The World Before Us (Compact Disc)
In the tradition of A. S. Byatt's Possession, a hauntingly poignant novel about madness, loss, and the ties that bind our past to our present
Deep in the woods of northern England, somewhere between a dilapidated estate and an abandoned Victorian asylum, fifteen-year-old Jane Standen lived through a nightmare. She was babysitting a sweet young girl named Lily, and in one fleeting moment, lost her. The little girl was never found, leaving her family and Jane devastated. Twenty years later, Jane is an archivist at a small London museum that is about to close for lack of funding. As a final research project--an endeavor inspired in part by her painful past--Jane surveys the archives for information related to another missing person: a woman who disappeared over one hundred years ago in the same woods where Lily was lost. As Jane pieces moments in history together, a portrait of a fascinating group of people starts to unfurl. Inexplicably tied to the mysterious disappearance of long ago, Jane finds tender details of their lives at the country estate and in the asylum that are linked to her own heartbroken world, and their story from all those years ago may now help Jane find a way to move on. In riveting, beautiful prose, The World Before Us explores the powerful notion that history is a closely connected part of us--kept alive by the resonance of our daily choices--reminding us of the possibility that we are less alone than we might think. From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
AISLINN HUNTER's acclaimed collection of stories, What's Left Us, was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Award and the ReLit Prize. Her poetry, Into the Early Hours, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize and won the Gerald Lampert Award. And her novel Stay (2002; reissued in 2013 by Anchor Canada) was a Globe and Mail Top 100 book, a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and has recently been made into a feature film starring Aidan Quinn and Taylor Schilling. The World Before Us is her first book of fiction in twelve years. After travelling to London and Edinburgh over the past few years to study for a PhD, Hunter now lives and teaches in Vancouver, British Columbia.