Under the Reader’s Radar – celebrating the quiet novel

There are thousands upon thousands of books published each year. Only a small percentage of those make it to the best-seller list. That doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t worthy of reading. It may be that they are written by self-published authors who don’t have the marketing knowledge or a small independent publisher who doesn’t have the marketing budget to spread the word. Even the larger publishing houses have a limited marketing and publicity budget so can’t promote all the novels they publish to an equal degree.

So in each post I’ll aim to highlight a couple of titles that may have been missed from your reading awareness. Hopefully you’ll discover a treat or two. And please do let me know if you have any books you’d like to suggest.

The first suggestion this time comes from Liz Trenow, who’s latest novel, Under a Wartime Sky was published by Pan Macmillan on 20 February 2020.

She has suggested People Like Us by Louise Fein, published by Head of Zeus (out 7 May 2020).

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 risk have to risk everything to save Walter, even if it means sacrificing herself…

Here’s what she had to say:

“I have just written an endorsement for a debut novel by Louise Fein called People Like Us, which I loved. It tells a familiar story from a very unfamiliar perspective: that of a naïve German teenager caught up in the rise of Nazism, and her gradual realisation of the inhumanity driven by Aryan fanaticism. It’s published in May 2020 – look out for it.”

The second suggestion comes from Alex Reeve. His latest novel, The Anarchist’s Club, was published by Bloomsbury Raven on 2 May 2019.

He has suggested The Fact of the Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, published by Pan Macmillan.

When law student Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is asked to work on a death-row hearing for convicted murderer and child molester Ricky Langley, she finds herself thrust into the tangled story of his childhood. As she digs deeper and deeper into the case she realizes that, despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar.

The Fact of a Body is both an enthralling memoir and a groundbreaking, heart-stopping investigation into how the law is personal, composed of individual stories, and proof that arriving at the truth is more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine.

Here’s what he had to say:

“…The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, … is a detailed and deeply compassionate book about crime and its effects”

So there we have it, two books I’m not familiar with. Have you read either? Do you have a quiet book you’d like to shout about? Do let me know.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. People Like Us is waiting patiently here for a review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I hope you like it when you get to read it Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope so too!


  2. Kath says:

    Grr to people recommending books that aren’t out until May, which is not your fault, Janet. But it also sounds exactly my kind of thing, so I grudgingly have to give thanks for the heads up that it’s coming out.

    The Fact of a Body was fascinating; I thought it was a really interesting blend of true crime and the author’s own childhood/reasons for writing the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Ah, sorry :-). It does give you something to look forward to though!


      1. Kath says:

        It’s fine, honestly. Even if I could buy it now, the truth is I probably wouldn’t read it before May anyhow!!


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