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She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction… As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from t She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction… As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her. Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures. Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…? Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author’s family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters and a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany. In this riveting story of passion, courage and morality, Louise Fein introduces a bold young woman determined to tread the treacherous path of survival and freedom, showing readers the strength in the power of love and reminding us that the past must never be forgotten.


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She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction… As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from t She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction… As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her. Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures. Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…? Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author’s family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters and a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany. In this riveting story of passion, courage and morality, Louise Fein introduces a bold young woman determined to tread the treacherous path of survival and freedom, showing readers the strength in the power of love and reminding us that the past must never be forgotten.

30 review for Daughter of the Reich

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Wissen ist macht --------------------------------------- Is there anyone who is truly as they appear? In 1929, when Herta Heinrich (Hetty) was seven years old, she falls off a jetty into a lake while on a family outing. Her older brother Karl’s friend comes to the rescue, pulling Hetty from the water before she can drown. I finally gather the courage to look directly at Walter. His wavy blond hair is half dry, half wet. He’s saying something to Karl, but then he turns and looks at me an Wissen ist macht --------------------------------------- Is there anyone who is truly as they appear? In 1929, when Herta Heinrich (Hetty) was seven years old, she falls off a jetty into a lake while on a family outing. Her older brother Karl’s friend comes to the rescue, pulling Hetty from the water before she can drown. I finally gather the courage to look directly at Walter. His wavy blond hair is half dry, half wet. He’s saying something to Karl, but then he turns and looks at me and his face breaks into a smile. His eyes are the warmest, kindest blue. The story picks up four years later, from which point we follow Hetty’s travails from pre-adolescence to early adulthood as Germany goes through a radical change. Louise Fein - image from her Twitter pix How could anyone possibly have supported Adolph Hitler? What kind of monster must any supporter have been to go along with the rank madness of the Nazi Party? One major element was the impact of relentless propaganda on impressionable minds. My original plan had been to write the book from the Jewish experience. But the more I learned, the more I wanted to understand the mindset of the Nazis. How could a people, a deeply civilized, democratic nation, become so unbelievably cruel; to de-humanise one another, and commit atrocities on such an unimaginable scale? The more I read, the more I realised that what I wanted to say could perhaps be more powerfully told if I were to climb inside the head of a Nazi. To tell the tale of someone young, who was fed a twisted ideology, taught hatred from day one. Someone who knew no other way. What could possibly change their outlook, when it went so against everything their family and the society around them believed? - from Why I Wrote This Book on Fein’s website Hetty is molded by the messages that pervade her world. We follow her through the stages of her exposure, both to the party messaging and, later, to alternate perspectives. When she pets a neighbor’s cute dog, her mother is horrified, warning her that she must not talk to those “Dirty pigs, Jews.” Her father is an SS officer charged with using a local newspaper to spread propaganda. Hetty does not really understand what this is about, but eventually Vati spells it out for her, …there is no such thing as news per se. News is power, wrapped in a message, presented, told and retold. With this newspaper…I have the power to put into the world what I want, and in the way I would have the masses understand. Do you realize what supremacy, what authority that gives me? It might remind folks of a quote from Roger Ailes, Truth is whatever people will believe. Nazi radio is de rigeur in the Heinrich household, with Hitler’s speeches a major highlight. Hetty has so incorporated the ethos of Hitler uber alles that she harbors an inner Fuhrer, a dark conscience of sorts, who speaks to her when she is faced with difficult choices. This is heightened when she attends a major party event and sees Hitler himself. It is very reminiscent of the Hitler projection in the film Jojo Rabbit. Hetty’s brother Karl is an eager member of the Hitler Jungen. Hetty becomes a member of the BDM, or Bund Deutscher Mädel, The League of German Girls. This is intended to mold young German females into compliant brood mares for the manufacture of more Nazis, and supportive hausfraus for Nazi officers. Not exactly what Hetty has in mind for her future. Having helped her mother with a home for war veterans, she feels powerfully drawn to becoming a doctor. The Nazi world is not receptive to such dreams, even if her motivation is to help the Reich. Image from emaze.com Hetty is no paragon. She buys in to the insanity, behaving in ways that make us cringe. But is this because she is a bad person, or because she doesn’t know any better? She is, after all, rather young. But as events progress, she is exposed to alternate perspectives. The major push in this direction is when she becomes reacquainted with her young savior, Walter, now a handsome young man. Hetty had been smitten with Walter since that fateful day, and cannot accept that all the awful things she has been taught about Jews could possibly be true, given that Walter is Jewish. Capulet, meet Montague, and the challenge is on. What can one, or two people do when faced with such an overwhelmingly dark social force? Her struggle, and education, intensify once they find each other, bolstered by her gaining the insight that knowledge is power. I didn’t set out to write a love story per se, but in thinking about what would change someone’s thinking, when they had been so thoroughly and successfully groomed into the perfect Nazi, what could possibly change their mind? Realistically, the answer had to be love. - from the BusyWords interviewHypocrisy is, of course, rampant, and Hetty begins to see past the images to the reality, both in people close to her and in the wider political context. There are others for whom their façade is not of the two-faced, hypocritical sort, but cover, necessary for survival. Makes it tough to take anyone at face value, and very difficult to know who one can trust. The story is told in a linear narrative, from Hetty’s point of view, no back and forth time jumps, and only occasional takes from other characters, via correspondence. Fein gives Hetty a journal to ease the expression of thoughts and feelings her young heroine might have, but which would be tough to deliver in dialogue. We get a feel for the time and place, see some of the nuts and bolts of how extremist racist views are promoted and then implemented in the real world. References are made to the camps, but we are spared the worst of that. Krystallnacht, and the planning that lead up to it, are shown with chilling effectiveness. Local residents watch the burning of the ceremonial hall at the Jewish cemetery in Graz during Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass). Graz, Austria, November 9-10, 1938 – image from History Collection Fein has a personal connection to the story. He father was a German Jew from Leipzig. I always wanted to write something about my father’s background because I knew so little about it. He died when I was seventeen and I never really got a chance to speak with him about it. - from her People Like Us book launch videoWhile she knew that she wanted to write a book of fiction, she also had to do considerable research to get the details of the place and time right. Street names, for instance, often changed within the timeframe of the novel. I had the benefit of a large collection of family papers, including contemporaneous diaries, photos, letters, official documents etc, all of which are now lodged with the University of Sussex’s Centre of German-Jewish Studies. This was a rich resource of contemporaneous lives, told in the raw, with no benefit of hindsight, no retrospective view through the filter of history.- from the BusyWords interviewA particular theme that comes through is the powerless of women. It was very clear that even if Hetty loved and admired Hitler, and wanted to serve the nation, there were only certain sorts of services that were available to her. This is also reflected in her dealings with male peers, including her brother, who tend to dismiss her opinions and perceptions as delusional. But some people find ways to get around the craziness. The relationships she has are complicated, with her mother, with her friend Erna, a male friend who becomes a suitor, with Walter, and with the family staff. These were handled quite well, making Hetty a believable character, and far more than a BDM Stepford teen. Her growth and education are credible, as is her susceptibility to massive, pervasive, evil propaganda. The portrayals of males, per se, in the book seemed more black-and-white-ish, than those of the females, who were more fully realized. And, of course, the romance is both wonderful and fraught. The book is a bit long but reads fast, so don’t be put off by that. In short, Daughter of the Reich is a marvelous, moving account of a relatable, vulnerable person during a period of great upheaval and madness, a young woman coming of age in a dark time. It offers a first person look at the events of the 1930s, without the hindsight with which we now see that era. It is deeply moving, as well as disturbing, reminding us just how the forces of darkness go about turning off all the lights, in history and today. It is a lesson worth remembering, and Hetty’s story (the sorrows of young Herta?) helps keep that lesson brightly lit in our minds. Review posted – May 22, 2020 Publication date – May 12, 2020 – US - hardcover The novel is titled People Like Us in the UK, Australia and NZ and as De Dochter van De Nazi in The Netherlands =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pages Interviews -----Author Stories - Episode 877 | Louise Fein Interview by Hank Garner – audio – 27:59 – begin at 2:30 -----Busywords -Meet Louise Fein by Edward James -----Virtual launch event:Part 2- Louise Fein (Daughter of the Reich) with Meg Waite Clayton Items of Interest ----- A brief video intro to the book by the author -----Louise Fein’s - People Like Us Book Launch - video – 59:45 - start at 14:00 -----Louise Fein - Why I Wrote This Book - from her website -----Yad Vashem - From the Testimony of Hillel Shechter about Jewish Life in Leipzig During the 1930’s -----The League of German Girls -----E-maze – a slideshow on The Hitler Youth

