Thursday, October 13, 2011

"The World As We Know It" by Joseph Monninger - Review

The World As We Know It
Author: Joseph Monninger
Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (October 11, 2011)
320 pages
ISBN: 9781451606348

About the Book:
On an early winter afternoon in rural New Hampshire, two brothers, Ed and Allard, set out to skate north on a river that leads to Canada when, not more than an hour from their house, they discover a girl who, with her dog, has broken through thin ice and is caught in the river's eddy. They are able to rescue her, and as a result, a special bond is formed between them.

As they grow up, all three remain close. The brothers work towards their dream of having their own film production company to shoot nature footage in the wild, with Sarah by their side every step of the way. Over the years, Allard and Sarah’s relationship has deepened, and they are happily planning a future together. In the days before the upcoming wedding, Ed and Allard, in one, last, celebratory bachelor outing, hike alone in a remote section of the Wind River mountain range in Wyoming, and tragedy strikes. That heartbreaking incident radically changes Allard and Sarah’s plans, and sets them on divergent paths that may never meet again.

My Thoughts:

I have been struggling with how to review this book as everything I try to say just seems to detract from the beauty and power of this touching story. Told from Allard's point of view, one is immersed in his life and love of both his brother, Ed, and his friend, Sarah. The three had a relationship that one could only envy - one that was pure and unbreakable, and a relationship that told a most beautiful story. Unfortunately, as will all things, tragedy steps in, and shakes the unbreakable.

I honestly couldn't put this book down. I was mesmerized with Allard's voice and how the story unfolded. I found laughter, tears, joy and pain woven throughout, and by the time I was finished, all I could do was close the book, hold it to my chest and just reflect. Mr. Monninger created one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read, and is truly one of my all-time favorites. There is nothing I can say to do it justice. Even now, days after I finished, I still can't find the right words but I when I think of Allard's story, a warm and comforting  feeling engulfs me. This story is unforgettable and Allard, Ed and Sarah have taken permanent residence in my memory.

About the Author:

Joseph Monninger, author of Eternal on the Water and co-author of The Letters with Luanne Rice, has published several award-winning YA novels and books of nonfiction, including Home Waters, New Jersey. He has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. He lives and teaches in New Hampshire.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher to read and honestly review.

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