The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter is a novel about the life of Jane afterbeing employed as a nanny Jane looses a child while on a walk with both the little girl, Lily and her father. Jane is only 15 years old when this incident happens but it is a turning point from which she never recovers for the rest of her life. The walk happens on the grounds of an old estate and insane asylum. Jane does grow up and 20 years later becomes an archivist for the small Museum which is a part of the asylum's estate. The ghosts of the asylum are always around Jane watching her with interest and they add their own interest to the story. When the museum for which Jane works announces it closure and they employ a speaker for their final closing it turns out to be the famous William Eliot, the girl's father, who has just won the Chester-Wood prize. Jane is interested in seeing him again until he begins to speak and his speech is on the asylum and the research he has done which is the same research that Jane has been working on. Jane is instantly angered and when he finishes and walks down slaps him soundly across the face. Jane's research was centered on the years ago loss of a girl from the asylum and the similarities to the loss of the girl in Jane's past. Jane leaves the museum closing celebration and quickly steals a car and goes back to explore the old buildings left on the asylum site and finds a young man, into which she quickly forms a friendship.
I found this story a difficult read. I started this story and put it down often. I found it confusing especially in the beginning. The ghosts of the asylum's past intermingle with the present story and it takes a little while to figure out where everyone fits. There is a mix into the story of possible child abuse but it is never fully explained which further complicates the story. Jane after the slapping incident then becomes sexually involved with a very young man. There is just a lot going on in this one book. I would only recommend this book for reading by adults and I think that they are all who would have an interest.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.