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    How was it possible for Hitler to lure masses of people to follow his extreme views? After WWI, the Treaty of Versailles forced Germans to pay war reparations, which had crushing effects on economy and humiliating effects on patriotic Germans. Hitler, a mesmerizing public speaker, blamed all bad things on Jews and communist minorities, claiming they were trying to take over the world. With worldwide economic depression and high unemployment, he put blame on the ineffectiveness of democratic gove How was it possible for Hitler to lure masses of people to follow his extreme views? After WWI, the Treaty of Versailles forced Germans to pay war reparations, which had crushing effects on economy and humiliating effects on patriotic Germans. Hitler, a mesmerizing public speaker, blamed all bad things on Jews and communist minorities, claiming they were trying to take over the world. With worldwide economic depression and high unemployment, he put blame on the ineffectiveness of democratic government, thus calling for a New Order, promising to restore prosperity for all with no class divisions. Most of this story is set within the two years preceding WWII, giving a glimpse into how humans in dire situation can be manipulated and pushed into doing atrocities. The story is set in Leipzig and begins in 1933, quickly moving to 1937, giving a glimpse at what is happening in Germany during those years. Hetty’s family has just moved to a new big house, where previous tenants left their furniture and artwork. She is almost twelve years old. Her father is a high-ranking SS officer and she doesn’t understand what is happening. She just knows that they don’t go to church any longer as Herr Himmler wouldn’t like it. She dreams of being a doctor and now to her surprise she finds out that as a woman she can’t be a doctor, rather she needs to learn obedience and concentrate on home things. As Hitler promises “a brilliant future with no more poverty; no more class divisions. Just one, great, unified nation which will be the envy of all the world.” Those who refuse to join SA recruitment go hungry, because they lose current jobs and can’t get another one. Those who are unwanted get charged with false crimes and are being convicted. At schools, talks of population projections take big part. “A population of the best: the fittest, bravest, most beautiful, cleverest, and robust. The epitome of Darwin’s theory. A people who will be superior in every way and who must spread their influence throughout the world.” “A newspaper, (…) is a powerful weapon. (…) it is our duty to shape the opinion of the masses and ensure the Fatherland’s values and best interests are always in the forefront of people’s minds.” Hetty almost at the age of sixteen still struggles to make sense of this all. Her brother’s best friend, Walter, got shunned and she secretly is in love with him. He paints a touching picture for her what it means to be German. He paints a straightforward picture for her how differently Jews are being treated, pretty much cornered and left without provisions for livelihood. When she still struggles, he challenges her and her beliefs. He encourages her to be whatever she wants to be and not to follow others directions who limit her position in society and not expect to use her mind. He tells her of other countries where she can study medicine as a woman. She slowly starts realizing that there is another side to this story, to the world that has surrounded her. It takes Hetty time to mature, but giving the circumstances she is a believable character. This story brings a vivid portrayal of distraction of lives, of feeding lies – one thing being said when in reality opposite is being done; of feeding hatred that pushes one man to commit horrible atrocities against another man that is even unbearable to think about. Engagingly written. It is a heartbreaking story with a very poignant message. “How could a people, a deeply civilized, democratic nation, become so unbelievably cruel; to de-humanise one another, and commit atrocities on such an unimaginable scale?” Don’t take your freedom and rights for granted and don’t let it slip away from you. Learn the lessons of the past. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Daughter of the Reich takes place in Germany during the 1930’s, life is good for the Heinrich family and they have just moved into a beautiful house in Leipzig. Hetty's father is a busy man, Hetty, her mother and her brother Karl don’t question what the head of the household is up to, he works hard for their family and very long days. Hetty attends school at the local gymnasium, here she’s taught what every teenage German girl needs to know, the curriculum has been changed and it’s all about maki Daughter of the Reich takes place in Germany during the 1930’s, life is good for the Heinrich family and they have just moved into a beautiful house in Leipzig. Hetty's father is a busy man, Hetty, her mother and her brother Karl don’t question what the head of the household is up to, he works hard for their family and very long days. Hetty attends school at the local gymnasium, here she’s taught what every teenage German girl needs to know, the curriculum has been changed and it’s all about making Germany great again and they're being brainwashed. Hetty starts to have doubts, she maybe a spoiled teenage girl, but she can’t understand why Jewish people are being treated so badly and she knows some nice Jewish families. Hetty almost drowned when she was eight her brother’s best friend Walter saved her and he is Jewish. But Karl, cuts all ties with Walter, his childhood friend is shunned and he’s no longer welcome at their house. Hetty also learns the shocking truth about her father’s job he’s working for the SS and how he obtained the house the family is living in. The brown shirts start targeting innocent Jewish people, including children and older people. Their property is taken from them, they are bashed in the street, publicly humiliated, charged a fortune to try to get a passport and to leave the country. It’s very interesting to read about the German perspective as they head towards fighting in another world war, its scary what they think is necessary and right. Hitler had a plan for human progression, it’s not just Jewish people he wanted to eliminate, he wanted to create a super race, of pure Aryan blood, he believed this will stop crime, hereditary diseases, insanity and create scientific advancement. Hetty is horrified to discover her father also believes this, he thinks Hetty should marry a German man and produce perfect blond haired blue eyed pure Aryan babies. Hetty has major issues with what her father wants her to do, she hopes to finish school and dreams of being a doctor, she doesn’t want to be used as a German brood mare and she has fallen in love with Walter, he is of course Jewish and every time they meet they risk being arrested. I couldn’t stop reading Daughter of The Reich, the book is very different to other WW II historical fiction I have read and I really liked it. The story is about two young people trying to go against the Nazi tide, finding the courage to keep going as they fight to survive and try desperately to be together. I gave the book five starts, I have shared my review on Goodreads, Amazon Australia, Kobo, Edelweiss, Twitter and my blog. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook, synced ebook .....audio-narrated by Marisa Catlin (she does a great job) ...Debut Pre WWII historical fiction novel.... ...1930’s Nazi Germany; war threats on the rise. ...560 pages or 14 hrs and 52 minutes long as an audiobook. ... This story was inspired by the author’s family. Hetty Heinrich is German 🙍‍♀️ Walter Keller is Jewish 🙎‍♂️ ...Forbidden love is on the rise. 👩‍❤️‍👨 ...Sappy, readable.... mostly predictable, with a couple of tidbit surprises. .... hundreds of books are similar Audiobook, synced ebook .....audio-narrated by Marisa Catlin (she does a great job) ...Debut Pre WWII historical fiction novel.... ...1930’s Nazi Germany; war threats on the rise. ...560 pages or 14 hrs and 52 minutes long as an audiobook. ... This story was inspired by the author’s family. Hetty Heinrich is German 🙍‍♀️ Walter Keller is Jewish 🙎‍♂️ ...Forbidden love is on the rise. 👩‍❤️‍👨 ...Sappy, readable.... mostly predictable, with a couple of tidbit surprises. .... hundreds of books are similar. ( painful experiences, people suffered, horrific atrocities, with an emotional ending). .... but it feels like we’ve read this exact story ‘many’ times. however.... I felt the sappy, happy, sad, sad, happy ending as much as the next reader. I wasn’t completely a cold turd. The epilogue was affecting with a little punch to to gut ... which could create teary-eyes in many. ... the writing was a little flowery ..... and the plot lines cliche. ... the romance-desperation was a little trite and overdone. ...THAT SAID..... ...The subject was sad...( a Nazi Germany story is stamped with ‘official sadness’)....based on a true story. So my appreciation for the author is there, too. ...The storytelling had high moments and mediocre moments. If you LOVED “The Nightingale”, by Kristen Hannah .... and enjoyed Hannah’s writing.... then you’ll probably love this book, too. But... if things bothered you in Hannah’s book, like exaggeration melodrama... then this book might feel like a ‘style re-visit’ when reading “Daughter of The Reich”. Please note... I didn’t hate this novel. I can understand readers engrossed - transported - engaged - and moved.... invested in the characters lives, their trial and tribulations... rooting for their survival and happiness. I did a little of these things too... But... I admit to being a little jaded. It took too long to tell - a story of which 80% I’ve read dozens plus times before. ( even from the point of view being German as opposed to being Jewish)..... ‘not’ a first pony ride. In the hands of the right reader... this book will be 5 stars. 3.5 to a slim 4 star rating, from me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bkwmlee

