This book has everything I love in a novel; wartime history, sincere love, English style writing, and strong female characters.
Not to mention, a beautiful book cover. When The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson arrived in my Hello Book Lover box a few months ago I instantly fell in love with the cover, I just couldn’t help it. It made me want to curl up on a blanket outside in the park with a cup of tea and read for hours.
The setting is a small English town in 1914 during WWI.
It’s amazing how during a war people still found ways to carry on living their lives. Although not the same since almost everyone is missing a loved one, but there was still a desire to have some resemblance of normality.
Not to mention, love blossoms in the most unexpected places and at the most inopportune times. But that’s love for you, it doesn’t stop for any one or any war.
The story is a soft read. By that I mean you aren’t in the trenches of war, you are instead in the lives of people trying to live a normal day to day life. It shows you just how fragile people are during this time, and how the most simple, kind gestures can make all the difference.
This book transports you to another world and another time. She described not only the expected facts about war, but class struggles and the scarcity of food and supplies. This was no fairy tale read, but it was written through a lens of love.
Although I adored this book, I do caution any potential reader that you must be open to a slow story, one that builds up over time and has the sedulity of love during war time.This is a book I won’t forget for a while, especially with characters like Beatrice Nash and Hugh Grange.
I haven’t read her first bestseller, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, but from reading the reviews I know that it’s a must. Have you read anything by Helen Simonson before? What did you think?
P.S. Don’t forget you can get 10% off your first Hello Book Lover box by using code SUNSHINE10 (My best friend is the founder and today is her birthday!)