What fabulous news to start the week! We’re absolutely thrilled that Louise Fein’s moving and powerful debut novel, People Like Us, has been shortlist for the Christopher Bland Prize 2021. Congratulations, Louise!

The prize is awarded for a debut work of fiction or non-fiction by a writer over 50, and was announced this morning by Chair of Judges, Mary Beard. The winner will be announced on June 3rd. Previous winners include The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and Clean by Michele Kirsch.

Judge Georgia Byng said: “People Like Us is an impressive and brilliantly-imagined page-turner that has us inhabit a girl’s Nazi-indoctrinated mind. A wonderful teenage love story too between that girl, Hetty, and Walter, a Jewish boy, reminding us of the horrors of fascism, racism, sexism and genocide, of how easily truth can be hidden by lies, but of love and hope as well.”

People Like Us was published by Head of Zeus in hardback the UK in August 2020, and in paperback in March 2021. Rights have sold in 13 territories to date.

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…

You can read the full Bookbrunch article here.