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The Summer Before the War Audiobook

The Summer Before the War

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Publisher's Summary

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 sabre 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 colourful characters that 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.

©2016 Helen Simonson (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (67 )
5 star
 (33)
4 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.3 (65 )
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Story
4.4 (63 )
5 star
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 (25)
3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David 11/05/2016
    David 11/05/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    23
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    Story
    "A good listen"
    What did you like most about The Summer Before the War?

    It is a slow burner, by chapter six I was wondering where the story was going and if indeed it was worth continuing with. I am very pleased that I did. It is a thought provoking, enjoyable listen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Snout, Hugh and Daniel, they felt the most real and rounded characters to me.


    What aspect of Lucy Scott’s performance might you have changed?

    Her reading was rather flag and her voices for the male characters and more unpleasant lady characters too similar.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Lloyd 12/06/2016
    Sharon Lloyd 12/06/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    19
    6
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    "Another beautifully written story by Helen - this wartime story evoked the war like no other I have ever read."

    This wartime story is superb. So much more than a wartime drama. Deeply touching and impossible to put down.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L-D England 03/10/2016
    L-D England 03/10/2016 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story"

    Really enjoyed listening to this, touched on the issues of social boundaries of ww1 and the pals battalions along with life back at home and England before the war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Taylor 28/09/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poignant and touching"

    Poignantly brings that summer to life with likable characters. Lovely narration, clear distinction between voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juliet 14/08/2016
    Juliet 14/08/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow burner"

    This was an easy going, easy listening story .... Until the last 2 hours. At which point, after many hours of a slightly tepid story line, the drama ramps up and I was gripped.
    There is some brilliant descriptive narrative and character creations. However, it was more of a 'back ground chatter' when listening in the car for many miles than a riveting drama.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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