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The Summer Before the War

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Despite the title – The Summer Before the War – which this terrific novel does indeed trace, it also spills into the horrors of the war years and eventually releases us back into some sort of very different peace. Set mostly in pretty coastal Rye, full of the strictures of Edwardian Society, it is evocative and very moving, highlight the prejudices and injustices of the early 20th Century. Agatha, whose husband is in the Foreign Office, is campaigning for a woman to replace the Latin Master in the local Grammar School. A group of Belgian refugees arrive, splitting the opinions of the community, then the new Latin Mistress befriends an old Gypsy’s grandson seeing his potential and wanting to school him for a scholarship. War arrives and the author powerfully highlights the ignorance, stupidity and insensitivity of those in command against the resilience and courage of the ordinary soldiers. It is heartbreaking, beautifully written and well researched. An excellent read.

One of our Books of the Year 2016.

Sarah Broadhurst

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