Summary of The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson | Includes Analysis
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.
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