For People Like Us

Struggling culture journalist and literary scholar Jens Andersson is on his way to Crete. Barely over 30, Jens is pretentious and proud of it, but his attempts at getting his own work published keep getting turned down and what’s worse, he has been turned down permanently by his girlfriend of seven years. The all-inclusive trip to Crete in the company of his entire extended family isn’t exactly his idea of a dream vacation, but he tries not to sulk.

Arriving in Crete at the same time as Jens are Liv Berglund and her girlfriend Martina. A couple in their 30’s who are experiencing a rough patch, they are in Greece for a week to do what all relationship experts deem important: spend quality time together. Martina is longing for a stable life with children but Liv is unsure if she wants the same thing. Meanwhile, Liv’s work as an editor for the unreasonably high-maintenance chick-lit writer Katja Simonsson is keeping her tied to her computer. Martina stews in discontent.

One day on a tourist outing, in the sweltering Crete heat, Jens and Liv’s paths cross for the first time. It’s a chance encounter that will come to change everything. A seemingly insignificant exchange of banter in the water line catches them off guard, and when they meet again late one evening on the beach, it leads to their first unexpected kiss. But it looks like their story will end there – after all, they don’t even know each other’s names…

Back in Sweden, Liv has had it up to here with Katja Simonsson. But when Simonsson’s latest novel is subject to a toxic takedown piece by what seems to be an elitist male chauvinist critic, Liv sees it as her mission to be the defender of women’s fiction. A heated cultural debate soon rages: for and against the likes of Katja Simonsson. Liv and the critic are invited to a big TV talk-show to debate live. Little does Liv know she is about to encounter her object of desire from Crete…

For People Like Us is a romantic and engaging story about being thirty-something and realizing life has not taken the path you wanted it to. About finding love when you thought you had already found it and indulging in feelings you have no control over. About whether to give in to expectations, or to fight for aspirations. In the game of life, it can be gut-wrenching to leave, but just as painful to stay. Because in the end, what can we do but give in to love?

For People Like Us is a modern love story told in four acts, full of heart and grit, portraying true-to-life characters and problems while also winking to a smart discussion about the genre it belongs to.

“This book offers linguistic finesse and a love story that is liberatingly unpredictable. Well-written and a sheer pleasure to read!”
Amelia, 5/5 stars (Sweden)

For People Like Us is both ingenious and melancholy – the conversations are swift, and contemporary life expertly serves as a backdrop for the story. […] A smart page-turner.”
Sydsvenskan (Sweden)

“A brilliant feel good novel […] Marvelous style and authentic emotions.”
Aftonbladet (Sweden)

“An unexpectedly funny and well-written tale about a newly separated literary scholar who meets an editor at an all inclusive holiday. But the editor is already in a relationship… A classic, romantic story with lots of humor and eerily authentic interiors from the publishing world (including frightening authors) and the university.”
Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter (SWEDEN)

“A great portion of romance and humor, but also funerals, divorces, and births. Simply, the passing of life.”
Hemmets Journal (SWEDEN)

Tiina Nevala and Henrik Karlsson are writers with a background in publishing. Their debut novel For People Like Us was published by Wahlström & Widstrand in May 2018.

Learn more about Nevala & Karlsson