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A powerful compelling story about war, written in 1914 set in East Sussex, England. War has been declared as Germany has invaded Belgium sending refugees to England. The leaders of the small town of Rye prepare to accept a consignment of the refugees. Beatrice Nash, after the loss of her father, has been hired to be the new Latin instructor at the school over the objects of some because she is a woman. It brings to light, the kindness, cruelties of the English class system at its best. I smile at times and had tears in my eyes also. Aunt Agatha’s nephews Hugh Nash and his cousin Daniel are to spend the summer at the Grange. John Kent, her husband is in the foreign service in London. Hugh will return to his medical studies in the fall, Daniel Bookham who is a poet planning on going to France to start a poet magazine. There are 3 boys Beatrice is to teach Latin that summer, among them a gypsy boy Snouty, The Wheaton family the royalty of the area, and the Major and his wife are both presents… As England prepared for war, the young women gave white feathers to men, not in uniform, and hoarding started. Deaths from the battlefield start arriving daily. The men go to different front lines but somehow ended up at the same behind the battlefield location. The ending is fantastic.

Disclosure: I received a free copy from Random House through NetGalley for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review the book. The opinions are my own.


About bettylouise31 Member of NetGalley and Edelweiss Senior Citizen and been reading and sharing my thoughts on books most of my life. I read for my pleasure. I have been married for over 65 years. We had a Bengal Cat, Kato who has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Interests include reading, dogs, cats, gardening, knitting, crocheting. I have a strong interest in North American native plants. A word on my reviews. I am writing very few. Books reviews are from my public library, brought, many from Netgalley, a few from Edelweiss, occasionally from an author or from friends. The opinions are my own. I represent no publisher, author, or another source​. My reviews can be found on. Tumblr, Goodreads, Google+, and Twitter. I have no Facebook account. Thanks for reading my blog.
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4 Responses to THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR By Helen Simpson

  1. bmary8222 says:

    Thanks for sharing your review.

  2. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    I am adding that one to my TBR!

  3. lghiggins says:

    This sounds really good as it approaches aspects of the war from various angles. I added it to my list of books I want to read.

  4. run-sew-read says:

    I have started this book several times, only to get distracted early on and abandon it. Your review has me wanting to try again, for real this time. I know I’ll be glad I did.

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