book cover of The Summer Before the War
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The Summer Before the War

(2016)
A novel by

 
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A novel to cure your Downton Abbey withdrawal . . . a delightful story about nontraditional romantic relationships, class snobbery and the everybody-knows-everybody complications of living in a small community.”—The Washington Post

The bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand returns with a breathtaking novel of love on the eve of World War I that reaches far beyond the small English town in which it is set.


NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And 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 with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—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 colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

Praise for The Summer Before the War

“What begins as a study of a small-town society becomes a compelling account of war and its aftermath.”Woman’s Day

“This witty character study of how a small English town reacts to the 1914 arrival of its first female teacher offers gentle humor wrapped in a hauntingly detailed story.”Good Housekeeping

“Perfect for readers in a post–Downton Abbey slump . . . The gently teasing banter between two kindred spirits edging slowly into love is as delicately crafted as a bone-china teacup. . . . More than a high-toned romantic reverie for Anglophiles—though it serves the latter purpose, too.”The Seattle Times

Genre: Historical

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Used availability for Helen Simonson's The Summer Before the War

Hardback Editions

2012 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 1-4088-3764-1 / 978-1-4088-3764-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2016 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 0-385-67706-5 / 978-0-385-67706-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


March 2016 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 0-8129-9310-1 / 978-0-8129-9310-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

March 2017 : Australia Mass Market Paperback
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Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 1-76029-621-X / 978-1-76029-621-6 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Availability: Amazon AU   


March 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 1-4088-3766-8 / 978-1-4088-3766-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


February 2017 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 0-385-67708-1 / 978-0-385-67708-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor Canada
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


February 2017 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 0-8129-8320-3 / 978-0-8129-8320-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


March 2016 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel (Random House Large Print)
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 0-451-48211-5 / 978-0-451-48211-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2016 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 1-4088-7202-1 / 978-1-4088-7202-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2016 : Canada Paperback
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Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 1-4587-3409-9 / 978-1-4587-3409-9 (Canada edition)
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant
Availability: Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

November 2016 : Australia Audio CD
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Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 1-4890-2936-2 / 978-1-4890-2936-2 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Bolinda/Audible audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


November 2016 : Australia Audio CD
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Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 1-4890-2937-0 / 978-1-4890-2937-9 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Bolinda/Audible audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


April 2016 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


April 2016 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon AU   


April 2016 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


April 2016 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


March 2016 : USA Audio CD
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
ISBN: 1-101-88857-1 / 978-1-101-88857-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2016 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


March 2016 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

March 2016 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Availability: Amazon UK   


March 2016 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   


March 2016 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War: A Novel
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


March 2016 : Australia Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Summer Before the War
Author(s): Helen Simonson
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Availability: Amazon AU