It’s the summer of 1914 in East Sussex when the town of Rye prepares for the arrival of the first woman Latin teacher in their local grammar school. Beatrice Nash has impeccable qualifications, but the community is hesitant about hiring a woman for the job. Beatrice is ready to teach but her independent nature and aspirations of being a writer may only complicate her new position.
Beatrice is not without her allies. Agatha Kent and her grown nephews are determined to help her acceptance into the community, but even as the term is about to begin war is declared in The Summer Before the War. Rich in vivid detail, this historical novel is about a society on the verge of change with a love story intertwined. The author Helen Simonson also wrote the very popular Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.