    This is the second book I’ve read in recent months that is set in the pre-World War II time period of the 1930s in Germany, during which Hitler rose to power and Nazism infiltrated every part of the country. Though set in a similar time period, the angle that this book explores is markedly different. The story is told from the perspective of Hetty Heinrich, who, as the daughter of a high-ranking SS officer, was raised to be the perfect German citizen — pure in lineage, patriotic, fiercely loyal This is the second book I’ve read in recent months that is set in the pre-World War II time period of the 1930s in Germany, during which Hitler rose to power and Nazism infiltrated every part of the country. Though set in a similar time period, the angle that this book explores is markedly different. The story is told from the perspective of Hetty Heinrich, who, as the daughter of a high-ranking SS officer, was raised to be the perfect German citizen — pure in lineage, patriotic, fiercely loyal to Hitler and the Nazi ideology he espoused. As a dutiful “daughter” of the Thousand Year Reich, Hetty is prepared to do her part — that is, until one day when she is accidentally reunited with Walter Keller, an estranged childhood friend who had saved her from drowning when she was seven years old. To Hetty, Walter is perfect in every way — except for the fact that he is Jewish, and also, as Hetty slowly starts to realize, he goes against every belief she had previously been taught. The two of them end up falling in love and gradually, Hetty realizes everything she thought she understood about her family and country were actually lies, which ignites in her the will to fight against them. When the tides of anti-semitism in Germany escalate to the point where Walter’s mere existence is put into question, Hetty is faced with the ultimate decision to try and save him at all costs. As is expected when reading historical fiction, the feeling of being transported to a different time and place is one of the things I always look out for, which in this story worked really well. This book’s strongest element though is in the area of character development. We first meet Hetty when she is 7 years old and subsequently follow her development through her teenage years, but what stands out the most is her feisty personality and strong-willed nature. Hetty is a character who both enthralls and frustrates in equal measure, which I guess is what makes her such an interesting character. Given the historical context, books set against the backdrop of Nazi rule going into World War II are rarely ever “easy” reads and of course, this book was no exception. The sections that described the brutalities inflicted upon Jews (and others who were considered “enemies” of the regime) were difficult to read, yet I understand why such details were necessary to the story. With that said though, I also felt the writing was a bit uneven in certain areas — the narrative was told entirely from Hetty’s first person perspective, yet some sections were descriptive to the point that it didn’t seem to match the voice. I also felt the story dragged a bit in the earlier chapters and it wasn’t until around the halfway mark that the story became much more engaging — though with that said, for me at least, the last section of the book was the strongest in terms of plot, character, and emotional nuance. Despite some issues with pacing and flow, this was a good story overall, and definitely a worthy entry into the canon of WWII-era fiction, in my opinion. Over the years, I’ve heard many people complain about the over-saturation of WWII era novels in the market and while I agree for the most part, I also feel it’s extremely important for these stories to continue to be told, if anything, to serve as a lesson for us and future generations, that history cannot be forgotten. Received ARC from William Morrow (HarperCollins) via Bookbrowse First Impressions program

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karen Macedo

    I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. Thank you to William Morrow. This was a really good book. It is about the daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer during WW2. Hetty Heinrich knows only what she's been brought up to believe, which is idolizing Hitler and believing in his hatred of the Jews. She falls in love with a Jewish boy who is a friend of her brothers . In time her brother walks away from the friendship with the boy but Hetty loves him. She realizes that she does not agree with ever I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. Thank you to William Morrow. This was a really good book. It is about the daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer during WW2. Hetty Heinrich knows only what she's been brought up to believe, which is idolizing Hitler and believing in his hatred of the Jews. She falls in love with a Jewish boy who is a friend of her brothers . In time her brother walks away from the friendship with the boy but Hetty loves him. She realizes that she does not agree with everything her father stands for. If you like historical fiction about WW2 I highly recommend this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Hetty Heinrich is the daughter of a high ranking SS officer, her mother and older brother Karl have just moved from a flat to a three story house with a garden. She is loyal to her family and to Hitler, as she has been bought up to be a good German girl. When Hetty was 7 she nearly drowned, Karl’s best friend Walter rescued her but he is a Jew and is considered a second class citizen who they should not mix with. Hetty meets up with Walter years later and is instantly attracted to him, but their r Hetty Heinrich is the daughter of a high ranking SS officer, her mother and older brother Karl have just moved from a flat to a three story house with a garden. She is loyal to her family and to Hitler, as she has been bought up to be a good German girl. When Hetty was 7 she nearly drowned, Karl’s best friend Walter rescued her but he is a Jew and is considered a second class citizen who they should not mix with. Hetty meets up with Walter years later and is instantly attracted to him, but their relationship is one that has to be kept secret. Hetty starts to doubt all that she had been bought up to believe. How can her love for Walter be a sin just because he is a Jew? With the Jews being rounded up and sent to concentration camps she knows she will have to save Walter. This is such an emotional book, the story comes to life and I actually felt the fear every time Hetty and Walter met up, scared that they would be punished for their actions!! A must read book that will capture you’re heart!! Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Based on a true story. Hetty is the daughter of a high ranking SS officer. Walter is a Jew and their neighbour. This story starts when Walter and Holly were innocent children and Walter had rescued Hetty from drowning. Then the Nazt regime begins and friendship had turned to forbidden live. Her brother is in the Luftwaffe. Hetty was a member of the BMD. This is a story of love, sorrow, confusion, anger and frustration and I felt everyone of them along with Hetty. German students were brainwashed Based on a true story. Hetty is the daughter of a high ranking SS officer. Walter is a Jew and their neighbour. This story starts when Walter and Holly were innocent children and Walter had rescued Hetty from drowning. Then the Nazt regime begins and friendship had turned to forbidden live. Her brother is in the Luftwaffe. Hetty was a member of the BMD. This is a story of love, sorrow, confusion, anger and frustration and I felt everyone of them along with Hetty. German students were brainwashed into believing the life they were to lead. I enjoyed reading this from the point of view of a German character through pre war to post war and the struggles she found herself going through. Reading this story brought tears to my eyes. You must read the authors note as it brings to life the story of her own past. I would like to thank NetGalley, Aria and the author Louise Fein for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ankit Garg

