The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

April 4, 2016 Historical Fiction 6

Happy Monday, Bookworms!

The things I like about Mondays are extremely limited, but they’re greatly improved when I get a chance to discuss historical fiction. Yay for books, saving all the days of the week from abject horribleness! Today we’re heading back to WWI England, or, perhaps more specifically, the summer before WWI. Hence the title of Helen Simonson’s new book, The Summer Before the War. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. I’ll still be honest and all that, because I lack social graces.*

summerbeforethewarIt’s the summer of 1914 in Sussex, England. Beatrice Nash arrives in picturesque Rye with a few crates of books and something to prove as the school’s new Latin teacher. Hugh Grange is a medical student in town visiting with his formidable Aunt Agatha, Uncle John, and cousin Daniel. The troubles in the Balkans seem far removed from the glorious weather and small town scandals of Sussex. I mean, a FEMALE Latin teacher? Agatha staked her reputation on bringing Beatrice to town. And Beatrice has her own problems- she’s mourning the loss of her beloved father while struggling against a system that makes what little inheritance she has nearly impossible for her to access. Unfortunately, war breaks out, as war tends to do, and the town is transformed by the war efforts and preparations to send so many of their young men off to war.

Ah what a whirlwind, am I right?! Believe it or not, I actually had a hard time getting invested in this book at first. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the fault of the book, just one of those weird mood things, but it took me a while to really dive into this world. Once I did though? Well, suffice it to say that a number of late night tears were shed while I SHOULD have been sleeping because I couldn’t put the book down. And because I have feelings. If you dig historical fiction, The Summer Before the War is definitely one you should check out.

Talk to me Bookworms! What was the last book you read that kept you up late? Made you cry?

*If you make  a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

6 Responses to “The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson”

  1. Megan M.

    Ooh, tough. Made me cry? I think it was The Lake House by Kate Morton. I mean I KNOW that book made me cry, I’m just not sure it was the *last* one. LOL

  2. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Staying up late reading a book that you cannot put down is just one of the best things in this life, isn’t it? Let’s see, the last one that happened with was probably Jennifer McMahon’s The Night Sister. Hella creepy that book.

  3. Rachel

    I have been waiting for reviews of The Summer Before the War to start appearing. I want so much for it to be as charming and delightful as her first book. Thank you for your review!

  4. DoingDewey

    I feel as though my experience of this book was an average of yours. I didn’t struggle to get into it, but I didn’t ever find it really moving either.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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