The Summer Before The Storm

General Fiction

By Gabriele Wills

Publisher : Mindshadows

ABOUT Gabriele Wills

Gabriele Wills
Gabriele loves to recreate an era in which she can immerse herself (and readers), by weaving compelling stories around meticulously researched facts. Her characters are best friends, whom others are now calling "cherished friends". If you want a glimpse of her world, visit her bo More...


Muskoka, 1914. 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. This summer 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. 

The Summer Before The Storm is Muskoka Chautauqua Reading Circle winner for  2010!

My fascination with Muskoka began in the 1960s when, as a teenager, I stayed for weeks every summer at my friend's cottage on Lake Rosseau. Their summer home had been built by her great-grandfather in 1879, so a family compound developed around it over the next century. Hearing wonderful tales of the “old days”, I knew then that one day I would write about that genteel time in legendary Muskoka.

"Gabriele Wills is as enterprising in the book world as she is adept in story-telling. A tribute to both these qualities is the fact that this June, Muskoka Chautauqua selected The Summer Before the Storm, her first in a series of Muskoka novels, for its esteemed 2010 Reading Circle List." - Dr. Patrick Boyer, QC, Muskoka Magazine

"The Summer Before the Storm is a richly detailed, complex novel - one that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page." - The Book Chic, Jonita Fex

Favourite Books: The Muskoka Novels by Gabriele Wills
Highly recommended... The Summer Before The Storm
by Gisela Kretzschmar, "Focus on Books"

I very much enjoyed the Muskoka-tale, describing a world I've never known and could not even have imagined before, and here it came alive in a way that made me almost feel part of it. And I was fascinated by all those different characters, whom I soon felt very close to, following their trials and adventures, hopes and despairs.

Having finished the first novel I couldn't wait to find out, how Victoria, Chas, Jack, Ellie, Blake and all the others would be doing in the completely different world of wartime Europe. So I was really glad to have the second part handy and be able to continue with Elusive Dawn.

 "The Summer Before The Storm and Elusive Dawn are not only well written, suspenseful, and enjoyable, but also historically accurate. The amazing amount of research provides an excellent educational background on the Great War and on aviation. The writer obviously has a keen interest in and knowledge of the subject." - Arthur Bishop, WWII pilot and author, son of Billy Bishop, VC, Britain's top WWI Ace