The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter
Today Jane is thirty-five and working as an archivist at a private museum created over a hundred years ago and about to shut its doors forever. She becomes obsessed with old records after finding an entry about a girl who disappeared on the lands adjacent to an old asylum’s grounds. Only one entry is made about N— going missing. Nothing else is ever written and Jane is determined to solve the mystery because she is still trying to understand an event from twenty years ago. Jane, fifteen years old, was to watch over Lily, aged five, as her father searched out plants from gardens created a hundred years ago. Lily was running along the path seeking out numbered markers and rounded a curve in the path to find the next in the series.When Jane made the turn shortly after the little girl was gone, never to be seen again. N— disappeared from the same location, could the two be related somehow?
The author does a really interesting thing with the narrative. In the beginning of the book “we” is talking about their feelings and experiences and over the course of the next few sections it becomes clear that “we” is an entity made up of a number of ghosts all trying to piece together who they were in life. As the book goes on “we” becomes identifiable individuals. It’s a cool concept and the author does it really well. However, I had a problem with the ending. Maybe I missed something huge, but I don’t think I did. One of the storylines is never resolved and it drove me nuts. The whole point of Jane’s research into the past is to try to piece together how two disappearances may be related yet we never have a resolution for one of them. I am a huge fan of the open ending, but this was a little too wide open for me.
This book is released on March 31, 2015.