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 “[Helen Simonson’s] characters are so vivid, it’s as if a PBS series has come to life. There’s scandal, star-crossed love and fear, but at its heart, The Summer Before the War is about loyalty, love and family.”—AARP: The Magazine “This luminous story of a family, a town, and a world in their final moments of innocence is as lingering and lovely as a long summer sunset.”—Annie Barrows, author of The Truth According to Us and co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society “Simonson is like a Jane Austen for our day and age—she is that good—and The Summer Before the War is nothing short of a treasure.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
the summer before the war
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The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson | Summary & Analysis Preview: The Summer Before the War is a novel that follows the inhabitants of a small English town through the onset of World War I. Its protagonist, Beatrice Nash, is a young woman who was recently orphaned. In the summer of 1914, she moves to Rye to escape the clutches of the oppressive relatives who administer her inheritance. Over the next few months, as she establishes herself as a Latin teacher, the war slowly drains the town of its vitality. Through Rye’s decline, despite hardships and sadness, Beatrice undergoes a period of positive personal growth. On the evening of Beatrice’s arrival in Rye, Agatha Kent and her nephews, Hugh Grange and Daniel Bookham, are at home awaiting their guest. Agatha is eager to meet the teacher she has championed in the face of the hiring committee’s reluctance to hire a woman… PLEASE NOTE: This is summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary of The Summer Before the War: Summary of the book Important People Character Analysis Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style About the Author With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways, summary and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience.
It's the Age of Elegance in the summer playground of the affluent and powerful. Amid the pristine, island-dotted lakes and pine-scented forests of the Canadian wilderness, the young and carefree amuse themselves with glittering balls and friendly competitions. The summer of 1914 promises to be different when the ambitious and destitute son of a disowned heir joins his wealthy family at their cottage on Wyndwood Island. Through Jack's introduction into the privileged life of the aristocratic Wyndhams and their social circle, he seeks opportunities and alliances to better himself, including in his schemes, his beautiful and audacious cousin, Victoria. But their charmed lives begin to unravel with the onset of the Great War, in which many are destined to become part of the "lost generation." This richly textured tale takes the reader on an unforgettable journey from romantic moonlight cruises to the horrific sinking of the Lusitania, from regattas on the water to combat in the skies over France, from extravagant mansions to deadly trenches - from innocence to nationhood. The Summer Before The Storm, the first of the epic "Muskoka Novels," evokes a gracious, bygone era that still resonates in this legendary land of lakes.
The ten stories in this collection explore the intimate dynamics of parents and children, friends and lovers, and husbands and wives. The characters stand on unstable ground and coexist with unpleasant truths: a grown son drives his mother to the abortion clinic; two girls go on a road trip to a Beatles concert with their divorced mother; three recently single women try to purge the past with a garage sale; a father moves into his daughter?s group house in Berkeley. Grappling with loss and disappointment, struggling to become whole again or for the first time, her characters pass like ghosts through their own lives, seeking to understand, imperfectly and belatedly, where they?ve come from and what might have been.
"Manufacturing Inequality compares the complex historical process whereby metals employers in two distinct national and cultural settings first brought women into their factories and then reorganized work procedures and managerial structures to accommodate the new workforce. Drawing from an extensive range of previously untapped industrial archives, Laura Lee Downs analyzes how sexual difference was transformed from a principle for excluding women into a basis for dividing labor within the newly restructured production process. She explores the origins of wage discrimination and occupational segregation through the lens of managerial strategy, tracing the gendered redefinition of job skills, the division of the shop floor into hierarchically ordered spaces, the deployment of women welfare supervisors, and the implantation of scientific management techniques. Through its detailed comparative analysis of employers' attitudes toward women workers, Manufacturing Inequality mounts a careful critique of both neoclassical economics and feminist dual systems as frameworks for understanding gender discrimination in industry."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The Lost Generation has held the imagination of those who succeeded them, partly because the idea that modern war could be romantic, generous, and noble died with the casualties of that war. From this remove, it seems almost perverse that Britons, Germans, and Frenchmen of every social class eagerly rushed to the fields of Flanders and to misery and death. In The Road to Armageddon Cecil Eby shows how the widely admired writers of English popular fiction and poetry contributed, at least in England, to a romantic militarism coupled with xenophobia that helped create the climate that made World War I seem almost inevitable. Between the close of the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 and the opening guns of 1914, the works of such widely read and admired writers as H. G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, J. M. Barrie, and Rupert Brooke, as well as a host of now almost forgotten contemporaries, bombarded their avid readers with strident warnings of imminent invasions and prophecies of the collapse of civilization under barbarian onslaught and internal moral collapse. Eby seems these narratives as growing from and in turn fueling a collective neurosis in which dread of coming war coexisted with an almost loving infatuation with it. The author presents a vivid panorama of a militant mileau in which warfare on a scale hitherto unimaginable was largely coaxed into being by works of literary imagination. The role of covert propaganda, concealed in seemingly harmless literary texts, is memorably illustrated.
