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People Like Us

"A book to climb the rooftops and shout about, set in the Second World War, it highlights love and kindness in a world of intolerance and hate."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Powerful and poignant, moving and provocative, this beautifully eloquent novel is set before and during the Second World War. People Like Us highlights love, humanity and kindness in the terrifying face of intolerance and hate. Hetty’s father is an SS officer and she passionately believes in Hitler, as anti-semitism grows Hetty finds herself falling in love with Walter. Walter is blonde and blue-eyed, Walter saved her life when she was seven, Walter was best friends with her brother who has joined the Luftwaffe, Walter is a Jew. Hetty narrates her own story, creating a bond, a link to this child who is raised as a Nazi. Louise Fein builds Hetty’s world for us from 1933, I could feel Hetty growing through the years, her voice changing as her thoughts formed, hesitated, altered. Hetty and Walter are relatable, believable, touchable. It is absolutely fascinating to see this life, from this viewpoint, one that you can consider and wonder, ‘what if that had been me’. People Like Us was: “inspired by [the author’s] own family history, and by the alarming parallels she sees between the early thirties and today”. The author’s note at the end sent goosebumps shivering down my arms. As well as being a stunner of a read (you may want tissues handy), People Like Us has huge impact and deservedly sits as a LoveReading Star Book and Debut of the Month, this is one to climb the rooftops and shout about.

Liz Robinson

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Reader Reviews

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A moving and memorable story. A story of the strength of the human spirit and the power of love over evil.

An unbelievably gripping and haunting story. I find books about personal stories within conflicts, and the strength of the human spirit, fascinating, but to read one from the perspective of a Nazi girl, was particularly interesting and unusual. We are rarely presented with this perspective, and Hetty’s view of life, and the influences that affected her upbringing, were poignant and thought provoking. It was made more significant somehow by the chapters being dated. It added to the pressure of time and the dramatic changes that galloped through Germany in the late 1930s. The speed at which anti-Semitism grew was unbelievable. I found it fascinating, though scary, that Fein relates this period in history to the current political situation today.

The predicament Hetty and Walter were faced with was so incredibly sad and their choices so limited.... Read Full Review

Rosie Watch

A beautifully written love story set in Nazi Germany. A must for people wanting a more personal insight into those turbulent times.

Romeo and Juliet in 1930’s Germany.

Hetty Heinrich is the daughter of an SS Officer and Nazi activist.

She falls into the river and just as she is about to drown a strong arm rescues her. It is her brothers’ best friend Walter. A lasting attachment begins.

Walter is brought out in school assembly, denounced and expelled as a Jew. How can her lovely blond, blue eyed saviour be a despised Jew? They meet up again when she is walking the dog and they start to talk. She then starts to question all that she is being told.

They fall in love but no one must know. Her father would be disgraced and the family shamed.... Read Full Review

Jocelyn F Garvey

A beautifully written story of forbidden love in the 1930s.

Historical fiction has been a genre I have briefly dipped into before, but this book has made me want to read more of it, especially if this author writes more books. I am amazed that this is a debut, as it is written so beautifully and the characters are well developed and really carry you along with them.

It is set in the late 1930s and follows Hetty, a young German girl growing up at a time when Germany is starting to come under the control of Hitler. She is from a traditional family, which idolise Hitler and all he stands for. However, Hetty is a determined young lady who has designs on being a doctor, although this is strongly discouraged by her father.... Read Full Review

Nicola Coen