Monday, May 02, 2016

The Summer Before The War/part two of part one.

Hi readers!
Jep sent a few more questions she found at LitLovers website.  
(Thank you Jep!)

Following are two questions that I think we can talk about before we start the next section.

1. Comparisons of Simonson's book have been made to the television series Downton Abbey. What parallels do you see? Consider class and gender issues, as well as the effect of the war on the staid Edwardian sensibilities.

2. How would you describe Beatrice Nash? Why does Beatrice reject the idea of marriage?


Thank you LitLovers!



Have you ever gotten lost on a bike ride or on a hike?



  1. That bike and the girl riding it are gorgeous! I can't wait to finish Major Pettigrew so I can dig into this one.

  2. I got lost on my bike 2 1/2 blocks down the street when I was playing with some kids on a street I didn't know. I cried and had to go back to their mom for directions. One wrong turn and I was confused...
    I'm sure you've heard this story before ;)

    1. Also you grounded me for riding my bike on the big street we weren't allowed to go on with Eric or Andrew because of a game we were playing. Rude.

    2. And I probably spanked you too! And how about the time you were on the river rocks at Hattie st dam. Oh my heart

    3. Your one and only spanking.

  3. Beatrice is charming, bright, witty, but also a bit insecure and frightened of her relatively new solo status. She is truly delightful. I'm halfway through the book and can't wait to see how things shake out!

    I've only gotten lost driving and the most upsetting time was pre-cellphone days when I got turned around coming home from O'Hare. I don't even want to say where I ended up as it was rather ridiculous! Ooops.

    Beautiful photo of beautiful Katie!

  4. Katie is darling on the bike!

    I am reminded of Downton, when I recognize the politics of Village life, who is more influential than whom. So far Agatha's methods are more entertaining ... again, a reminder of Downton.

    I do NOT like Lucy and her threats of a white feather.

    Beatrice is appealing in her mix of humility and knowledge. She seems to understand that her accomplishments and know-how are not a guarantee of a place in Rye, she can't appear too confident (at least that is how it seems so far) I like her character very much. And Hugh.

    I also love the bits when she remembers her dear father and their travels together.

  5. I've been listening to the audiobook version since I'm in the car so much lately, that's my only reading time. The audiobook is good, but not the best reader (sorry); good, pleasant, but not a great reader. I'd rather be reading the bound or ebook to get the full impact of the language. I've just started part 2 of the book.

    Agatha is interesting, because she's so astute and, ok...manipulative. I think as readers we agree with her, so we don't mind her manipulating the likes of mayor's wife. Agatha seems to love both her nephews, but Daniel a bit more because he is her sister's son (if I remember correctly) and is a bit more like her than Hugh. But I think she loves both. Beatrice, is similar to Agatha, but not as savvy or able to maneuver to get her ways...yet. Instead, Beatrice copes with her situations with humor and determination.

    There are so many characters, I don't feel like I'm getting to know them all, but really like Beatrice, Agatha, and Snout. This book does give more time to characters in the lower or tenant classes than Downton, which is a nice change.

    I'm enjoying the book, but dread what is coming. The characters don't know the horrors that WWI will bring to them, but we do. It's almost painful to watch the glib manner they are dealing with the war so far. Tea parties. White feathers. Blackmailing suitors into signing up. Poetry. We, 100 years later, know this was an awful and world changing war...and they will all be changed by it.

    Other than dreading what is to come, I am looking forward to reading more.

    Sorry this is so long. --Missy

  6. Possible SPOILER (but trying to be vague and not say it). Being almost finished with the audiobook now, I guess there's a different reason for Agatha's preference of Daniel. However, this does make me question a bit her behavior (at a certain point) to Celeste. Wonder if others felt the same. --Missy

  7. Donna, I love my gorgeous (UK) hardback copy of this book, but it is so big, I have not taken it with me when travelling. Hence, I'm not finished.

    Plus, I've been savoring it.

    Today I am flying to the States and I'm breaking down and putting it on my kindle. At least I hope I can, hope it's available.



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