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About the book
  • Published: 28 March 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241970706
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $24.99

The World Before Us




In 1877 a woman disappears from an asylum in the remote Yorkshire countryside, slipping into the woods and out of the pages of history. Over a hundred years later, in the same stretch of tangled woodland, fifteen-year-old Jane takes her eyes off the little girl she's babysitting for a moment and the girl is gone, never to be found.

'A tantalising mystery... beguiling and richly suggestive' Metro
Jane was fifteen when her life changed for ever. In the woods surrounding a Yorkshire country house, she took her eyes off the little girl she was minding and the girl slipped into the trees - never to be seen again.
Now an adult, Jane is obsessed with another disappearance: that of a young woman who walked out of a Victorian lunatic asylum one day in 1877. As Jane pieces together moments in history, forgotten stories emerge - of sibling jealousy, illicit affairs, and tragic death . . .
'Strange and absorbing . . . I relished this book' - Penelope Lively, The New York Times Book Review

'Sensitive, melancholy, sharply observant. A work of great power' - Guardian

'Ambitious, inticate . . . cleverly innovates while tipping a nod to classic Gothic tropes: dynastic rivalries, crumbling country houses, madhouses and vanished girls' National Post (Canada)
'A brilliant work of humanity and imagination, artful and breathtakingly beautiful. It will continue to haunt long after you have finished reading' Helen Humphreys, author of Nocturne
'Powerful, thought-provoking, haunting and haunted . . . Reminiscent of A.S. Byatt's Possession, it forces you to look at the world - the people around you, the objects they hold dear - in a different light' Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • Pub date: 28 March 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241970706
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $24.99

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