    People Like us (or Daughter of the Reich in some markets) by Louise Fein is the heartbreaking story of a love affair between a Nazi girl and a Jewish boy, set in the backdrop of the event of Kristellnacht in the town of Leipzig in Nazi Germany. The story is narrated by a girl, the protagonist, who is born to a high ranking member of the Schutzstaffel. As expected, she is fed anti-Semitic views since birth. But when she falls in love with a Jew, she really understands the motives of the Nazis and People Like us (or Daughter of the Reich in some markets) by Louise Fein is the heartbreaking story of a love affair between a Nazi girl and a Jewish boy, set in the backdrop of the event of Kristellnacht in the town of Leipzig in Nazi Germany. The story is narrated by a girl, the protagonist, who is born to a high ranking member of the Schutzstaffel. As expected, she is fed anti-Semitic views since birth. But when she falls in love with a Jew, she really understands the motives of the Nazis and their inhuman ideology. Thus begins the transformation of a young Nazi mind and its ability to see right from wrong. With a very clear message of never forgetting the lessons we have learned from history, this book is a must read, especially in the current scenario when the world is again witnessing similar situations of false sense of nationalism leading the youth to believe in fake promises and blaming the minorities for anything and everything. Thanks to the author and the publisher for the ARC. Verdict: Highly recommended

  10. 4 out of 5

    Martie Nees Record

    I did enjoy the novel, but I broke my arm and shoulder and I’m not capable of writing a review at the moment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    etherealfire

    I won this book in a GR Giveaway but never received it - probably due to COVID 19/PO Box issues. So I finally grabbed it from SCRIBD. This was a grippingly intense book, telling the story of the changing, growing POV of the protagonist, a daughter of an SS agent and giving a larger than life account of various people's existence living in Germany under the Third Reich. A chilling and rather timely-told tale, it is terrifying to see how easily manipulable hate and fear and ignorance truly is and h I won this book in a GR Giveaway but never received it - probably due to COVID 19/PO Box issues. So I finally grabbed it from SCRIBD. This was a grippingly intense book, telling the story of the changing, growing POV of the protagonist, a daughter of an SS agent and giving a larger than life account of various people's existence living in Germany under the Third Reich. A chilling and rather timely-told tale, it is terrifying to see how easily manipulable hate and fear and ignorance truly is and how it can be such an utter force of destruction. It also shines a light on the ability for people to find and own their humanity and courage, even in the face of almost insurmountable odds. I loved this book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    People Like Us is a stunning piece of historical fiction set around the Second World War and its impact around the globe. 8 May, 2020, marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) day when the brutal Nazi war machine ground to a halt as they surrendered to the Allies. There are innumerable ways of remembering and honouring those who took part in the wartime action. The reason I mention this is due to the fact that this book is set in Wartime Germany and gives a fascinating accou People Like Us is a stunning piece of historical fiction set around the Second World War and its impact around the globe. 8 May, 2020, marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) day when the brutal Nazi war machine ground to a halt as they surrendered to the Allies. There are innumerable ways of remembering and honouring those who took part in the wartime action. The reason I mention this is due to the fact that this book is set in Wartime Germany and gives a fascinating account of what life was like on the for those supportive of the evil regime. It centres around Herta (Hetty) Heinrich and a man named Walter who form a friendship after Walter saved her from drowning many years prior. Hetty and her brother Karl are pure-bred Germans but Walter is, unfortunately, a Jew with this, of course, determining his treatment despite calling Germany home. The siblings' father is a high-ranking Nazi and member of the SS with many secrets to hide. Hetty and Walter fall madly in love with one another and Hetty is forced to question the ideology she has long held dear. But what will come forth from her re-evaluation? This is a tale of forbidden romance set against the backdrop of persecution, genocide and eugenics. It is one of the most emotional, moving, realistic and believable WWII epics I have ever read which makes it impossible not to fly through the pages hoping for a happy ending. However, the ending is full of sadness and anger. The cast of characters was engaging with every character having a distinctive personality and a defined place in the story. Spanning a ten year period between 1929 and 1939 the plot serves to highlight the Nazi regime and its cruel ways. The fact that it is based on real-life events makes it even more compulsive. The number of children who didn't know any better and who were brainwashed and indoctrinated is considerable and I wonder exactly what happened to each of them. All in all, this is an original, refreshing and heart-rending novel and one that has been researched extensively. A highly recommended atmospheric page-turner. Many thanks to Aria for an ARC.

