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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT is a book you'll treasure and want to reread again one day
Brothers Allard and Ed Keer are thoughtful, contented boys who seem joined at the hip. To say their family is close would be an underestimation. Mr. and Mrs. Keer are delightful folks, the kind who appreciate a simple life of understated beauty and sentimentality. Nature is their arena, and their children want no other life than the one they've been given. Surrounding...
Published on October 31, 2011 by Bookreporter

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sweet but lacking
I was disappointed in this book especially after reading the reviews. I was excited to read it and enjoyed the first chapter or two, but then found it to be lacking plot and depth. At times I felt like I was reading a novel for Fourth Graders. The writing was a bit corny to me and very mundane. I kept waiting for SOMETHING to happen and it didn't until I found myself...
Published 20 months ago by Violet Grace


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT is a book you'll treasure and want to reread again one day, October 31, 2011
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The World As We Know It (Paperback)
Brothers Allard and Ed Keer are thoughtful, contented boys who seem joined at the hip. To say their family is close would be an underestimation. Mr. and Mrs. Keer are delightful folks, the kind who appreciate a simple life of understated beauty and sentimentality. Nature is their arena, and their children want no other life than the one they've been given. Surrounding their sensible New Hampshire home is a picturesque green country, a mix of charming, wistful childhood experiences, and visions of a land that seems nearly untouched by humans.

While ice skating on the river one day along with his brother, Allard's daily routine is broken upon his discovery of a beautiful girl in desperate trouble. A stranger has fallen through the ice at its weakest point in frigid December water. She is not panicking, just struggling to hold on to her frightened dog, fighting the strong undercurrent. She and the animal are clearly within minutes of a fatal accident. In the dead of winter, the Keer boys see that the stars must have aligned perfectly for them to arrive in time. They just manage to get her out, but, in the process, Allard nearly goes under, falling in with her and being swept by the current under a shelf of ice. Miraculously, Allard and Sarah both survive and go on to see the experience as prophetic and rare. From that day forward, they are inseparable and become happy soulmates.

This bright new addition to Allard's and Ed's blissful natural life is one who will bring the Keer and Patrick families together. Both the kids and parents become instant, lifelong friends. And it turns out that Sarah ---- in spite of her startling beauty --- is a down-to-earth girl. Joyous and carefree, she comes from good working-class stock and believes in living simply in spite of the fact that she is rich. She spends every waking moment with the Keer boys and, through the years, sets up dreams and possibilities of settling down on the Keer land permanently. The three share a passion for film and nature, and set their hearts on going into business together. They intend to start a wildlife film company called "The Baker River Productions" and envision a future that will change the way people see wildlife.

We know, of course, that life is not so easy. No one gets by without getting hit by a few curve balls, at least not in real life. Events drive a wedge between the happy couple and force them apart, and before their love story is decided, Allard and Sarah come full circle twice. The book takes readers across picturesque areas that span North America, starting in the lovely green countryside of New Hampshire and venturing into more wild, untamed territories and mountains like the Wind Rivers and Gannet Peak in Wyoming. Far north, the trail bends into frozen winter landscape in Northern Canada, inspiring readers with extraordinary visions of animals of many varieties --- fearsome and simple --- narwhals singing, creatures cavorting, nature as an overwhelmingly beautiful and deadly force.

Ask yourself when the last time it was that you read a book so beautiful and agonizing that it made you cry for joy and sorrow. THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT does that. Filled with picturesque visions of nature and people, this love story is about healing and the things that really matter in life. Joseph Monninger has a perfect recipe for passion and a meaningful, down-to-earth existence. I can't imagine this book not appealing to readers. The joys of being alive fill all the senses and leave you inspired, knowing what it means to be truly happy. Monninger's prose is near-perfect; he never rambles and uses his gifts to speak to the reader's soul. I can promise you --- particularly if you love romances --- that THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT is a book you'll treasure and want to reread again one day.

Reviewed by Melanie Smith
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mesmerizing, October 19, 2011
This review is from: The World As We Know It (Paperback)
first let me say i'm a joseph monninger fan. i loved ETERNAL ON THE WATER and his young adult novels as well.
this book pushed my buttons as his work always does, because he understands the human heart and can express the emotions of his characters in ways that open my eyes. in fact he opens all my senses with his beautiful language and simple but perfect insights.
i loved the brothers in this story, and how they remained true to each other even when a girl entered the picture. i also loved the relationship between sarah and allard, which was completely believable and beautifully drawn. and when the terrible thing happened, i understood completely how it changed everything, how it ripped them all apart even though they needed each other more than ever.
this is an author who teaches me about life and helps me to understand myself, and he also teaches me about the outside world, from polar bears to barn-raising. this is my next book club pick for sure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sweet but lacking, March 21, 2013
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I was disappointed in this book especially after reading the reviews. I was excited to read it and enjoyed the first chapter or two, but then found it to be lacking plot and depth. At times I felt like I was reading a novel for Fourth Graders. The writing was a bit corny to me and very mundane. I kept waiting for SOMETHING to happen and it didn't until I found myself skimming over pages to finally get to the heart of the book.

