Extended Audio Sample

Download The World before Us Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The World before Us, by Aislinn Hunter Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Aislinn Hunter Narrator: Fiona Hardingham Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $22.50 Download
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $18.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Download learn more )

Deep in the woods of northern England, somewhere between a dilapidated estate and an abandoned Victorian asylum, fifteen-year-old Jane Standen lived through a nightmare. She was babysitting a sweet young girl named Lily, and in one fleeting moment during their outdoor adventure, she lost her. The little girl was never found, leaving her family and Jane devastated.

Twenty years later, Jane is an archivist at a small London museum that is about to close for lack of funding. As a final research project—an endeavor inspired in part by her painful past—Jane surveys the archives for information related to another missing person: a woman who disappeared some 125 years ago in the same woods where Lily was lost. As Jane pieces moments in history together, a compelling portrait of a fascinating group of people starts to unfurl. Inexplicably tied to the mysterious disappearance of long ago, Jane finds tender details of their lives at the country estate and in the asylum that are linked to her own presently heartbroken world, and the story from all those years ago may now help Jane find a way to move on.

In riveting, beautiful prose, The World before Us explores the powerful notion that history is a closely connected part of us—kept alive by the resonance of our daily choices—reminding us of the possibility that we are less alone today than we might think.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A novel of considerable beauty, threaded with violence and pain, a melancholic book with moments of grace and joy…the sort of novel which forces you to look at the world—the people around you, the objects they hold dear—in a different light.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “A richly layered narrative harmonizing the past and present, dissolving the boundaries of time frames and showing the possible connection between people and places and object.”

    Vancouver Sun (Canada)

  • “Intricate in both expression and construction and dense in thematic implication, The World before Us cleverly innovates while tipping a nod to classic Gothic tropes: dynastic rivalries, crumbling country houses, madhouses, and vanished girls.”

    National Post (Toronto)

  • “Intricately composed and gripping…With The World Before Us, [Hunter] has created her most ambitious and original work.”

    Quill and Quire

  • 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, author of The Lost Garden and Coventry

  • “Narrator Fiona Hardingham holds the mystical aspects of the tale in check by her gentle, careful performance…The ghosts of the past are literally around Jane, and listeners hear them bringing a sense of history to the narrative. Hardingham performs them as people who are as real as Jane, since that’s how they see themselves. Hunter characterizes Jane as a person of deep introspection, and Hardingham narrates with thoughtful deliberateness. Her sedate pace keeps this magical book sounding true to life.”


Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
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 book of poetry, Into the Early Hours, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize and won the Gerald Lampert Award. Her second collection of poetry The Possible Past was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Pat Lowther Award. Her novel Stay was a Globe and Mail  Top 100 book, and has recently been made into a feature film. 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.