World Before Us
Aislinn Hunter

Book cover image

Narrated By: Fiona Hardingham

Duration: 12 hours and 38 minutes

What to expect

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter, read by Fiona Hardingham.

'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)


Modern & contemporary fiction, Historical fiction

Listen to a sample

A complex, subtle, and utterly haunting meditation on memory, history, and mortality. This book is magnificent

Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

Sensitive, melancholy, sharply observant. A work of great power


Beguiling, richly suggestive . . . a tantalising mystery


Daring and mesmerizing. A haunting, irresistible story and an urgent mystery about what it means to pass through this life. Absorbing, luminous and powerfully human

Alison MacLeod, author of Unexploded

An original and intelligent novel about the past and its persistent power in the present

Sunday Times

Strange and absorbing . . . I relished this book