The World Before Us
by Aislinn Hunter
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Pub Date 28 May 2014 | Archive Date 16 Sep 2014
Random House of Canada Limited, Doubleday Canada
The brilliant, hauntingly beautiful second novel, twelve years in the making, from a writer whose previous novel Stay was a Globe and Mail Top 100 pick, a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award, and made into a feature film.
When she was just fifteen, smart, sensitive Jane Standen lived through a nightmare: she lost the sweet five-year-old girl she was minding during a walk in the woods. The little girl was never found, leaving her family, and Jane, devastated. Now the grown-up Jane is an archivist at a small London museum that is about to close for lack of funding. As her one last project, she is searching the archives for scraps of information related to another missing person--a woman who disappeared some 125 years ago from a Victorian asylum. As the novel moves back and forth between the museum in contemporary London, the Victorian asylum, and a dilapidated country house that seems to connect both missing people, it unforgettably explores the repercussions of small acts, the power of affection, and the irrepressible vitality of everyday objects and events.
Here is a rivetting, gorgeously written novel that powerfully reminds us of the possibility that we are less alone than we might think.