Finally, my eyes were once again glued to the page and then it all became extremely predictable. It also seemed to jump way too fast for me and in hardly any time, they "all lived happily everafter!"

I guess if you want some light reading and enjoy a simply romantic story, this one is for you. I need more substance to a story, more twists and turns, more heart. The words were sweet and a few parts of it were good, but the rest left me bored and wanting more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nature is both wonderous and cruel...., October 17, 2011
By 
dcbooklover (washington, dc) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The World As We Know It (Paperback)
How do you react to unexpected tragedy? What does your life look like when it is unexpectedly divided into "before" and "after"? Those are some of the hard questions faced by the characters in this powerful novel. When the novel begins, two brothers (Ed and Allard) in winter New Hampshire save a young girl (Sarah) from drowning when she and her dog fall through the ice into a river. So begins a powerful friendship that, for Allard and Sarah, develops into something more. Years later, on the eve of their wedding, tragedy strikes and blows their world into chaos.

This book is both extraordinarily simple and extremely complex. The three main characters are wholesome, grounded, and somewhat insulated by their hearty, remote, natural environment. But behind the straightforward, unpretentious exterior of these characters is a surprising amount of depth and complexity. They are uncommonly mature and focused from a young age on what they want for their collective future (a career in animal/nature filmmaking). They are also incredibly expressive and educated and have the kind of parents who inspire and guide without restriction. I found the entire book to be captivating. The tragedy that forms the central dividing line of the book (and the characters' lives) is heartbreaking. Even more so is the reaction of the characters and the resulting impact on their futures. Although the characters bear little resemblance to most young people today, particularly their lack of interest in and reliance on technology and "popular" topics, they remain accessible and likeable. This is a book that would appeal to a very wide audience.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The World As We Know It, October 18, 2011
By 
grumpydan (Andover, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The World As We Know It (Paperback)
This book is the story of brothers Ed and Allard and the girl they save from drowning one winter day in New Hampshire. It is the tale of their friendship and the love that Al and Sarah (the girl) have for one another. It follows them as they raise pigeons in their barn, start filming them and become documentary filmmakers. It also shows the development of the true love that Sara and Al feel for one another. And then one day a tragic event occurs that chances everything.

This is an inspirational novel of love and friendship in the same vein as Nicholas Sparks. It will leave you teary-eyed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engrossing tale of life and love, March 26, 2012
By 
book reader "mary" (Santa Barbara, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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I've been on a streak of reading so-so books, so "The World As We Know It" was a wonderful breath of fresh air. I enjoyed every page. Author Joseph Monninger writes beautifully and the characters are richly drawn. We care about them deeply and feel their emotional highs and lows. The story takes place over many years and explores the deep bond between two brothers and the girl they save from drowning when they are children. I was moved to tears several times, stayed up late reading it and didn't want it to end. This is the first of Joseph Monninger's books that I have read, and I will definitely be reading the others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved this book, March 13, 2012
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I really enjoyed this book! It was so sweet and heartbreaking. I kept waiting for the characters to disappoint me, but they never did...even in their weakest moments. I did not think the book was too heavily weighted on the description of the setting. The setting almost became an extra character. It was simple and beautiful. The book was a quick read and I will think about the characters long afer the last page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful - you wont be able to put it down!, February 23, 2012
By 
B. Harrison (Exeter, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
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All I can say is unbeleiveable! Mr Monninger was a High School English teacher of mine in the late 70's. When I saw that he had authored some books I had to read one. I am hooked! Never would I have thought that I would enjoy a "love story," but this was so much more. The depth of emotion, and the reality of the characters made them seem like old friends to me. Depsite the tears, I didnt want it to end.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous writing..but, September 29, 2012
Although the story of Allard and Sarah was extremely well written, there were two big drawbacks for me. One is that the back cover summary reveals too much of the plot and I knew before reading which character would not survive--really a shame. It was have been far more gripping if readers didn't see that coming. Second, the argument between Allard and Sarah surrounding the Dartmouth climbers did little to foreshadow aspects of their characters that were to be revealed in the end...it seemed unrelated and pointless to the story and too neatly and quickly "wrapped up" as they seemed to make up easily after such a fight. The writing style is descriptive and gorgeous, eliciting vivid emotional and sensory images, and believe me, I cried at many scenes. If you are looking for a beautiful read and can overlook the spoiler on the back and some weaker plot elements, I would recommend The World as We Know It.
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5.0 out of 5 stars just because it's hard to know what to say about a book that you love so much, October 9, 2014
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This review is from: The World As We Know It (Paperback)
It's taken me a few days to get this review written, just because it's hard to know what to say about a book that you love so much. I just loved everything about this book. The storyline was great, the characters were loveable, the writing was absolutely poetical, and I just could not put it down (once I actually had time to read it!).

I'm recommending this book to pretty much everyone I know, I loved it so much. It was the first book by this author I've read, and am now looking forward to checking out more of his novels.
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The World As We Know It
The World As We Know It by Joseph Monninger (Paperback - October 11, 2011)
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