The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter

In The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter, we meet Jane Standen, an archivist for a small London museum who is haunted by her past. When she was 15 years old, she lost sight of the 5-year-old girl who she was babysitting for only a few minutes during an adventure in the forest, and the young girl was never seen again. Now, she’s researching the similar disappearance of a woman from a mental asylum 125 years ago as part of her archival work. Hunter weaves past and present in this story of loss. I’d never read anything quite like this book–it was nostalgic and grief-stricken, but hopeful and poetic. It was historical fiction, suspense, and a ghost story all wrapped up in one. A book to be slowly devoured over a cup of tea. (Submitted by Meghan).

Aislinn’s book has been selected for KPU Reads. Meet Aislinn in person at Semiahmoo Library on Thursday, March 10 at 7pm. Call 604-592-6908 to save your spot.

Join Aislinn for a writing workshop, “Creating a Real World: 10 Tips for Writing Great Fiction,” at Write Here, Read Now on Sat, April 12 at City Centre Library from 10:15-11:45am. Call 604-598-7426 to save your spot.

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Unbroken: a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Sometimes the truth is far more unbelievable than fiction could ever be. The life of Louis Zamperini would fit into this category.  After his plane crashes in the Pacific during a search and rescue mission he survives for weeks in a tiny inflatable boat before being picked up by a Japanese ship and sent to a POW camp where he is mercilessly persecuted by a guard who is determined to break him.  This is the story of Louis, his life, struggles, and ultimately his redemption.  Laura Hildenbrand is a true storyteller.  No movie can capture what Louis actually had to go through.  Like her other books, I found that this book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. (Submitted by Braden).

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Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl has just lost her mother, and has gone through a painful divorce. In a desperate attempt to try to make sense of her life she embarks on a lone hike along 1100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Through this challenging (physically and emotionally) journey she regains her strength and finds her healing. After listening to this audiobook you will be truly inspired. I was inspired by Cheryl. I tried to imagine myself embarking on a similar journey. (Submitted by Ilona).

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All the Light We Cannot See — Anthony Doerr

At the outbreak of World War 2, the blind Marie-Laure and her father escape the city to the coastal town of Saint-Malo to seek safety with her Uncle.  Her story is contrasted by Werner the German orphan who is recruited into the German army because of his abilities with radios.  The stories of Marie-Laure and Werner bounce back and forth between the chapters until they finally converge.  What I liked most about this story was the detail into Marie-Laure’s life.  The way her father designed a scale model of their neighborhood so she could memorize routes and landmarks to help her get around on her own. (Submitted by Braden)

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A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett

Amanda, a Canadian freelance journalist from Alberta, likes traveling around the world. She visits Kabul, Baghdad, Addis Ababa, Cairo, and finally, Somalia, where she is a captured and kept in captivity for 460 days. The book is a moving account of how Amanda stayed alive and how strength, endurance and the spirit of forgiveness can help a person to survive even the darkest moments.  I was really inspired and touched by the journey Amanda has made and her willingness to share this story and to forgive her abusers. (Submitted by Ilona)

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