Monday, November 26, 2012

"The Summer Before the Storm" bu Gabriele WillsBook Review

Description of The Summer Before the Storm:
Publisher: Mindshadows, 2006
Category: Historical Fiction
Tour Dates: November, 2012
Available in: Print and Kindle, 551 pages
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 illustrious 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 Trilogy, evokes a gracious, bygone era that still resonates in this legendary land of lakes.
This novel was chosen by the Muskoka Chautauqua for their esteemed Reading List in 2010.
If you are a Downton Abbey fan, chances are you will love this book and the rest of the series!

The Summer Before the StormThe Summer Before the Storm by Gabriele Wills
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the beginning, I knew this was a very well-written book, but the story was not necessarily my style.  Gabriele Wills is a gifted, descriptive writer, but I was not drawn into the story as I would have liked to have been.  It was somewhat interesting to read about a rich family during the time just as the first Great War was coming to pass.  The writing style was gorgeous, but I felt I was reading about nothing but spoiled brats.  I was glad she had included a Cast of Characters at the beginning of the book--I wish more authors did that.

The first thing that piqued my interest was when the story of the Lusitania was featured.  This was something I knew, and the historical account is phenomenal.  I was also glad to notice that the "brats" were starting to grow up.  Who couldn't like Ria and Chas?  In spite of the fact that they were intimate before marriage, thankfully we were not privy to their lovemaking.  There are no sex scenes in the book, and the profanity is relatively mild.

As I read through most of the book, I wasn't sure that I would be willing to recommend it.  However, I think I can say now that I would be intrigued to read the other books in the series.  This book set the stage, and I have found that often the first book in a series can be somewhat boring.  The book has a very open end to it--we have to read the other books in the series to find out what happens.  There are a couple little twists that even I didn't see coming.  If you like historical fiction, you may want to give this book a try.  It is a little different, but you may find it resonating with you as well.  It is an intricate look at a bygone era when women were women and men were men.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

Check out the guest post and giveaway!


  1. Thank you for your thoughtful review, Ruth. I'm so glad that you did enjoy the book, despite some reservations.
    Gabriele Wills

  2. Thanks again for taking part in the tour!


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