Louise’s father was a lawyer who was prevented from practicing by Hitler. In England, as a refugee, he started a family business.
“He never talked about the experience,” says Louise. “But he refused to speak German or allow anything German into our house.”
It was his dream that Louise should become a lawyer.
“He was 61 when I was born, and he died when I was 17. I wish I had known him as an adult. He was a liberal through and through.”
After University, Louise did her articles at Richards Butler, then she worked abroad, in Hong-Kong and Sydney.
“I started as a lawyer, but moved into banking. After 15 years, I headed a commodities Department in London, as Managing Director.”
When her third child was born, unable to take the stress, she set up her own consultancy business, working in risk management.
“Then my third child became ill and I needed to be around her. At the same time I took an MA in Creative Writing, and wrote two thirds of the book.”
She acquired an agent in January 2019, and the book was picked up, fast, in England and America.
Who is Louise Fein?
Date of birth: 1967, in London. Brought up in Surrey.
Education: Bedgebury, a boarding School, then A levels at a Technical College in Epsom. Southampton University, Law. St Mary’s University, MA in Creative Writing.
Family: Husband Julian. Millie, 21 Josh 18 and Lottie 13.
The Day Job: Fulltime writer.
In Another Life: “I’d be an author like Kate Atkinson, who could put a book out and just sell.”
Favourite Writers: Kate Atkinson; Khalid Hosseini; Maggie O’Farrell; Anne Tyler: Ian McEwan; Graham Greene.
Second Novel: “Set in 1920’s England, it’s about the Eugenics movement.”
Top Tip: “Writing is a slow business. You need a lot of resilience.”
Website: www.louisefein.com Twitter: @FeinLouise
The Debut: People Like Us. Head of Zeus: €17.68. Kindle: €1.09.
Hetty’s father is an SS Officer, and she believes, absolutely, in Hitler’s regime – until she falls for Walter – a blond haired, blue eyed Jew. How can she help Walter without sacrificing her family?
“It’s about mind control; and how easily a nation can be brainwashed.”
The Verdict: Terrifying, yet tender. I loved it.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 8th August.
© Sue J Leonard, 2020.