  13. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    It is the 1930s, pre-war Germany. At the start of the book, we meet twelve-year old Hetty Heinrich, her brother Karl and his best friend Walter. In a few years, the rise of Hitler and the spread of Nazism start to overtake their lives. Hetty’s father is rising in the ranks of the SS and Karl is following in his footsteps. At first, Hetty is taken by the promises of Hitler and vows to also follow in line believing the propaganda. At age sixteen, her friendship with Walter reignites and grows into It is the 1930s, pre-war Germany. At the start of the book, we meet twelve-year old Hetty Heinrich, her brother Karl and his best friend Walter. In a few years, the rise of Hitler and the spread of Nazism start to overtake their lives. Hetty’s father is rising in the ranks of the SS and Karl is following in his footsteps. At first, Hetty is taken by the promises of Hitler and vows to also follow in line believing the propaganda. At age sixteen, her friendship with Walter reignites and grows into love. Walter is Jewish and his family is suffering. He educates Hetty about all the lies she’s been told and she quickly learns that everything her family stands for is wrong. The tender love story between Hetty and Walter reminded me of Romeo and Juliet as all odds were against them. Seeing the rise of Nazism through the eyes of a German girl offers an interesting and different perspective to the WWII oriented books that are generally written. I enjoyed Daughter of the Reich – it has a YA (Young Adult) feel which may serve well to reach younger readers who need to be reminded of this horrible period in history. Worth reading for all ages. Many thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins/William Morrow and the author for an advance copy. Review posted at MicheleReader.com.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    PEOPLE LIKE US BY LOUISE FEIN Also published as DAUGHTER OF THE REICH When I was initially reading this historical novel about antisemitism as it existed in Leipzig, Germany during the early years of Hitler's hate propaganda around 1937, and 1938; I was asking myself inwardly why I was reading such a depressing subject during these difficult times. The author at the end establishes that she has written this novel with the viewpoint that firstly her ancestors lived through these brutal atrocities an PEOPLE LIKE US BY LOUISE FEIN Also published as DAUGHTER OF THE REICH When I was initially reading this historical novel about antisemitism as it existed in Leipzig, Germany during the early years of Hitler's hate propaganda around 1937, and 1938; I was asking myself inwardly why I was reading such a depressing subject during these difficult times. The author at the end establishes that she has written this novel with the viewpoint that firstly her ancestors lived through these brutal atrocities and that what happened back then is happening today. Not literally Auschwitz and deportations but the loss of democracy and the precariousness of freedoms and rights that we take for granted. Also the theme to illuminate the lessons of the past must never be forgotten. She powerfully demonstrates the atmosphere of telling her story through the eyes of a German family with heartbreaking accuracy as their views of being superior than the Jewish population who were every bit as German but sadly were not afforded equality during those years. The Author has done meticulous research by reading and interviewing people about the facts in which her own ancestors experienced. This was written from the perspective of being told in the first person of a young German girl named Hetty whose life was saved by her older brother's friend Walter a boy who saves Hetty from drowning. Hetty's family has moved into a larger home with antiques and artwork whom belonged to a Jewish family. Hetty doesn't know this at first and it is Walter whom her brother has shunned because he is Jewish but he and Hetty fall in love and meet in secret. It is Walter who tells Hetty that he is just as German as she is and all people have the capacity to be good and bad. Hetty's father and mother are against Jewish people and this story was very hard to read at times as pre-war Germany during the two years that this takes place are antisemitic and the hatred of Jewish people was hard to read about. The beatings and words like pigs and swine used by Hetty's mother and father towards any ethnic background besides pure blooded Aryan born was difficult but necessary to portraying what happened during 1937 and 1938 in Germany. The raids and property and businesses that were stolen because of non Aryan ethnic differences were the backdrop of Hetty and Walter's secret love. Anybody that even considered going against Hitler's lies and pure hate that was the sentiment during that time period risked arrest, being killed or sent off to a concentration camp. Walter and Hetty meet in secrecy and their love is beautiful but forbidden. Walter goes to England under the terms that he has to marry Anna a girl he has never met. Hetty's father is a high ranking SS officer who Hetty finds out he has a mistress and a child with. Hetty blackmails her father about exposing his second family if he doesn't use his money and influences to get Walter released from a camp where he and his father and Uncle were sent during a raid and roundup of the Jewish men. Her father with much resentment and anger towards his daughter agrees but he never forgives Hetty. That aspect of Hetty selflessly saving Walter and sending him away to marry Anna was a representation that not all the German people were out for their own gain and showed that Hetty sacrificed her true love by saving Walter's life. Her best friend Erna and Erna's family were part of a minority that also didn't blindly fall for Hitler's propaganda and they represented a respite from the cruelty and blind world at large. After Walter is gone Hetty is faced with a predicament at sixteen years old that I won't say as I fear I have already said too much. It may be predictable but I hope that this moving and although difficult subject matter that this book is a powerful and ultimately worth being widely read for its historical realities taking place during this time. I can say that times are difficult now with this pandemic and understand that most people might not want to read anything dark and I know this isn't enjoyable. I will say that it is haunting and unforgettable. For a debut book that the author's own ancestors lived through these times she did an excellent job at characterization and it held my attention. I am grateful that I read it and I think that there were redeeming scenes of beauty and hope overall. Thank you to Net Galley, Louise Fein and Aria Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinion's are my own. Publication Date: May 7, 2020 #FightForTheirLove #NetGalley

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Set in Germany during the 1930’s as the Nazis solidified their power, this is an unforgettable, powerful, and heartbreaking coming of age story. Hetty Heinrich is the young daughter of a high ranking SS officer. Since childhood, she has been fed Nazi propaganda and believes what she has been taught. However, Hetty is also in love with a former friend of her brother, a young man who is Jewish. As the atmosphere in Germany slowly begins to change and become more restrictive and anti-semetic, Hetty Set in Germany during the 1930’s as the Nazis solidified their power, this is an unforgettable, powerful, and heartbreaking coming of age story. Hetty Heinrich is the young daughter of a high ranking SS officer. Since childhood, she has been fed Nazi propaganda and believes what she has been taught. However, Hetty is also in love with a former friend of her brother, a young man who is Jewish. As the atmosphere in Germany slowly begins to change and become more restrictive and anti-semetic, Hetty starts to doubt the things she has been taught. Feelings of fear and suspicion are palpable. As tension builds, Hetty is faced with choices that will change her life forever. This is a beautifully written novel about loyalty, friendship, courage, and survival. It is also a story about love which transcends even the darkest of times. It will bring you to tears. The epilogue is especially poignant. The characters are clearly believable, and the sense of place is vivid. Ms. Fein’s meticulous research sheds light on this period of time in German history. I could not put this book down, and it’s one I won’t soon forget. Thank you to NetGalley, William Morrow an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, and author Louise Fein for giving me the opportunity to read the ARC of this outstanding and unforgettable novel of historical fiction!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)

    I’ve been in a WWII reading slump for quite some time but I’m always intrigued by novels that take on the era in a more unique approach. Daughter of the Reich was absolutely that book. Hetty is a young, Aryan girl growing up in Nazi Germany. Her father works for the party and her family is fiercely loyal to Hitler. As Hetty’s father rises in the ranks at the newspaper, so does their social standing and sense of entitlement while the country around them suffers. A coming of age love story during I’ve been in a WWII reading slump for quite some time but I’m always intrigued by novels that take on the era in a more unique approach. Daughter of the Reich was absolutely that book. Hetty is a young, Aryan girl growing up in Nazi Germany. Her father works for the party and her family is fiercely loyal to Hitler. As Hetty’s father rises in the ranks at the newspaper, so does their social standing and sense of entitlement while the country around them suffers. A coming of age love story during a horrific time period, we watch as Hetty begins to question her faith in her country and Hitler when she starts to feel a forbidden love. We see the seeds of hate and intolerance planted and watch as an entire nation fosters them to growth. We learn how many of the atrocities were hidden from the German people and how the country’s leaders and media manipulated them into becoming complacent. Well researched and eerily relevant, I definitely recommend this book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4 WWII Young Love Story Stars I read quite a bit of historical fiction and this one is from a different perspective, the daughter of an SS officer in Leipzig and most of the book takes place just prior to the start of WWII. Hetty is just a schoolgirl trying to figure out her place in the world and why she should think differently about her Jewish friends. Her teachers, her parents, and the German press explain that she should not associate with Jews and in fact they are to blame for the current s 4 WWII Young Love Story Stars I read quite a bit of historical fiction and this one is from a different perspective, the daughter of an SS officer in Leipzig and most of the book takes place just prior to the start of WWII. Hetty is just a schoolgirl trying to figure out her place in the world and why she should think differently about her Jewish friends. Her teachers, her parents, and the German press explain that she should not associate with Jews and in fact they are to blame for the current situation in Germany. At first, she is all in with the rise of the Thousand Year Reich, but she starts to question that thinking and begins to think for herself about childhood Jewish friends and those at school. This one develops into more of a love story and I know some readers prefer historical fiction without that element. There’s also drama, danger, and violence – as in most WWII novels. The love story has impossible odds, but I could not help but root for it at the same time. Hetty is an interesting character and I enjoyed the journey with her, and I especially liked the epilogue at the end of the book. This one did a good job explaining the buildup to the war. Thank you to author Louise Fein, NetGalley, and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read an early copy of this one in return for an honest review. This one is scheduled for release 5.12.2020.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gill Paul

