“The world before us” Aislinn Hunter

Rated 2 stars ** ARC. Hogarth (Random House). Published March 31, 2015.

TheWorldBeforeUsJane Standen, a 34-year-old archivist, has spent her life berating herself for losing Lily, a 5-year-old girl who was supposed to be in her charge when she was babysitting her at the young age of 15. The young girl was never heard from again.

Jane has dedicated herself to live through the memories of others in her work as an archivist, finding herself drawn to the lives of patients in a mental institution outside of London in 1877 when a girl named N— disappeared. Interspersed with Jane’s daily musings are recollections of what happened the day Lily disappeared. Joining the mishmash of happenings is a cast of motley characters from 1877 who share their own version of memories about N— and their roles in the institution, which oftentimes left me scratching my head in confusion.

It took me a long time to read this book because I couldn’t “get into” it. I found it very boring, found Jane to have a complete lack of backbone, and seemed to be missing the¬†connection between what happened to Lily and what happened to N—. Thus I will leave it up to you to decide if You want to Read it or Not.


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