Krista's Reviews > A View Across the Rooftops

A View Across the Rooftops by Suzanne Kelman
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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 when they capture him.

Then there is Ingrid. She is Josef’s adult orphaned niece. She is self-centered, not too principled, and seeking an easy life. She craves approval from all the wrong places. She is a catalyst for one of the harrowing scenes told in the first third of the book. When she sees her uncle after the incident, she does not understand why he is not happy about what had just taken place.

This is mainly the story of how Josef Held has to come to terms with whether or not to shelter Michael. Is it worth it to put himself at risk for the sake of another? Josef is a cautious man who has cut himself off from human touch and interaction after the death of his wife. Can he find the courage to extend himself for another? How do you weigh the value of your life against the potential of another’s life?

This book is about a dark subject in world history. It is written in a gentle thoughtful style. For me, the history was a little too glossed over. It minimized some of the aspects of what the Germans did to the Jews in Amsterdam. If you like your WWII stories told with a lighter touch including some romance in addition to historical fiction, this could be just the book for you. I’d recommend it to readers who haven’t read much about WWII yet, or who don’t like to be overwhelmed with too many harrowing scenes directly involving the Holocaust and death camps.

‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, Bookouture; and the author, Suzanne Kelman for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

August 24, 2019 – Shelved
August 24, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
October 25, 2019 – Started Reading
October 28, 2019 –
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: kindle-netgalley
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: military-war-wwii
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: romance-historical
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: setting-eu
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: time-1900-1949
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-for-netgalley
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-books-read
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-netgalley-reviewed
October 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Paige I felt like it was "glossed over" too. Like how you worded that.

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