Reader reviews and comments on The Summer Before the War, plus links to write your own review.

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The Summer Before the War

by Helen Simonson

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2016, 496 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2017, 512 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Megan Shaffer

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Power Reviewer BeckyH

The Summer before the War
What begins as a lovely and genteel story of discrimination against a “professional” woman in an English village just before World War I, quickly becomes a fascinating tale of honor, class, love, discrimination and village life with all its charm and meanness. The characters are delightfully and realistically portrayed. The situations show the class and gender lines in pre-war England. There is humor and pathos, greed and generosity, refinement and pretentiousness, honor and scandal. But above all, it is a well written, engrossing story.
5 of 5 stars
Marianne Drunm

Not "Major Pettigrew"!
Helen Simonson writes beautifully about subjects I am interested in. Her first novel, "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand," was an understated tour de force. "The Summer Before the War" is not, in my opinion. Although the characters are described so that you can see them and hear them. The story showed promise, but moved along in fits and starts. The ending arrived with a genteel thud. Perhaps if this novel had been written first, I would not have had such high expectations.
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Beyond the Book:
  The Town of Rye

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