The Summer Before the War Book
Score: 4
From 62 Ratings

The Summer Before the War


  • Author : Helen Simonson
  • Publisher : Bond Street Books
  • Release Date : 2016-03-22
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 256
  • ISBN 10 : 9780385677073

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The Summer Before the War Excerpt :

New York Times - bestselling author Helen Simonson returns with a splendid historical novel full of the same wit, romance and insight into the manners and morals of small-town British life as her beloved Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. It's the summer of 1914 and life in the sleepy village of Rye, England is about to take an interesting turn. Agatha Kent, a canny force for progress, is expecting an unusual candidate to be the school's Latin teacher: Beatrice Nash, a young woman of good breeding in search of a position after the death of her father. (Never has there been a woman Latin teacher.) Agatha's nephews, meanwhile, have come to spend the summer months, as always, both with dreams of their own: Daniel, the poet, to publish a literary journal in Paris, and Hugh, to graduate from medical studies and marry his surgeon's daughter thus inheriting a lucrative practice. But then Hugh is sent to pick up Beatrice from the train station and life, of course, changes. As with Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, the quintessential English village becomes the stage on which entrenched tradition, class, ignorance, family ties and love play out. Here, these characters and others we come to love and root for become characters we hope and pray for when the shadow of the Great War looms ever closer to home.

The Summer Before the War Book
Score: 4
From 62 Ratings

The Summer Before the War


  • Author : Helen Simonson
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Release Date : 2016-03-24
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 592
  • ISBN 10 : 9781408837658

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The Summer Before the War Excerpt :

It is late summer in East Sussex, 1914. Amidst the season's splendour, fiercely independent Beatrice Nash arrives in the coastal town of Rye to fill a teaching position at the local grammar school. There she is taken under the wing of formidable matriarch Agatha Kent, who, along with her charming nephews, tries her best to welcome Beatrice to a place that remains stubbornly resistant to the idea of female teachers. 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 the unimaginable is coming – and soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small town goes to war.

The Summer Before the War Book
Score: 4
From 64 Ratings

The Summer Before the War


  • Author : Helen Simonson
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Release Date : 2016-03-22
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 512
  • ISBN 10 : 9780679644644

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The Summer Before the War Excerpt :

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 cha

Major Pettigrew s Last Stand Book
Score: 4.5
From 7 Ratings

Major Pettigrew s Last Stand


  • Author : Helen Simonson
  • Publisher : A&C Black
  • Release Date : 2010-03-01
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 400
  • ISBN 10 : 9781408809327

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Major Pettigrew s Last Stand Excerpt :

Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali. Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or love? Funny, comforting and heart-warming, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand proves that sometimes, against all odds, life does give you a second chance.

The Summer Before the Storm Book
Score: 5
From 1 Ratings

The Summer Before the Storm


  • Author : Gabriele Wills
  • Publisher : Unknown
  • Release Date : 2011-01
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 556
  • ISBN 10 : 0973278056

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The Summer Before the Storm Excerpt :

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.

Lighting the Stars Book

Lighting the Stars


  • Author : Gabriele Wills
  • Publisher : Mindshadows
  • Release Date : 2020-12-16
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 694
  • ISBN 10 : 9781775035428

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Lighting the Stars Excerpt :

Tucked into the rugged Canadian wilderness of Muskoka's majestic lake country, Merilee Sutcliffe's peaceful town seems worlds away from the escalating conflict in Europe. But life is about to change dramatically in the Summer of 1940. As her patriotic friends and relatives leave for battle, her small town is thrust into the war machine. Merilee's formerly tranquil skies soon roar with aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Air Force, stationed nearby to train young men determined to liberate their country from Nazi occupation. When German Prisoners of War march into her shocked community, they become Merilee's closest neighbours - and biggest threat. What unfolds in her remote town and on foreign shores sets Merilee and her growing circle on a collision course with an unimagined destiny. Caught up in the chaos is Luftwaffe pilot Erich Leitner. Shot down during the Battle of Britain and transplanted to a lakeside prison in Muskoka, he discovers he has more to fear from his comrades than his captors. While her cousin-in-spirit, Elyse Thornton, navigates the treacherous skies of Britain as a Spitfire Girl, audaciously ferrying warplanes from factories to airfields, Merilee becomes quietly entangled in her own dangerous liaisons on the home front. Caught between worlds, with conflicted loyalties and a sense of duty, she joins the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women's Division, and soon finds herself in ground-zero London, focusing her photographer's lens on a city under bombardment. Far from carefree summers on the lake, struggling to survive the relentless demands and sacrifices of war, Merilee, Elyse, and their friends wonder if they dare to risk their hearts as well. As unlikely lives intersect, ideologies and social hierarchies are challenged, loves and friendships are forged or broken, and countless heroes are made and lost. But even those who return to the serenity of Muskoka are changed forever.

