The World as We Know It

Plans sometimes go awry.

"Years ago, on a cold New Hampshire day, my brother and I tried to skate to Canada" - so begins the tale of the fateful day when Allard and Ed and Sarah would be brought together.

How their lives would be intertwined by love and tragedy is beautifully told - in one elegant sentence after the other - by acclaimed author Joseph Monninger in his latest book, "The World as We Know It" [Simon & Schuster, $15].

It brims with the light and dark of life - love and loss, courage and cowardice, the beauty and cruelty of nature.

As they skate that day, brothers Allard and Ed rescue Sarah from the icy river and a powerful bond between the three is forged.

But it is Allard and Sarah who fall in love ("It was our first great love and it was tender and eager and everywhere"). It grows stronger through their teen years and, finally, a wedding is in the offing. But a celebratory bachelor outing by the brothers goes terribly wrong and everything changes. A wonderful read anytime, but especially for a cold winter's night.

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