Book Talks: The Summer Before the War

the summer before the warThe Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

From Helen Simonson the author of the much loved Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand comes The Summer Before the War her second novel. It’s the summer of 1914 and life in the sleepy village of Rye, England is about to take an interesting turn. Agatha Kent, a force for progress, is expecting an unusual candidate to be the school’s Latin teacher: Beatrice Nash, a woman has never taught Latin at this school before. Agatha’s nephews, meanwhile, have come to spend the summer months, as always, both with dreams of their own: Daniel, the poet, to publish a literary journal in Paris, and Hugh, to graduate from medical studies and marry his surgeon’s daughter thus inheriting a lucrative practice. But then Hugh is sent to pick up Beatrice from the train station and life, of course, changes. With the shadow of the Great War looming the quintessential English village becomes the stage on which entrenched tradition, class, ignorance, family ties and love play out. Both of Helen Simonson’s books can be reserved at any branch of the Haliburton County Public Library.

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