This is a review for The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 3 stars, I liked it.
When she was 15 years old Jane Standen lost track of 5 year old Lily while they were hiking. Lily was never found and Jane has never moved past that point in her life. Sure, she finished school, went to college and got a job but in her mind she has never moved past losing Lily.
Jane works for a small museum in London. The museum is closing and Jane is set adrift. The tides carry her back to the small town where Lily disappeared and where over a century before another girl disappeared. The past and Jane's life intersect and Jane wants to find out what happened to both girls.
I enjoyed this book. It deals with some very serious subject matter. Life, death, what happens after death, loss; how do you move on with your life after some traumatic event? Is it possible to put the pieces back together and if you do are you really the same person you were before?
The ending of this book feels unfinished, and due to the nature of the book, I believe that it is intentional. The whole tone of this book was very wistful and melancholy. It touches on some very serious subject matter and doesn't shy away from making the reader think. This book is very messy, not in a bad way, it is a truthful representation of a life. Lives are messy, things happen that are unpleasant, it is what we do with the mess that makes life beautiful. This book tells the messy story of a woman who never forgave herself for something that she feels is her fault. It is through the mess, the guilt, the self doubt, the poor decisions and the honesty of the life lived that this book tells it's story.
I definitely recommend this book. It isn't sappy, sweet or fluffy. It is honest, heartfelt and a little sad. It probably won't make you smile or laugh but it will stick with you. The questions it asks, the truths it uncovers and the way it shows that a thread tugged here can reverberate across many lives and many decades to affect other people will stay with the reader.
I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.