Description from the publisher :
“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.”
This little book from the Tor.com line has been receiving quite a bit of buzz since its release so I was very curious to give it a try. I listened to the audiobook (narrated by Cynthia Hopkins) because I had absolutely no time to read this month (as you may have seen by the total lack of reviews on the blog recently). I finally finished my finals so I am on vacation! Finally! I don’t even know what I am going to do with all of my free time, so far it’s super weird but I am sure that I will find things to do (like catch up on a ton of reviews and READ).
Anyway, Every Heart a Doorway follows the idea of what happens to childrens when they return from fairyland and how they cope with our reality. It received a lot of praise from people I trust and I can safely say that I wasn’t disappointed at all in it.
This a short book (178 pages) but for me it had a really good pacing andif you are not a big fan of shorter works in general, I would highly recommend reading this because, it’s sufficiently long to have a really interesting worldbuilding, character development and a good plot while still remaining under 200 pages (which is pretty rare for a fantasy book).
I really enjoyed Every Heart a Doorway and, for me it tackled a lot of interesting themes like what it’s like to belong somewhere and how change can affect your life and your behaviour. I could really relate to a lot of what the main characters felt eventhough, infortunetely, I obviously never went to a fairyland-like world. I also really loved how diverse fairyland worlds were depicted: in all their crazy, weird, joyful and yet macabre way.
I had some tiny issues with this book like the fact that I wished the boarding school was a little bit more used (I would have liked to see more classes about fantastical worlds because I am all about magic schools) and I wished I had known beforehand about the murder mystery elements (it’s not a spoiler, it’s actually on the description of the book that I didn’t read entirely before picking it up because I like going mostly blind into books, so I guess it’s my fault 😛 ). However, the book still really worked for me and it has such amazing parts on how it is to grow up feeling different that I can really excuse the tiny issues I had with it.
Highly recommended, I am so glad that McGuire is going to write other novellas in this world (eventhough you can read this as a standalone 🙂 ).