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I very much enjoying this book.It is well written.The main characters are sympathetic and the plot is well constructed.I would recommend this book to anyone interested in both the Jewish and German perspective on this era .Also It is well balanced,showing that all the people were victims of Nazism .
I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’m not going to reveal the plot. This is the most beautifully written novel and I couldn’t put it down. It hooked me in right from the beginning. The narrative is told from the POV of a young girl, Hetty, and through her eyes you feel as though you are there living and breathing the rise of the Nazi party in prewar Germany. As a reader, it is interesting to see the events unfolding and told from the view of the young. The characters are clearly described and the unfolding story is guaranteed to pull at your heart strings. Cleverly told, with lots of historical research intertwined in realistic and convincing ways. It is interesting to read how the writer came to write this book, particularly her family’s own personal background as German Jews, which inspired this work. It must have been challenging to write it from the POV of a young girl who is brought up in a Nazi home, but as the narrative progresses, it is clear that this was a cleverly chosen stance as the conflicts and tensions that arise from Hetty’s breaking away from the Status Quo are the ones that shape her life and which eventually lead to a bittersweet ending. Fabulous!
This is a book that will stay with you, long after you have read the final word. It is both unusual but also engaging from the beginning as it is cleverly told from the point of view of ‘the enemy’, a young girl who through no choice of her own, is raised into the Nazi ideology of her time. Full of historical facts and vivid descriptions, you are drawn in to the brutal reality of 1930s Leipzig and the rising tensions and anti semitism of pre-war Germany. Although set in historical times, it brings to the fore the parallels that exist in our world today when an ideology takes over and as civilised and educated people, we can be so easily influenced and manipulated. It also beautifully depicts the humanity and bravery that connect us all and how it is possible to transcend and overcome even the most brutal and divisive of times.A book that will open your eyes and soul to the power of seeing the world at a distance from your own perspective. I highly recommend it.
"People Like Us" (Head of Zeus, May 2020) is a novel by debut author, Louise Fein, set in Leipzig, Germany, in the years running up to World War II.
Herta (Hetty) Heinrich is a good German girl, member of the BDM and daughter of an SS officer. Walter, her brother's childhood friend, is blond, blue-eyed, and a Jew. As their illicit friendship deepens and blossoms, Walter challenges Hetty's beliefs in the world they are living in.
"Why does love end in pain?" (p. 388)
This is a love story that will stay with me for a long time: it's beautiful, devastating, horrific and heartwarming. Highly recommend.
A wonderful read. A beautiful tale set in pre-WW2 Germany that has you rooting for the two young lovers who find themselves caught up in a Germany that starts to come under the control of Hitler. This story managed to transport me to 1930's Leipzig and I was genuinely moved by the tale. A stunning debut and one I could see bing made into an outstanding series: Amazon and Netflix, take note! I shall certainly be looking out for what the author pens next and thoroughly recommend you read this.
People Like Us is a powerful novel which tells the story of a forbidden love in pre-war Germany. Recounting the action from Hetty's perspective - the only daughter of an SS officer we see the rise of the Nazi party and how ordinary people were horrifyingly swept up in the ideology and propaganda. It's only when she falls in love with her childhood friend, Walter, who is Jewish that her eyes begin to open and she sees the truth of what is really happening. This is a gorgeous written, emotive and heart-rending debut that is surely a future classic of our times.
Heart wrenching story. What makes it different and so powerful is that it is written from the viewpoint of the daughter of a high ranking Nazi supporter. It is fascinating to watch her personal growth and how the Nazi brainwashing affected her when she fell in love with a Jewish boy. You might need tissues at the end. Couldn’t put it down.
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.