Monday, May 02, 2016

Review: The Summer Before the War

The Summer Before the War The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first thing that struck me about this book was Beatrice's situation, and not only hers, but of women in general at the time of the book. Beginning of the 20th century and women were helpless in so many aspects.

Beatrice Nash is twenty-three years old, an orphan and has no money. As her father decided her inheritance was to be administered by his family. She takes a job as a Latin Master (which was unheard of, as women were mostly teachers only) in Rye, Sussex. There she meets the Kent family and confronts the small minded villagers that think she has no place teaching.

It's the Summer of 1914 and even if Europe is heading into a war, Beatrice and her new friends think it can be avoided and life will go on as usual. But that won't happen, and all the people she knows will be touched by the terrible war.

This is a very moving book, not only because of Beatrice's situation, but because all the characters that surround her are profoundly human: Hugh, the young doctor torn between a beautiful, rich but shallow woman and Beatrice; Daniel the naïve poet; lovely Aunt Agatha.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

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