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.
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.
“Once in a rare while a novel comes along to remind us of what great fiction can do: creating a world so sublimely felt that, for the hours we spend reading, we are lifted out of our own lives, and when we return we find ourselves immeasurably altered and enriched. The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter is such a novel. It is a brilliant work of humanity and imagination, artful and breathtakingly beautiful, and it will continue to haunt long after you have finished reading.” —Helen Humphreys