    In People Like Us, Louise Fein manages to take us right inside the mind of German schoolgirl Hetty Heinrich, daughter of a high-ranking SS officer in the 1930s. At first Hetty swallows the Nazi party line, kissing Hitler’s picture and trying her hardest to be a good German girl. When she realises that her brother’s friend Walter – who saved her from drowning at the age of eight – is Jewish, and therefore should be considered ‘dirty’ and ‘dishonest’, she begins to struggle with the Nazis’ dispara In People Like Us, Louise Fein manages to take us right inside the mind of German schoolgirl Hetty Heinrich, daughter of a high-ranking SS officer in the 1930s. At first Hetty swallows the Nazi party line, kissing Hitler’s picture and trying her hardest to be a good German girl. When she realises that her brother’s friend Walter – who saved her from drowning at the age of eight – is Jewish, and therefore should be considered ‘dirty’ and ‘dishonest’, she begins to struggle with the Nazis’ disparagement of an entire race. And gradually, as she gets closer to Walter in her teenage years, she questions the ideology being thrust down her throat at home, at school and in the BDM girls’ group. It’s hard to write convincingly from a child’s point of view without sounding twee, and it’s hard to write in first-person without your narrator sounding self-obsessed, but Louise Fein completely nails it. The cleverness lies in the contrast between what Hetty knows and our knowledge of what happened in Germany by the end of the decade. When she begins to meet Walter in secret, we are terrified for both of them. I had a knot in my stomach as I read, totally gripped. Surely the author wouldn’t kill off Walter or Hetty? But how could he possibly survive? No spoilers, but the ending is poignant and perfectly pitched. I couldn’t believe it when I read that this is a debut, because it’s so skilfully written. We feel Hetty’s character development through the pages; the scene-setting and historical background are unobtrusive but utterly convincing. This is an important subject to write about and I learned a lot, but above all it is a powerful, unforgettable love story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    Take a trip back in time with me. Imagine yourself as a little girl walking the streets of Germany. You are biting into the fleshy skin of a piece of fruit, the juice dripping down your chin. You are giggling with friends while the sun is shining on your shoulders. All is right in the world until all of a sudden, it’s not. Your piece of fruit falls from your hand, smashing into the gravel beneath your feet as a woman cries out, her husband being dragged away. There is no reason behind it except f Take a trip back in time with me. Imagine yourself as a little girl walking the streets of Germany. You are biting into the fleshy skin of a piece of fruit, the juice dripping down your chin. You are giggling with friends while the sun is shining on your shoulders. All is right in the world until all of a sudden, it’s not. Your piece of fruit falls from your hand, smashing into the gravel beneath your feet as a woman cries out, her husband being dragged away. There is no reason behind it except for the fact that he’s not deemed a real person. He doesn’t deserve to live because he’s not of proper blood. Through your little girl eyes you watch this unfold. You don’t understand. You don’t see the difference in his face vs. the face of your father, except this... that man is a better man than your father could ever hope to be, because your father backs the Nazi party and you know what they’re doing is wrong. You believed in it once, but not anymore. Daughter of the Reich is the very vision you just read as it unfolded before your eyes. Hetty once believed in the cause, but as her eyes are opened to the truth her perfect world comes crashing down, especially when the man she loves, the supposed enemy, is in horrific danger. I haven’t read a WWII era novel from the perspective of Germany yet and I honestly found it more difficult to read than I expected. It was heart-breaking to see that these people thought they were doing the right thing when they clearly were not. This book started a little slow for me and I found myself getting easily distracted, but the ending? Oh the ending was just so darn beautiful. It may have a been a bit rushed for my taste, but the tears were flowing friends, flowing profusely. A forbidden love, a traitorous war, the battle for good over evil? This book was just so good. TW: War Crimes, Infidelity, Murder, Discrimination, Rape (briefly mentioned). *I received a gifted copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ℳacarena

    USA and Canada edition / UK edition A heart-wrenching story, told from the perspective of an SS officer's daughter. The story begins with Hetty being rescued from drowning by Walter, her brother's best friend. The three of them used to spend a lot of time together, until one day Walter stopped going to her house, because Karl, her brother, didn't want to be friends with him anymore. Hetty was only a child, and she didn't understand why her brother wanted to stay away from his best friend. The tr USA and Canada edition / UK edition A heart-wrenching story, told from the perspective of an SS officer's daughter. The story begins with Hetty being rescued from drowning by Walter, her brother's best friend. The three of them used to spend a lot of time together, until one day Walter stopped going to her house, because Karl, her brother, didn't want to be friends with him anymore. Hetty was only a child, and she didn't understand why her brother wanted to stay away from his best friend. The truth came suddenly when they were at school, and the new literature teacher asked a girl and Walter to stand in front of the students. He started explaining how to recognize a Jew, telling the rest of the students that sometimes they could get deceived by their appearance, as was the case of Walter. After humiliating them, the teacher expelled them. Hetty couldn't believe that Walter, so kind, so honest, was a Jew, but she knew, deep inside, that what she felt for him would never go away. The rest of the story is mainly focused after Hetty and Walter meet again. She's almost 16 and he's 18, and the feeling they had for each other turned into love. I think it's quite interesting and original to read such a story from another perspective. Hetty was raised to be a perfect German citizen, from the Nazi point of view. To hate the Jews, see herself as a member of a superior human race, and to follow all the atrocious Nazi's ideals. Therefore, when she meets Walter again, all this world starts to fall down. I really liked this book, although it's been hard to read, because it's such a sad story, and worst of all, it was real. All those people, hated because of their blood, mistreated and condemned to the most barbarous and unforgivable acts. How heinous people can be! Finally, I'd like to highlight the author's words about how “the lessons of the past must never be forgotten” and how mass media can be a way of propaganda, how the word is widely spread and its consequences. It shouldn't be this way. Mass media is supposed to inform in a neutral way, but we all know that's not how it works. Therefore, we must be critics. I just hope we have truly learned the lesson. It's quite disturbing to see how the thoughts of the extreme and radical right are flourishing again. Please, don't forget all these people running away from wars, trying to find a better place to live and raise their children, and what do they find? Walls. We must not forget. We are all the same, it doesn't matter where we come from. It's our behaviour, our acts that differenciate us. There's good and bad in all of us, but we can always do the right thing. Thanks to Aria / Head of Zeus Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I read a lot of World War II fiction and this is a different look at the war than what is normally written. This book takes place in Germany before the war and gives a view of how many of the German people revered Hitler and thought that he was the only person that could save their country. Most of the people who disagreed with this opinion were sent to 'work camps' or murdered on the street. Hetty is the daughter of a high-ranking Nazi official. She lives in a huge house with her father, her mot I read a lot of World War II fiction and this is a different look at the war than what is normally written. This book takes place in Germany before the war and gives a view of how many of the German people revered Hitler and thought that he was the only person that could save their country. Most of the people who disagreed with this opinion were sent to 'work camps' or murdered on the street. Hetty is the daughter of a high-ranking Nazi official. She lives in a huge house with her father, her mother who spends her time working with charities and her brother. The novel begins in 1933 when Hetty is 12. She attends BDM (The League of German Girls or Band of German Maidens (German: Bund Deutscher Mädel, abbreviated as BDM) was the girls' wing of the Nazi Party youth movement, the Hitler Youth.) meetings and believes her father that Hitler is the only way for Germany to be saved. She wants to do whatever she can to help Germany succeed and is enthralled with Hitler as a leader. UNTIL... she sees Walter again. Walter had been a friend to her brother and she had a crush on him after he saved her from drowning when she was very young. When she finds out that Walter is really Jewish, despite having Aryan features, she knows that he is an enemy to her beloved country. When she sees him again and starts to talk to him, her world is turned upside down and she begins to wonder if all she has been taught has been a lie - are Jews really being prosecuted, are people being treated cruelly, are Jewish people starving? All of these questions begin to prey on her mind as her relationship with Walter grows stronger even though she knows that she will be severely punished if they are ever seen together. As she decides who to believe and tries to save Walter and his family, her life at home is becoming more difficult and the possibility of exposure is getting stronger as she realizes that someone is following her. Will hatred cause the end of Hetty's love for Walter or will love overcome all of the hate? Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    menna hafez

