding. So, when he discovers one of his worst pupils that he has. That is very confident and outspoken and
Louise Wilson
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
World War ll. The Nazi's have occupied Holland. Its becoming more and more dangerous for the Jewish population. Professor Josef lives a solidarity life in Amsterdam when the Nazi occupation begins. Michael and Elke are madly in love. He is Jewish, she is Dutch. Students are disappearing as the Jewish students are being taken away. Where can they go? Who can they trust?

This book is loosely based on a true story. Josef and Michael are great characters who form a special bond. There's a greatmlist
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A View Across The Rooftops by Suzanne Kelman is a story set in Holand during World War Two.
A university professor puts his life at risk by helping a student who is in danger of being arrested and he will do anything he can to keep him alive.
This is a heartbreaking story of bravery, hardship and survival.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Robin Loves Reading
Oh my goodness! Evocatively unsettling yet hauntingly beautiful. That is what A View Across the Rooftops translates to me. The setting in this touching tale is that the Nazis have occupied Amsterdam. They are working feverishly at extinguishing any Jews, individually and collectively.

Professor Josef Held is struggling as a math professor. On a personal level, he has never gotten over the loss of his wife. With regards to his job, it is become more and more difficult. Some of his students are
Rating: 3.5 touching stars rounded down to 3 stars

This story set in 1941 German occupied Amsterdam works on many levels. I liked Josef’s backstory that slowly unfolded and helped explain his stoicism. I liked the romance aspect between Michael and Elke who were both students in the University level math class that Josef taught. Complicating the story is the fact that Michael is a Jew. The Germans are trying to hunt him down. They want to send him to a ‘work camp’ or just kill him on the spot
As a fan of WW2 fiction, A VIEW ACROSS THE ROOFTOPS is unlike any other I have read. A touching tale of love, hope, courage and betrayal in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, it is evocative, emotional, unsettling and yet it is hauntingly beautiful.

It's 1941 and the Nazi's have invaded Amsterdam, taking it over and setting up occupation in the name of the Fuhrer. There are German soldiers at every turn making the Dutch town a dangerous place to live. Radios were confiscated, food, clothes and medicine
Bev Walkling
Many thanks to #NetGalley, #Bookouture and the author #Suzanne Kelman for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book prior to its publication on Oct. 25th, 2019. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own honest thoughts.

The first thing that drew me to this book was the picture on the cover along with the text: Amsterdam, 1941: One man will risk everything to save a life. The artwork definitely reminded me of housing that I had seen while visiting the Netherlands many years
Gianna Lorandi
4.5/5 Stars You are going to ask me, is this another WWII book where someone helps another by hiding them? Well yes, but this is not just ANOTHER book.
There’s a lightness in the writing and in the atmosphere that - despise the horrors, the betrayals, the greed and the sorrow - gives you hope, hope of survival..hope of happiness and freedom. It reminds me of A Gentleman in Moscow, people holding on to little things in order to survive.
The plot, based on a true story, is so beautiful and full of
Susan Hampson
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, this was another tearful book for me for all the best reason. At times there feels such a strong connection with a story that it seems to become personal and so how you feel and care about the characters affect you. This was such a book for me.
Set in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in 1941 the local people have no choice but to follow the constantly changing demands given to them. Michael Blum was a young man who had an infectious personality, challenging, sensitive and very in love with a Dutch
J_Mc 251
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Epic. There is no other way to describe this story. It is an incredible journey through occupied Amsterdam, from 1941 to after the war in 1947. The characters are realistic, and the author did an excellent job of creating a representative cross-section of people, from the Nazi sympathizer to the members of the Dutch Resistance. When it comes to books, I am not a crier, but I found myself tearing up several times at both the sheer beauty and the utter despair on the pages. This is one of my ...more
Lee Husemann
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I knew in the first couple of pages that this was going to be a really great read and it really was. This story is set in Amsterdam during World War II. Josef Held is a widowed college math professor and Michael Blum is one of his Jewish students. Add in, secretary/clerk Heather Pender and you have a great story line. There are so many things that happen in this book and the author did a brilliant job weaving the story lines together. I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend it to ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't read many historical fiction as I do not know much about history. Having got an opportunity to read this book, I would try to put words to my thoughts.

1941, Amsterdam, Nazi invasion, a Professor Held, who taught advanced mathematics saw brutality occurring everywhere. His niece started dating a German soldier. Michael his pupil was banned from attending his class. In order to save his life, impulsively, the professor offered Michael a safe place to hide.

My first book by Susanne Kelman,
Carolyn Stumpf
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 beautiful, fantastic, emotional stars! I loved this book! Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

Sometimes when you read a book that follows multiple perspectives, you enjoy one more than another, but I loved reading each one so much! From Josef, to Hannah, to Ingrid, and Michael- I just couldn’t choose! Ugh, I almost forgot about Eva!

There’s an overwhelming theme of self-sacrifice for the ones you love and also of embracing your life and living it to the hilt.

I absolutely
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are some books for which a 5-star rating just isn’t sufficient – A View Across the Rooftops is one of those books!

