The World As We Know It

The World As We Know It

A lifetime of friendship begins the day brothers Ed and Allard save Sarah from drowning in an icy river near their rural New Hampshire home. Though their paths diverge through the years, the connection between the three endures until a heartbreaking tragedy in the remote mountains of Wyoming forces Sarah and Allard to confront the unthinkable. In their grief, they find themselves on separate journeys that test the enduring bonds of their relationship and time’s unremitting power to heal. Poignant and transformative, The World as We Know It is subtle and heartrending—a love story of friendship, nature, and the surprising twists that can alter our destinies forever.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451606348 | 
  • October 2011
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The World As We Know It includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Joseph Monninger. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.



As adolescents in rural Maine, Ed and Allard Keer save the life of Sarah Patrick, their new neighbor, who has fallen through a thin patch of river ice. As a result, a kind of special bond is formed among the three, but especially between Allard and Sarah, who eventually fall in love. The three of them grow up together, with the dream to work someday together at their own nature film production company. It seems that nothing, including jealousy or separation, can part them—until Ed’s accidental death mere days before Allard and Sarah’s wedding. Unable to make sense of or reconcile himself to his brother’s death, Allard buries himself in his work, avoiding his family and his fiancé, until two years later, when an assignment brings them back together. Reunited with those most important to him, he is finally able to put the memory of his brother to rest.



Topics and Questions For Discussion


1. Nat see more

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About the Author

Joseph Monninger
Photograph by Jon Gilbert Fox

Joseph Monninger

Joseph Monninger has published several award-winning YA novels and three books of nonfiction, including the memoir Home Waters, and has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. He lives and teaches in New Hampshire, where he also runs a dog sled team.