Review: The Summer Before the Storm by Gabriele Wills

Title: The Summer Before the Storm
Author: Gabriele Wills
Publisher: Mindshadows
Published: 2006
paperback, 551 pages
ISBN: 0-9732780-2-1
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Premier Virtual Author Book Tours

Goodreads Summary:
Muskoka, 1914. It's the Age of Elegance in the summer playground of the affluent and powerful. Amid the pristine, island-dotted lakes, the granite cliffs, and pine-scented forests of the Canadian wilderness, the young and carefree amuse themselves with glittering balls, lavish picnics, and friendly competitions. But this summer promises to be different when the charming, ambitious, and destitute son of a disowned heir joins his wealthy family at their cottage on Wyndwood Island.

My thoughts:
When I first came across The Summer Before the Storm it was said that if you like Downton Abbey you should try this book. I'm a huge fan of the show so I thought I would give this book a go. This novel is set in a group of islands in Canada. I've only been to Canada once and it was beautiful. So I could easily imagine the scenery that the author writes about. The main focus of this book is the Wyndham family. At the head of the family is the grandmother. She is not only the matriarch but also rules everything with a tight fist. There are dozens of characters in this book. If that frightens you then be assured, the author has provided a cast of characters at the beginning of the novel.
The Summer Before the Storm takes place in 1914. Times are about to change in a drastic way, but before they do we get to spend some get-to-know-you time with the family. This is definitely a character driven novel. For the most part, it centers around Victoria and Jack. Victoria has grown up in luxury. She's spunky with a whole lot of gumption. Jack's father was disowned by the Wyndham family. He grew up poor and after his father died, he decided to reconnect with his Wyndham relations. The family welcomes him. However, the author drops a few red herrings that things might not be what they seem. I like both Jack and Victoria. Victoria has quite a bit of growing up to do in this book. And Jack, though he knows what he wants, might not do what ever it takes to get it.
The family in itself is dynamic and complex like any huge family. The author portrays the family life in a realistic way. I enjoyed reading this book. Although at times I felt like this book was longer than it should be, when I got to the end I still wanted to read more. I do want to continue with this series. I'm hooked now, and I want to find out what happens to Victoria and Jack. This book takes you back to a sweet period in time then leads you into a war ravaged country. This book is very engaging and I'd recommend it. The Summer Before the Storm is the first book in The Muskoka Trilogy. The next book in this series is Elusive Dawn followed by Under the Moon.
My rating:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks so much for your review, Marcie. I'm delighted that you really enjoyed the novel and are "hooked" on the series! :) Sorry for the deletion and re-post, but I had to correct a typo.
    Gabriele Wills

    1. My pleasure Gabriele. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this book.

  3. Thanks so much for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much!


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