The Summer Before the War

If you like British historical fiction, this atmospheric plunge into rural 1914 life in the summer before England enters World War I is an excellent choice. A bit like Downton Abbey but not so stuffy, its characters range from the upper class to the local gypsies, and many well-drawn characters fill its pages.  Beatrice Nash, newly orphaned, has come to Rye to accept a position as Latin teacher in the local school, an appointment arranged by well-healed Agatha Kent, whose husband is an officer in the military.  Agatha's handsome, ambitious nephews, surgeon Hugh Grange and poet Daniel Bookham supply most of the drama and romantic interest, while a young gypsy boy named Snout captures Beatrice's heart as her most promising and unlikely Latin student. A gaggle of humorous matrons control the politics and social happenings in the town, and decide to accept a number of Belgian refugees from the war, among them the beautiful Celeste and her scholarly father.  Beatrice agrees to take in Celeste, while her father lives with a tempermental American author who serves as the local celebrity. An historically accurate portrait of the complicated interactions between rural English social classes and their young men going off to war.

The summer before the war : a novelBy Simonson, Helen

"This novel is just the ticket for fans of Simonson's debut, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, and for any reader who enjoys leisurely fiction steeped in the British past." (jacket-Booklist review)
"A bright confection of a book morphs into a story of dignity and backbone.....This book is beautifully plotted and morally astute." (jacket-Kirkus review)

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October/November 2017 New & On Order DVD/Blu-ray
A listing of DVD's and Blu-ray added to the collection in October/November 2017
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