Read an Extract of Louise Fein’s Compelling New Historical Novel, People Like Us

Read an Extract of Louise Fein’s Compelling New Historical Novel, People Like Us

The lake is silky smooth, lapping gently around the legs of the jetty. The knobbly planks beneath my toes are thick and warmed by the sun. Karl is on the bank, wriggling into his shorts under the towel Mutti is holding around him.

‘Careful, Hetty,’ Karl shouts. ‘The water’s deep out there.’

‘I’m just looking,’ I call back. ‘I want to see the big fish.’

I shuffle right to the very end and curl my toes around the edge. Crouching low, I peer into the water. I can’t see the bottom of the lake. Maybe there isn’t one. Perhaps the dark green water goes all the way down to the middle of the earth where savage monsters lurk, waiting.

Walter swims towards the jetty. He splashes his arms around then floats on his back, pale toes bobbing up out of the water. He pops up again, grinning at me, pushing his wet hair off his face. I wish I could have swimming lessons like Karl, then I too could glide like a fish, instead of splashing about in the shallows, stubbing my toes on jagged stones and slipping on slimy weed.

From my perch, I watch Walter swim further out into the lake. He disappears from sight, hidden by the solid wooden pillar of the jetty. I move to try to see him, but I lean too far and topple forward. My hands fly out, clawing at empty space, and I’m falling, down, down, down.

Belly first, I crash onto the stone-hard surface. I gasp with the iciness, but instead of air, there is only rancid lake water. ‘Help!’ I splutter, splashing hopelessly, blinded by blurry flashes of light and dark.

‘HELP,’ louder now, but the water boils and churns, closing over my head and the monsters suck me down to their deep, green lair.

Gripped by panic, I scrabble and kick, fighting back up to the surface. I manage a breath. There are voices in the distance. I thrash wildly, but it doesn’t keep me up, and I’m swirling, round and round. The voices fade as I’m dragged down again, lungs screaming, but the water – sickening, cloying, heavy – fills them and I’m drowning.

Darkness folds in.

Continue reading the extract here…

Reviews

People Like Us by Louise Fein is a Powerful and Heartrending Historical Debut

Review | Our Review

24 August 2020

People Like Us by Louise Fein is a Powerful and Heartrending Historical Debut

    Louise Fein Shares the Inspiration Behind her Tremendous Debut, People Like Us

    Review | Author Related

    24 August 2020

    Louise Fein Shares the Inspiration Behind her Tremendous Debut, People Like Us

      Synopsis

      A love story set in 1930s Germany. Hetty, daughter of an SS officer, falls in love with Walter, a Jew – but will the steady march of dark forces destroy their world, or can love ultimately triumph?
      Louise Fein
      About the author

      Louise Fein

      Louise was born and brought up near London. After a law degree at Southampton University, she worked in Hong Kong and Australia, and enjoyed travelling the world before returning to London to settle down to a career in law and banking. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing from St Mary’s University, London. Louise lives in the beautiful Surrey countryside with her husband, three children and small dog.

      Books by Louise Fein

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