A Drink Before the War Book
Score: 4
From 36 Ratings

A Drink Before the War


  • Author : Dennis Lehane
  • Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Release Date : 2003
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 282
  • ISBN 10 : 0156029022

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A Drink Before the War Excerpt :

Private detective partners Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find Jenna Angeline, a missing black cleaning woman who allegedly stole confidential state documents, but as their investigation becomes complicated by rival gang leaders, extortion, child prostitution, and assassination reaching to the highest levels of government, they discover that their target has been framed. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Ostend Book

Ostend


  • Author : Volker Weidermann
  • Publisher : Pantheon
  • Release Date : 2016-01-26
  • Genre: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 176
  • ISBN 10 : 9781101870273

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Ostend Excerpt :

It’s the summer of 1936, and the writer Stefan Zweig is in crisis. His German publisher no longer wants him, his marriage is collapsing, and his house in Austria—searched by the police two years earlier—no longer feels like home. He’s been dreaming of Ostend, the Belgian beach town that is a paradise of promenades, parasols, and old friends. So he journeys there with his lover, Lotte Altmann, and reunites with fellow writer and semi-estranged close friend Joseph Roth, who is himself about to fall in love. For a moment, they create a fragile haven. But as Europe begins to crumble around them, the writers find themselves trapped on vacation, in exile, watching the world burn. In Ostend, Volker Weidermann lyrically recounts “the summer before the dark,” when a coterie of artists, intellectuals, drunks, revolutionaries, and madmen found themselves in limbo while Europe teetered on the edge of fascism and total war. Ostend is the true story of two of the twentieth century’s great writers, written with a novelist’s eye for pacing, chronology, and language—a dazzling work of historical nonfiction. (Translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway)

Goodness and the Literary Imagination Book

Goodness and the Literary Imagination


  • Author : Toni Morrison
  • Publisher : University of Virginia Press
  • Release Date : 2019-10-15
  • Genre: Literary Criticism
  • Pages : 256
  • ISBN 10 : 9780813943633

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Goodness and the Literary Imagination Excerpt :

What exactly is goodness? Where is it found in the literary imagination? Toni Morrison, one of American letters’ greatest voices, pondered these perplexing questions in her celebrated Ingersoll Lecture, delivered at Harvard University in 2012 and published now for the first time. Perhaps because it is overshadowed by the more easily defined evil, goodness often escapes our attention. Recalling many literary examples, from Ahab to Coetzee’s Michael K, Morrison seeks the essence of goodness and ponders its significant place in her writing. She considers the concept in relation to unforgettable characters from her own works of fiction and arrives at conclusions that are both eloquent and edifying. In a lively interview conducted for this book, Morrison further elaborates on her lecture’s ideas, discussing goodness not only in literature but in society and history—particularly black history, which has responded to centuries of brutality with profound creativity. Morrison’s essay is followed by a series of responses by scholars in the fields of religion, ethics, history, and literature to her thoughts on goodness and evil, mercy and love, racism and self-destruction, language and liberation, together with close examination of literary and theoretical expressions from her works. Each of these contributions, written by a scholar of religion, considers the legacy of slavery and how it continues to shape our memories, our complicities, our outcries, our lives, our communities, our literature, and our faith. In addition, the contributors engage the religious orientation in Morrison’s novels so that readers who encounter her many memorable characters such as Sula, Beloved, or Frank Money will learn and appreciate how Morrison’s notions of goodness and mercy also reflect her understanding of the sacred and the human spirit.

The Chilbury Ladies  Choir Book
Score: 4
From 114 Ratings

The Chilbury Ladies Choir


  • Author : Jennifer L. Ryan
  • Publisher : Crown Publishing Group (NY)
  • Release Date : 2017
  • Genre: Choirs (Music)
  • Pages : 386
  • ISBN 10 : 9781101906750

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The Chilbury Ladies Choir Excerpt :

"Through letters and journals, [this novel] unfolds the struggles, affairs, deceptions, and triumphs of a village choir during World War II [in England]"--Dust jacket flap.