Racial Attitudes in English-Canadian Fiction is a critical overview of the appearances and consequences of racism in English-Canadian fiction published between 1905 and 1980. Based on an analysis of traditional expressions in literature of group solidarity and resentment, the study screens English-Canadian novels for fictional representations of such feelings. Beginning with the English-Canadian reaction to the mass influx of immigrants into Western Canada after World War One, it examines the fiction of novelists such as Ralph Connor and Nellie McClung. The author then suggests that the cumulative effect of a number of individual voices, such as Grove and Salverson, constituted a counter-reaction which has been made more positive by Laurence, Lysenko, Richler and Clarke. The “debate” between these two sides, carried on in fictional and non-fictional writing, is seen to be in part resolved in synthesis after World War Two, as attitudes are forced by wartime alliances and intellectual pressures into a qualified liberalism. The author shows how single novels by Graham, Bodsworth, and Callaghan demonstrated a new concern for the exposure and eradication of racial discrimination, an attitude taken further by the works of Wiebe and Klein. The book concentrates on single texts that best portray deliberately or not, racist ideology or anti-racist arguments, and attempts to explain the arousal in Canada of such ideas.
The devastating story of how fugitive slaves drove the nation to Civil War For decades after its founding, America was really two nations--one slave, one free. There were many reasons why this composite nation ultimately broke apart, but the fact that enslaved black people repeatedly risked their lives to flee their masters in the South in search of freedom in the North proved that the "united" states was actually a lie. Fugitive slaves exposed the contradiction between the myth that slavery was a benign institution and the reality that a nation based on the principle of human equality was in fact a prison-house in which millions of Americans had no rights at all. By awakening northerners to the true nature of slavery, and by enraging southerners who demanded the return of their human "property," fugitive slaves forced the nation to confront the truth about itself. By 1850, with America on the verge of collapse, Congress reached what it hoped was a solution-- the notorious Compromise of 1850, which required that fugitive slaves be returned to their masters. Like so many political compromises before and since, it was a deal by which white Americans tried to advance their interests at the expense of black Americans. Yet the Fugitive Slave Act, intended to preserve the Union, in fact set the nation on the path to civil war. It divided not only the American nation, but also the hearts and minds of Americans who struggled with the timeless problem of when to submit to an unjust law and when to resist. The fugitive slave story illuminates what brought us to war with ourselves and the terrible legacies of slavery that are with us still.
The authors of the bestseller The Age of Sacred Terror show how the United States is losing the war on terror and what we need to do if we're serious about winning it. We are losing. Four years and two wars after September 11, 2001, the United States is no closer to victory in the "war on terror." In fact, we are unwittingly clearing the way for the next attack. In this provocative new book, Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon show how the terrorist threat is evolving, with a broadening array of tactics, an army of new fighters and, most ominously, a widening base of support in the global Muslim community. The jihadist movement has been galvanized by the example of 9/11 and the missteps of the U.S. government, which has consistently failed to understand the nature of the new terror. Left on this trajectory, much worse faces us in the near future. It doesn't have to be this way. The Next Attack makes the case that America has the capacity to stem the tide of Islamic terrorism, but Benjamin and Simon caution that this will require a far-reaching and creative new strategy, one that recognizes that the struggle has been over-militarized and that a campaign for reform must be more than rhetoric and less than bayonets. And they point out how America's increasing tendency to frame the conflict in religious terms has undermined our ability to advance our interests. Is America is truly equipped to do what is necessary to combat Islamist terrorism, or are we too blinded by our own ideology? The answer to that question will determine how secure we will truly be, in the years and decades to come.
The village of Chilbury in Kent is about to ring in some changes. This is a delightful novel of wartime gumption and village spirit that will make your heart sing out.