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The Summer Before the War - Helen Simonson

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Published: 16th March 2016
Format: ePUB
RRP $22.99

Set in the idyllic beauty of a late Edwardian summer in the country, where the passionate pursuit of unexpected love and the village outrage over the arrival of a female Latin teacher will all be swept away by the onset of a war no one could imagine.

East Sussex, 1914. It's the end of an idyllic summer and Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha in the pretty coastal town of Rye. Casting aside the recent sabre rattling over the Balkans, Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives, it is clear she is significantly more free thinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape, and the colourful characters that populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha's reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon, everything will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

About the Author

Helen Simonson was born in Buckinghamshire and spent her teenage years in a small village near Rye in East Sussex. Her debut novel, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, was an international bestseller, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, and was translated and published in twenty one countries. A graduate of the London School of Economics, Helen is married, with two grown sons, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her second novel.


A bigger book than expected at over 500 pages


Like reading a "Miss Read" book only more of it and slower

Banora Point NSW


Great buy!


I got this book for my mum for Christmas. She reads a lot and I usually stick to her favourite authors but I'm so glad I chose these instead, I've never heard her get so animated when talking about a book! The characters, the author's writing... There's a few people waiting to read it so I'll have to wait for my turn!



Wanted it to go on longer


Liked the print size, very easy to read

Rural WA


Nearly as good as the major


I bought it because I'd loved Major Pettigrew and thought the author would be capable of writing another great book. Not quite as good as the "major" but still a great read.

Melbourne, Australia

enjoyable read.


I loved Helen Simonsen's first book so much I really wanted to read her next just released. I liked the story and found it seemed well researched about a period in time that interests me. I recommend this book to people who like reading stories set in England written in an up to date manner. many characters and stories to follow. I enjoyed it.

Northern Beaches, Sydney




This was a beautiful book, the characters were delightful, the author has captured the village perfectly and like any good book, I cared about the characters and wanted the best for them all which is how it turned out ...a perfect read for a winter's day or even a beach holiday or cruise

Hobart, Tasmania


The Summer Before the War

4.2 6


‘Helen Simonson’s characters enchant us, her English countryside beguiles us, and her historical intelligence keeps us at the edge of our seats.’ - Annie Barrows, co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

ISBN: 9781743311288
ISBN-10: 1743311281
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 592
Published: 16th March 2016
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3