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This page turner of a novel kept me gripped to the end and has stayed with me since. A wonderful book and a perfect choice for book group discussions.
People Like Us has a fresh perspective on friendship and love within Nazi Germany. It shows how teenagers were drawn into hatred for groups Hitler perceived as racially and physically inferior. The tension mounts as the book moves through the 1930’s. The reader knows what lies ahead for the Jewish population, the horrors and increasing violence and persecution which was experienced. What I loved about this book was that the author manages to maintain the reader’s sympathy for Hetty despite her background and thoughts. You see how hopeless it became for Germans who resisted the prescribed attitudes to change anything or do much to help those who were ruthlessly stripped of any value in Nazi society. Ultimately People Like Us is a simple and beautiful love story of two good people thwarted by extremism and hatred.
A brilliant read. One of those rare ‘curl-up-on-a-sofa-and-lose-yourself’ books. The book is set in pre-WWII Germany and told from the perspective of Hetty, the daughter of an ambitious Nazi official. The book follows her journey from childhood adoration of both ‘the Fuhrer’ and of her life-saving, eye-twinkling Jewish friend, Walter, to adulthood hatred and resistance to the former and worth-risking-life love for the latter. A powerful reminder of the importance of empathy and friendship and of the insidious influence of the media and politicians in shaping ‘Others’ in society. Also, a heart-warming story of love, coming-of-age and identity with the odd bad joke thrown in. Loved it! Highly recommended.
I found this is book utterly compelling. It offers a different take on the era; starting in the summer of 1929 and being told from the point of view of a teenage German girl who happens to be the daughter of an SS officer. It develops around the captivating story of Hetty's journey from childhood to adulthood and the devastating rise to power of the Nazi party. Beautifully written and with such historical detail, it gives you an insight into Leipzig in the 1930s.
Brilliant story totally riverting from the 1st page ! Particularly liked that it was written from a young german girls perspective growing up in a nazi household. A different take on the usual jewish storys. A sad ending but in no way depressing. Just really interesting and believable. Would love to read more from this author
In Short one of the best books I have read ,absolutely absorbing ,and a fascinating insight into the propaganda and lies that ultimately brainwashed a nation. Also a chilling warning as we embark on an uncertain period marked by brexit ,a right wing government and a marked rise in nationalist rhetoric .
All the people who recommended this book to me raved about it. Told me it was one of the best books they had ever read. However, I didn't finish it. That is because I just have a lot of trouble reading books set before or during the second world war. Over the last 20 odd years I have read, and enjoyed, a lot of the genre but I think I just overdosed. I could not enjoy this book, it is well written and I liked the main characters. So if you enjoy the genre you will certainly enjoy the book, which is why I have given it four stars.
As a Jew and researcher of the Holocaust in relation to collective memory, I found this extraordinarily powerful novel moving to the point of tears. During this time of worldwide uncertainty, although different circumstances, the underlying existential fear is not dissimilar. We need to understand our planetary history in order to negotiate our way through our planet's future and Fein offers her readers an opportunity to understand the human psyche both dark and light through her wonderful story. Elise Wardle MA, Jungian Psychotherapist and academic researcher.
This a book with love at its heart. This tale of young, forbidden love is a reminder of what is important. Beautifully written, People Like Us transports the reader to 1930s Leipzig. There is much more to this story than expected. Highly recommend.
This book broke me! An incredibly moving story told from a perspective we don’t usually hear much about, People Like Us is both fascinating from an historical angle and also wonderfully absorbing, with a heart-breaking message. Thoroughly recommend (and now I want a sequel)!
This is a great read. The two main characters' relationship is told against the backdrop of the increasingly pervasive anti semitism in Germany in the 1930s. It not only impacts on the two central characters but other friendships and is beautifully told through the teenager Hetty who begins to question what she believes and the society in which she lives. Thoroughly recommend it.