Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.
Title: Every Heart A Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: Every Heart A Doorway (Book 1)
My Edition: A hardcover from Tor, published in 2016 with 173 pages
Age: Young Adult (17+)
Genres: Mystery, Novella, Fantasy
WHY THIS BOOK
Look at the cover. I mean, the cover is just absolutely stunning, and the synopsis just swallowed me right into the book and I couldn’t stop reading it.
It isn’t often that I give the plot a “low” score, especially not a worse score than the characters, but this book’s plot kind of confused me. Okay, so imagine this: you’ve gone through something amazing, you’ve finally found yourself completely, but you’ve lost it. That one thing that made you feel like you were finally complete and yourself, you’ve completely lost it. You’re 17 years old and you’re sent to a school because your parents thinks something’s wrong with you. You enter the school, and at first it seems as if everyone is speaking gibberish, you can’t really understand what this is all about, but then you figure out that all the other kids there has gone through the same thing as you.
The plot is not completely “new”, but it was interesting as I found the characters and the thoughts of these characters so intriguing. I wanted to know more about them and their pasts and futures. Okay, so you’ve come to this school because one day you stumbled through a magical door, landing in a magical world pretty much shaped to fit you in a weird way. It sounds pretty cool, and I liked the base of the story – but then it unfolded to become something entirely different and I kind of lost “interest”.
One of the things that really caught my attention was the fact that I saw this as kind of a “metaphoric” book where all these kids had landed in this school because they were in fact survivors of something terrible. Like for example that their magical worlds weren’t really worlds, but maybe prisons in some crazy pedophile man’s cave. That’s what I thought, and I think that the book can also be interpreted that way. But, the book is mainly about these kids, the school, and something terrible that happens while they’re there.
The writing in this book was absolutely amazing. I think Seanan McGuire thrumps every author I’ve ever written with this 170-pages novella because it’s just beautiful. Throughout the book I had so many updates on Goodreads, and my notebook where I keep track of absolutely everything in books so that I can go back and read them – are more than I’ve ever had, and this book is 170 pages long!
I loved how McGuire described Eleanor in the beginning of the book with this simple line;
“She was a story, not an epilogue.”
And when she fired this line in the book, I was mindblown because it’s such a strong line:
“We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.”
I’m sure you can get somewhat of a understanding about what I mean about her writing by this because it’s just beautiful. How she describes and tells this story is just amazing, and I felt like I learned a lot from this book in the ways of writing.
All though I don’t want to go into specifics about the characters, because I really don’t want to spoil this book, I want to point out some of the things that caught my eye and attention. I absolutely LOVE the fact that Seanan McGuire brings in some characters that have a somewhat conventional sexual orientations, or at least sexual orientations that aren’t as normal to put in books. Transsexual, asexual and generally queer teens. It’s just amazing, and I want to praise her for doing so, for making it a normal thing, as something not scary and shameful. It made my eyes open a little bit, because I’m not as informed about for example asexuality, and I felt like this opened my eyes a little because of her taking on that.
I also like that this book shines lights on the fact that we all have our own personalities, our own ways of dealing with things, and we all have some small, dark and twisted part of ourselves, and I feel like Seanan McGuire captured that in every single character in just 170 pages. It was just an amazing adventure getting to know these characters, and I’m really looking forward to reading book 2.
I really liked the ending, I really, really did, and all though I don’t want to say if it has a happy or sad ending, I want to point out that it was an unexpected ending, one I actually didn’t see coming. And I loved it.
ALL TAKEN UNDER CONSIDERATION
I adore this book, and I want everyone to read it. I want this to be a bigger, more well-known book than it is. I really really liked it, and I normally don’t go for adult books because I seriously hate it when I feel “old” haha, but this book just blew me away and I absolutely loved it. So, go buy it and tell me all about it in the comments!
Page 17 / 9% “‘She was a story, not an epilogue'”
Page 29 / 16% “‘Because hope is a knife that can cut through the foundations of the world'”
Page 40 / 23% “‘I never did like to leave a story unfinished'”
Page 43 / 24% “Wait, what?”
Page 59 / 34% “‘We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.'”
Page 74 / 42% “:O noo”
Page 84 / 48% “‘There was peace in stillness, a serenity that couldn’t be found anywhere else in this hot, fast, often terrible world.’ The writing in this book omg it’s so beautiful!”
Page 112 / 64% “Whaaat”
Page 164 / 94% “‘Time resumed. Time had a way of doing that.'”