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Staff Book Review

The Summer Before The War: A Novel

By Helen Simonson

For Adults

Literature & Fiction

Recommended by: Paul


Helen Simonson's second novel is set in the small, coastal English village of Rye during the summer of 1914. 23 year-old Beatrice Nash, having recently lost her beloved father, arrives in the village to teach Latin at the local school, an unusual role for a woman at that time. Her patron is the locally prominent Agatha Kent, whose two nephews, Hugh Grange, and Daniel Bookham, feature prominently in the story, along with a host of other well-drawn and colorful characters. World War I soon breaks out, which effects the lives of everyone in the village. This is a rich comedy of manners and love that should appeal to Downton Abbey fans. 

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