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People Like Us

by Louise Fein

Book Club Recommendations Debuts Family Drama Historical Fiction Relationship Stories Sharing Diverse Voices Star Books

LoveReading View on People Like Us

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

People Like Us Synopsis

'I nearly drowned and Walter rescued me. That changes everything.'

Leipzig, 1930s Germany.

Hetty Heinrich is a perfect German child. Her father is an SS officer, her brother in the Luftwaffe, herself a member of the BDM. She believes resolutely in her country, and the man who runs it.

Until Walter changes everything. Blond-haired, blue-eyed, perfect in every way Walter. The boy who saved her life. A Jew.

Anti-semitism is growing by the day, and neighbours, friends and family members are turning on one another. As Hetty falls deeper in love with a man who is against all she has been taught, she begins to fight against her country, her family and herself. Hetty will have to risk everything to save Walter, even if it means sacrificing herself...

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Book Thief. 

People Like Us Press Reviews

'The ending packs a considerable punch' Tablet.

'This heart-breaking, thought-provoking story about forbidden love and racial hate reminds us that even in the bleakest of times love, decency and humanity will triumph' Platinum.

'A love story with deep resonance as it tackles the contemporary issue of rising popularism and antisemitism' Mslexia.

'A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime' Irish Times Weekend.

'Terrifying, yet tender. I loved it' Irish Examiner.

'A compelling tale of forbidden love set in 1930's Leipzig' Independent.

'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 ... This is one to climb the rooftops and shout about' LoveReading.

'A nerve-wracking and gripping read ... Louise's cherished goal is to remind us all that we are all the same, and she encourages us all to cherish freedom of speech, debate and the acceptance of difference' Family Tree Magazine.

'Moving and extremely powerful' Woman's Weekly.

'A powerful, unforgettable love story' Gill Paul, author of The Secret Wife.

'I adored this book because not only is is beautifully written, it also tells a familiar story from a very unfamiliar perspective: that of a naive German teenager caught up in the rise of Nazism,and her gradual realisation of the inhumanity driven by Aryan fanaticism. Louise Fein's characters help us understand how so many people were taken in by Nazi propaganda, and the terrible, heartbreaking dilemmas they faced trying to protect the people they loved. This is historical fiction at its absolute best' Liz Trenow, author of The Forgotten Seamstress.

'[People Like Us] spins childhood innocence shattered, the tendency for society to carry us along in wrong directions, and the importance of standing up against tyranny in ways small and large into an absorbing, heart-wrenching story of love and letting go - and a lesson for us all' Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Train to London.

'Part romance, part character study, part call to arms. The subject matter - racial hate - is sensitive but we are in safe hands with Fein who writes with great passion and urgency. The minor characters are living, breathing, three-dimensional people, each with their own motivations and dark secrets' Lizzie Page, author of When I Was Yours.

'Beautiful and absorbing - a vital story of kindness, and a reminder that humanity can flourish in the darkest of times' Caroline Hulse, author of The Adults.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781789545029
Publication date: 04/03/2021
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781789545005
Publication date: 06/08/2020
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781789545029
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Author: Louise Fein
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 528 pages
Genres: Book Club Recommendations, Debuts, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories, Diverse Voices, Star Books,
Collections: Around the World in 80+ Historical Novels.,
Categories: Historical fiction, Historical romance, Second World War fiction,

About Louise Fein

Louise Fein holds an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary's University. Prior to studying for her master's, she ran a commodity consultancy business following a career in banking and law. She lives in Surrey with her family. People Like Us is inspired by her family history, and by the alarming parallels she sees between the early 30s and today.

More About Louise Fein

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