Hotel Silence Book
Score: 4
From 2 Ratings

Hotel Silence


  • Author : Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
  • Publisher : Pushkin Press
  • Release Date : 2018-02-22
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 120
  • ISBN 10 : 9781782274209

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Hotel Silence Excerpt :

A funny, wistful and utterly beguiling novel about a man whose life is falling apart, and how he learns to put it back together JÓNAS FEELS LIKE HIS LIFE IS OVER. His wife has left him, his mother is slipping deeper into dementia, and his daughter is no longer who he thought. So he comes up with a foolproof plan: to buy a one-way ticket to a chaotic, war-ravaged country and put an end to it all. But on arriving at Hotel Silence, he finds his plans – and his anonymity – begin to dissolve under the foreign sun. Now there are other things that need his attention, like the crumbling hotel itself, the staff who run it, and his unusual fellow guests. And soon it becomes clear that Jónas must decide whether he really wants to leave it all behind; or give life a second chance, albeit down a must unexpected path... Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir is an Icelandic prize-winning novelist, playwright and a poet. She is the author of five novels, a collection of poetry and four plays that have been performed at the National Theatre in Iceland and at the Reykjavik City Theatre. She also writes the lyrics for the Icelandic performance pop band Milkywhale. Auður Ava’s novels have been translated into over 25 languages and among them are The Greenhouse and Butterflies in November. Her new novel, Hotel Silence, won the Icelandic Literary Prize 2016 and was chosen Best Icelandic Novel in 2016 by booksellers in Iceland. Auður Ava lives in Reykjavik.

The War that Saved My Life Book
Score: 4.5
From 69 Ratings

The War that Saved My Life


  • Author : Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Release Date : 2015-01-08
  • Genre: Juvenile Fiction
  • Pages : 320
  • ISBN 10 : 9781101637807

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The War that Saved My Life Excerpt :

* Newbery Honor Book * #1 New York Times Bestseller * Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award * Wall Street Journal Best Children's Books of the Year * New York Public Library's 100 Books for Reading and Sharing An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War II, from the acclaimed author of Fighting Words, and for fans of Fish in a Tree and Number the Stars. Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother? This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making. "Achingly lovely...Nuanced and emotionally acute."—The Wall Street Journal "Unforgettable...unflinching."—Common Sense Media ★ “Brisk and honest...Cause for celebration.” —Kirkus, starred review ★ "Poignant."—Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ "Powerful."—The Horn Book, starred review "Affecting."—Booklist "Emotionally satisfying...[A] page-turner."—BCCB “Exquisitely written...Heart-lifting.” —SLJ "Astounding...This book is remarkable."—Karen Cushman, author The Midwife's Apprentice "Beautifully told."—Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah, Plain and Tall "I read this novel in two big gulps."—Gary D. Schmidt, author of Okay for Now "I love Ada's bold heart...Her story's riveting."—Sheila Turnage, author of Three Times Lucky

The Perfect Summer Book
Score: 3.5
From 16 Ratings

The Perfect Summer


  • Author : Juliet Nicolson
  • Publisher : Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
  • Release Date : 2008-05-12
  • Genre: History
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN 10 : 9781555848705

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The Perfect Summer Excerpt :

A “sparkling social history” that brings the twilight of the Edwardian era to life (Entertainment Weekly). The Perfect Summer chronicles a glorious English summer just over a century ago, when the world was on the cusp of irrevocable change. That summer of 1911, a new king was crowned and the aristocracy was at play, bounding from one house party to the next. But perfection was not for all. Cracks in the social fabric were showing. The country was brought to a standstill by industrial strikes. Temperatures rose steadily to more than 100 degrees; by August, deaths from heatstroke were too many for newspapers to report. Drawing on material from intimate and rarely seen sources and narrated from the viewpoints of a series of exceptional individuals—among them a debutante, a choirboy, a politician, a trade unionist, a butler, and the queen—The Perfect Summer is a vividly rendered glimpse of a bygone time and place. “Brimming with delectable information and little-known facts . . . manages to describe every stratum of English society . . . Where Nicolson is especially good, however, is with the royals and the aristocracy, whose country estates, salons, entertainments, and affairs—discreet and indiscreet—she describes with accuracy and humor.” —The Providence Journal “A hugely interesting portrait of a society teetering on a precipice both nationally and internationally . . . As page turning as a novel.” —Joanna Trollope

The Summer Before Boys Book
Score: 4.5
From 3 Ratings

The Summer Before Boys


  • Author : Nora Raleigh Baskin
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Release Date : 2012-04-03
  • Genre: Juvenile Fiction
  • Pages : 212
  • ISBN 10 : 9781416986744

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The Summer Before Boys Excerpt :

Twelve-year-old best friends and relatives, Julia and Eliza are happy to spend the summer together while Julia's mother is serving in the National Guard in Iraq but when they meet a neighborhood boy, their close relationship begins to change.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane Book
Score: 4
From 48 Ratings

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane


  • Author : Lisa See
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Release Date : 2017-03-21
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 384
  • ISBN 10 : 9781501166310

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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane Excerpt :

A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple. Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives. In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations. A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.