It’s not ‘just another war book’; not ‘just another Holocaust story’. No story about war is ever entirely one of fiction and in that respect, this book too draws heavily on fact, basing itself in Amsterdam and making use of many known incidents and individuals of that time. The story itself developed from one that was told to the author about an act of heroism that was
Helen White
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Josef is a quiet university professor, grieving for his wife and following his routine life under German occupation. His Jewish student Michael is very much the opposite - passionate, wild, daring and in danger. As the Nazis continue to remove all Jews from Amsterdam Michael inadvertently ends up at Josef's house - and so begins Josef's quiet determination to keep Michael alive.
This is so well written - the tension when people start working with the resistance, the constant worry of what will
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
This is another heartbreaking based on a true story set during the 2nd World War. This story is set in Amsterdam and I highly recommend it. Make sure to have your box of tissues at the ready while you read this beautifully told story!

My thanks to Netgalley and Bookoutre for this advanced readers copy. This book is due to release in October 2019.
Just how far from the known do things have to descend to before you take a stance and find a courage you never knew you had? Such is the case for the characters in this book, from the reticent and keep to himself professor, to the administrative assistant at the university, a young Jewish student in love with a Dutch girl who could never forget him….

This was not a story of people who decided to become people fighting against the Germans and the rise of despicable acts in their beloved city of
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
1941, Amsterdam. Professor Josef is grieving the loss of his wife. Sworn to never love anyone else again, he goes on with his life as a professor quietly, while Amsterdam is being torn by the Nazis. But when the Nazis start persecuting the Jews, Josef will be presented with a hard choice: does he go about his quiet life, or does he help another human being?

Josef soon decides to provide refuge to his student, Michael. And as they get to know each other better, he will need to help the young man
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story with some true facts. It was well researched and I thank the author for bringing awareness to yet another country's plight in this awful time of mankind.
The writing was beautifully done, delivered well and it flowed easily so that I was unaware of the time that had passed.
The main character was based on a real character and it shows how much the author admired his bravery.
The explanation and the website references at the end were enlightening.

Thank you for the opportunity to
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Ordinary people can become heroes. In Dutch, the word held means hero. The name of the main character is Josef Held who is a mathematics professor. He lost the love of his life Sara and has an isolated life. He steps up to the plate by hiding a Jewish student, Michael who appears at his home one night as the Germans are rounding up Jews.

In this story we see heroes doing what is right at great costs. I thought the story was interesting and I learned a great deal. I received an ARC from NetGalley
Katelyn Spedden
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I recieved a free copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This book was really good and I couldn’t put it down. I’ve read MANY books that take place during WWII but surprisingly not one that takes place in Amsterdam. I also haven’t had many where a main character is so fully invested in the Nazi party and against their own people the way that Ingrid is. But you don’t hate her, or at least I didn’t hate her. But it shows what happens to women that sided with the Nazi’
Sep 27, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: wwii, netgalley
I'm so sad that I did not like this. The summary makes it sound wonderful, the cover is gorgeous, and I'm totally here for grumpy main characters that begrudgingly do the right thing. But the writing is just not for me. Here are a few sample sentences (and I read just the first two chapters):

"Cream sandals emphasized her shapely ankles..." (you'd think a man wrote this, but alas, it was a woman)

"...her dropped-waist, calf-length, silk dress had been reverently tucked and folded by elderly female
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Member Review

A View Across the Rooftops
by Suzanne Kelman
Pub Date: 25 Oct 2019
Review by

jeanie m, Reviewer
Last updated on 13 Oct 2019
My Recommendation

Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review
First time reading this Author and thoroughly enjoyed this book will be looking for her others books.
I just adored this book the story line and characters was just so well executed.
The story set in in holland at the hands of the German invasion home they overcame lots of
Judy Odom
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars ; l loved this book, couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

From the cover to the final page A View Across the Rooftops lives up to its description of "an epic, hear-wrenching and gripping story"

It is a story full of hope, determination , courage and love and survival. Evil as history has shown does not triumph but makes a road of destruction along its way.

I had to find out what would happen to Josef, Hannah, Michael and even Ingrid. At the same time I wonder how I would have coped or
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Child of Auschwitz
  • The Last Letter from Juliet
  • My Name is Eva
  • The Secret Letter
  • The Other Daughter
  • The Violin Maker's Daughter
  • Cry of the Heart: A World War II Novel
  • The Tuscan Secret
  • No Time to Say Goodbye
  • When We Were Brave
  • The Last Wife
  • What Rose Forgot
  • His Secret Family: An absolutely emotional page turner
  • Surviving The Forest
  • I Will Make You Pay
  • The Paris Girl
  • How Dare The Birds Sing (Book One in the Love and Fate Series 1)
  • Her Mother's Lies
See similar books…
Suzanne Kelman is the Amazon International Bestselling author of "The Rejected Writers' Book Club", published by Lake Union, which is the first book in the Southlea Bay series. Also in the series, "Rejected Writers Take the Stage" and "The Rejected Writers' Christmas Wedding".

In 2019 Suzanne is releasing her first Historical Fiction book inspired by a true story called, "A View Across the