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Special thanks to NetGalley and Aria publishing for providing me with ARC. OMG OMG, i can't describe how much i love Historical Fiction Books, it add spirit and taste to my life. I dreamed a lot about living in those days which you can find everything nature not fake like today. I read a lot about WWll but this novel is so different than others may be because it not focused in war events and how people struggle to live their life but it was about the period before WWll and how Hitler persecuted t Special thanks to NetGalley and Aria publishing for providing me with ARC. OMG OMG, i can't describe how much i love Historical Fiction Books, it add spirit and taste to my life. I dreamed a lot about living in those days which you can find everything nature not fake like today. I read a lot about WWll but this novel is so different than others may be because it not focused in war events and how people struggle to live their life but it was about the period before WWll and how Hitler persecuted the Jews and made their life so hard. This novel started with Walter how saved Hetty life from drowning when she swimming, but she saved his life more. Hetty character is amazing, i loved her so much how she is brave ,strong and fearless. The letters between Hetty and Walter are adorable and fantastic, i hope one day that anyone will send me one. This Epilogue made me cry so hard, i need more tissue please. Why Louise why you not giving Walter and Hetty another chance, i know that life is not fair but they deserve that after everything they fight. I loved the cover with name * Daughter of the Reich* than the cover with name *People like us* You did good job by writing this amazing novel Louise, i really enjoyed it. #FightForTheirLove #NetGalley #PeopleLikeUs #LouiseFein

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

    'People like Us' is a fascinating immersive book set in 1930's Germany and seen through the eyes of main character, teenage Hetty. Hetty's struggle is brilliantly portrayed, she is torn between her adoration of Hitler and her equally powerful draw towards her childhood friend (and saviour) Walter - who happens to be Jewish. Love kind of wins out - or does it - with an enormous cost to those involved. 'People like us' is part romance, part character study, part call to arms. The subject matter - 'People like Us' is a fascinating immersive book set in 1930's Germany and seen through the eyes of main character, teenage Hetty. Hetty's struggle is brilliantly portrayed, she is torn between her adoration of Hitler and her equally powerful draw towards her childhood friend (and saviour) Walter - who happens to be Jewish. Love kind of wins out - or does it - with an enormous cost to those involved. 'People like us' is 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. This is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how normal people/people like us get caught up in fascism and how it feels when friends and neighbours become enemies.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    People Like Us transports the reader to pre-WW2 Germany and life as seen through the eyes of Hetty. Month by month through the years between 1933 and 1938, we witness Hetty’s transformation from malleable young girl, to conflicted teenager and, finally, to young woman forced by circumstances to make the most difficult decision of her life. All this against the background of the rise of Nazism and the prospect of war. In her Author’s Note, Louise Fein explains the novel was inspired by her own fa People Like Us transports the reader to pre-WW2 Germany and life as seen through the eyes of Hetty. Month by month through the years between 1933 and 1938, we witness Hetty’s transformation from malleable young girl, to conflicted teenager and, finally, to young woman forced by circumstances to make the most difficult decision of her life. All this against the background of the rise of Nazism and the prospect of war. In her Author’s Note, Louise Fein explains the novel was inspired by her own family history and her desire to tell the story of a young person fed, in her words, “a twisted ideology”. The indoctrination of young people like Hetty through the education system was especially unsettling to read about: classes in the ‘science’ of eugenics and racial purity, study of the life of the Fuhrer, and a “daily chant of gratitude” to Hitler. In a chilling subversion of the book’s title, Hetty and her classmates are taught that other races are not “people like us” but different and inferior to the German people. Whilst reading the book I was reminded of the quotation “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. This seemed particularly relevant in a scene where Hetty’s father, an SS officer who also runs Leipzig’s main newspaper explains to her and Karl, her brother, it’s importance. “This…is the most important tool we have. With these inked words, we can shape our nation. There is no such thing as news per se. News is power, wrapped in a message, presented, told and retold.” The book is a reminder, as if one were needed, of how easy it is to manipulate public opinion by playing on people’s fears and sense of injustice. And how those feelings can be transformed into hatred of an “other”, whether that be people of a different religion or race. However, there are messages of hope within the book. The author is careful to give us characters who demonstrate not every German was a Nazi, that there were those who resisted, necessarily in secret. As one character observes, “Even if we only do something small, help just one person…Well, that’s defiance, isn’t it?” And I loved the notion that even daring to think differently, to challenge what you have been taught is an achievement. So we see the contrast between Hetty’s witnessing of the violence of Kristallnacht – “ordinary men and women, carried along by something huge and ugly, overwhelming hatred and fear that makes them do unthinkable, unspeakable things” – and the courage and generosity of others such as those who organised the Kindertransport taking children to safety in England. The experiences of Hetty and Walter, two young people who love each other but find events and political dogma have placed obstacles in their way, I’m sure replicate many real life stories from the time. It makes People Like Us an emotion-filled and compelling story of forbidden love, betrayal and sacrifice.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Ruff

    Heartbreakingly good book! Told from thenpoint of a young German girl! She has been told the German way is the only way. But slowly she discovers what the truth really is and tries to do everything to save her jewish boyfriend from a terrible fate!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a beautiful book! The events are heartbreaking, but so is the whole time period under Nazi regime. This was a beautiful love story between a German girl and a Jewish boy. Hetty has been raised to love and honor Hitler as her father moves up the ranks and becomes a top SS official. The love story was lovely but this aspect of the story was extraordinary. Hetty begins to grapple with what she has always known as her eyes are slowly opened to the horrors of the regime and their treatment o This was a beautiful book! The events are heartbreaking, but so is the whole time period under Nazi regime. This was a beautiful love story between a German girl and a Jewish boy. Hetty has been raised to love and honor Hitler as her father moves up the ranks and becomes a top SS official. The love story was lovely but this aspect of the story was extraordinary. Hetty begins to grapple with what she has always known as her eyes are slowly opened to the horrors of the regime and their treatment of people. This book was extremely well written. It’s a beast of a book but I sailed through it and could not put it down. I was completely caught up in this story and lost myself to the time period. This was a lovely piece of historical fiction and receives all of the stars from me. My thanks to the publisher for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Toni Laliberte

