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Extended Audio Sample The World as We Know It: A Novel, by Joseph Monninger Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (444 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Monninger Narrator: Michael Goldstrom Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the author of the acclaimed novel Eternal on the Water, whose style is described as “Henry David Thoreau meets Nicholas Sparks” (Publishers Weekly), comes a novel about two brothers who save a girl from drowning when they are young—an experience that intertwines their destinies and changes their lives forever.

On an early spring afternoon in rural New Hampshire, two brothers, Ed and Allard, are ice skating when they discover a girl who, with her dogs, has broken through thin ice and is caught in the river’s eddy. They are able to rescue her, and as a result, a special bond forms among all three—but particularly between Allard and Sarah.

As they grow up, the brothers remain close, creating their own film production company to shoot nature footage in the wild. Sarah, gaining success on her own as a writer, always manages to remain a part of their lives. In the days before Allard’s wedding, tragedy strikes during a bachelor’s outing in the remote mountains of Wyoming. The heartbreaking incident puts the grief-stricken Allard and Sarah on separate trajectories that will test the bonds of their relationship and time’s unremitting power to heal.

Set against the sweeping natural backdrops of rural New England and Wyoming, The World as We Know It is subtle, heartrending, and transformative—a love story of friendship, nature, and the surprising twists that can alter our destinies forever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Joe Monninger beautifully captures the essence of childhood adventure and the sweet innocence of falling in love for the first time. Fans of John Irving, you have a new author to love.”

    Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A tender, gentle, achingly beautiful tale that is impossible to put down.”

    Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The beauty and brutality of nature unfolds in The World as We Know It—a touching tale of love, the wounds of loss, and the fragile complexities with the human heart.”

    Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The combination of romantic love with adventure and bone-deep understanding of the wild is both compelling and transcendent…With echoes of Hemingway, The World as We Know It is nothing short of brilliant.”

    Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Monninger’s imagery resonates long into the night, while your lamp burns oil because you cannot put the book down until the last page is turned.”

    Romantic Times (four stars)

  • “Critically acclaimed Monninger, known for outstanding character development and lavish landscapes, does it again with this tale of young New Hampshire brothers and the world they construct…Monninger presents a fascinating exploration about true love, fate, and the roads taken in life.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Monninger has homed in on the beauty and cruelty of the natural world in this gripping and moving story of loss and understanding. Readers…will revel in Monninger’s warm and graceful descriptions of rural New Hampshire and his adept understanding of the landscape of human relationships.”


  • “This ruminative, poetic novel may resonate with modern fiction readers as well as lovers of the outdoors.”

    Library Journal

  • “As a narrator, Goldstrom strengthens the novel’s perspective on how grief and the pivotal moments it brings can change the course of a life, the people involved, and a story.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lori | 2/20/2014

    " I was hooked right away, then lost interest midway, stuck with it, and got into it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lauren Nobles rhodes | 2/18/2014

    " Half way in the book got good. It's a touching, sweet little read. If the first half wasn't so slow...it would have gotten a better rating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lori | 2/14/2014

    " Hmmm... It's a lovely book in a lot of ways. Well-written, and a beautiful portrait of a happy, rural community in New England. But the obvious foreshadowing to the tragedy in the middle of the book was almost distracting because I knew it was coming and found myself hurrying along because I just wanted to get it over with. The second half was different than I thought it would be, but not in a bad way. I was happy it ended well. Basically, I liked it. Didn't love it, but it was worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Carmie | 1/28/2014

    " It's clear that Joseph Monninger has both a deep love and connection to the rural New England landscape and the setting alone captured my attention. Brothers, Ed and Allard Keer set out one day to skate the frozen rivers to Canada. On their journey, they rescue a girl (Sarah) who has fallen through the thin part of the ice. This fateful day changes their lives forever. Allard and Sarah share an instant connection and a moment of destiny. Their lives become intertwined against an idyllic setting. Seriously, I could almost see the Norman Rockwell painting of this trio! Although their lives seem charmed, it's clear that it's the forces of nature that will both bring people together and tear them apart. I really wanted to love this novel, but the characters always fell just a bit flat to me. Ed, Allard and Sarah just couldn't compare to the magnificent backdrop of the New England countryside. I truly liked the idea of a single moment changing the trajectory of one's life, but ultimately, I wanted more from Allard and Sarah. I also never felt that the pacing was quite right. On the flip side though, in the right hands, this book could be adapted into a terrific film. There were moments as I read that I could almost see the screen adaptation and it could be a movie I might love (or at least the cinematography). "

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