Girls In White Dresses

511fjmo8c9l._sy400_.jpgThe Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson begins in England just prior to the First World War and ends after the fighting is over.

There are a number of interesting characters in the novel. The main character is a young woman named Beatrice whose father recently passed away leaving her alone in the world. She takes up residence in a small English town where she plans to teach school, write, read, and never marry. Before long, she becomes acquainted with the locals and adjusted to life in a small town.

The war begins and Beatrice decides to take-in a traumatized female Belgian refuge who has been displaced by the Prussian invaders. At this point, the story gets interesting.

It took me a while to get into this book. However, once I did, I enjoyed it very much. Much of it is about societal changes which were taking place in addition to the war itself. I thought some parts of it were a bit lengthy, but by the end of the book, I was emotionally attached to the characters and reaching for the kleenex.  I recommend this novel. It is a beautifully told story.

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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