    This book broke my heart! I sobbed several times while reading this. I just wanted to reach into the pages and hold and hug Hetty forever. She's such a wonderful character, even more so because she's a child in the beginning of the book and a teenager throughout the rest. She's brave, hopeful, loving, caring, selfless, smart, ambitious and a leader. This book is about believing in yourself and not following along with the ideals of everyone else, loving someone even though it's hard to do, fight This book broke my heart! I sobbed several times while reading this. I just wanted to reach into the pages and hold and hug Hetty forever. She's such a wonderful character, even more so because she's a child in the beginning of the book and a teenager throughout the rest. She's brave, hopeful, loving, caring, selfless, smart, ambitious and a leader. This book is about believing in yourself and not following along with the ideals of everyone else, loving someone even though it's hard to do, fighting for the rights of people whom everyone else hates and giving someone up for the good of the other person and not yourself. There's a lot of trauma in this book but the hopes and dreams of the characters will get you through.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    DAUGHTER OF THE REICH BY LOUISE FEIN When I was initially reading this historical novel about antisemitism as it existed in Leipzig, Germany during the early years of Hitler's hate propaganda around 1937, and 1938; I was asking myself inwardly why I was reading such a depressing subject during these difficult times. The author at the end establishes that she has written this novel with the viewpoint that firstly her ancestors lived through these brutal atrocities and that what happened back then i DAUGHTER OF THE REICH BY LOUISE FEIN When I was initially reading this historical novel about antisemitism as it existed in Leipzig, Germany during the early years of Hitler's hate propaganda around 1937, and 1938; I was asking myself inwardly why I was reading such a depressing subject during these difficult times. The author at the end establishes that she has written this novel with the viewpoint that firstly her ancestors lived through these brutal atrocities and that what happened back then is happening today. Not literally Auschwitz and deportations but the loss of democracy and the precariousness of freedoms and rights that we take for granted. Also the theme to illuminate the lessons of the past must never be forgotten. She powerfully demonstrates the atmosphere of telling her story through the eyes of a German family with heartbreaking accuracy as their views of being superior than the Jewish population who were every bit as German but sadly were not afforded equality during those years. The Author has done meticulous research by reading and interviewing people about the facts in which her own ancestors experienced. This was written from the perspective of being told in the first person of a young German girl named Hetty whose life was saved by her older brother's friend Walter a boy who saves Hetty from drowning. Hetty's family has moved into a larger home with antiques and artwork whom belonged to a Jewish family. Hetty doesn't know this at first and it is Walter whom her brother has shunned because he is Jewish but he and Hetty fall in love and meet in secret. It is Walter who tells Hetty that he is just as German as she is and all people have the capacity to be good and bad. Hetty's father and mother are against Jewish people and this story was very hard to read at times as pre-war Germany during the two years that this takes place are antisemitic and the hatred of Jewish people was hard to read about. The beatings and words like pigs and swine used by Hetty's mother and father towards any ethnic background besides pure blooded Aryan born was difficult but necessary to portraying what happened during 1937 and 1938 in Germany. The raids and property and businesses that were stolen because of non Aryan ethnic differences were the backdrop of Hetty and Walter's secret love. Anybody that even considered going against Hitler's lies and pure hate that was the sentiment during that time period risked arrest, being killed or sent off to a concentration camp. Walter and Hetty meet in secrecy and their love is beautiful but forbidden. Walter goes to England under the terms that he has to marry Anna a girl he has never met. Hetty's father is a high ranking SS officer who Hetty finds out he has a mistress and a child with. Hetty blackmails her father about exposing his second family if he doesn't use his money and influences to get Walter released from a camp where he and his father and Uncle were sent during a raid and roundup of the Jewish men. Her father with much resentment and anger towards his daughter agrees but he never forgives Hetty. That aspect of Hetty selflessly saving Walter and sending him away to marry Anna was a representation that not all the German people were out for their own gain and showed that Hetty sacrificed her true love by saving Walter's life. Her best friend Erna and Erna's family were part of a minority that also didn't blindly fall for Hitler's propaganda and they represented a respite from the cruelty and blind world at large. After Walter is gone Hetty is faced with a predicament at sixteen years old that I won't say as I fear I have already said too much. It may be predictable but I hope that this moving and although difficult subject matter that this book is a powerful and ultimately worth being widely read for its historical realities taking place during this time. I can say that times are difficult now with this pandemic and understand that most people might not want to read anything dark and I know this isn't enjoyable. I will say that it is haunting and unforgettable. For a debut book that the author's own ancestors lived through these times she did an excellent job at characterization and it held my attention. I am grateful that I read it and I think that there were redeeming scenes of beauty and hope overall. Thank you to Net Galley, Louise Fein and Aria Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinion's are my own. Publication Date: May 12, 2020 #DaughteroftheReich #NetGalley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Winter

    Thank you so much for this Goodreads arc! I was so excited to win this book and it did not disappoint! Daughter of the Reich is absolutely deserving of a 5 star rating! What a powerful read about a forbidden romance which is gut-wrenching, yet offers a sliver of hope during one of the most atrocious historical events (Hitler and the Thousand Year Reich). I loved how the main character, Hetty, develops over the book. At first she is loyal to Hitler, but overtime begins questioning the brutality a Thank you so much for this Goodreads arc! I was so excited to win this book and it did not disappoint! Daughter of the Reich is absolutely deserving of a 5 star rating! What a powerful read about a forbidden romance which is gut-wrenching, yet offers a sliver of hope during one of the most atrocious historical events (Hitler and the Thousand Year Reich). I loved how the main character, Hetty, develops over the book. At first she is loyal to Hitler, but overtime begins questioning the brutality against the Jews. There were moments in this book when I literally did not want to turn the page because I knew what was coming. That’s not to say that the plot is predictable because it’s not. I just mean in regards to mentions of concentration camps and other despicable events that happened during the nazi regime. While they were necessary to the book, they evoke such sad emotions. In that aspect the author did an amazing job recreating that time period and what it was like for both Germans and Jewish people. One of my favorite parts of the book was the epilogue. There really could not have been a better ending for this story. What a brilliantly written book and I look forward to more books by Louise Fein.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Wow! This book was amazing! I would love to give this book 8 stars on Goodreads if that were possible! I was unable to put this book down. I received an advance readers edition of Daughter of the Reich in a Goodreads giveaway. As soon as I got my hands on it, I read the acknowledgments and insights in the back of the book. I was addicted and devoured the whole 500+ page book in 8 hours. Sometimes I had to go back to reread a section or to check the dates but I was utterly enthralled. The last qu Wow! This book was amazing! I would love to give this book 8 stars on Goodreads if that were possible! I was unable to put this book down. I received an advance readers edition of Daughter of the Reich in a Goodreads giveaway. As soon as I got my hands on it, I read the acknowledgments and insights in the back of the book. I was addicted and devoured the whole 500+ page book in 8 hours. Sometimes I had to go back to reread a section or to check the dates but I was utterly enthralled. The last quarter of the book had me in tears. Happy tears, sad tears, excited tears.....I suppose by that time I was completely entrenched in Hetty's life. The characters were beautifully composed and most were so very relatable. Of course, some of the characters were horrible but that is too be expected in a book such as this. I would love for everyone to read Daughter of the Reich. Thank you Louise Fein for this amazing and well written book.

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