Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
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.
What Happens After Ever After ... ?
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY gives readers a peek into the cracks and doorways of magical worlds. Worlds of wonder and whimsy, and then asks: "What if you were to tumble into one of these enchanting realms?" EVERY HEART A DOORWAY tells the story of what happens after, the Ever After. When the children who have tumbled down the rabbit hole or entered that wardrobe are no longer wanted, their magic all used up.
“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”
This is the story of Nancy, who found her way into an enchanted realm, only to be brought back to our mere mortal and mundane one. What happens to the children then, after they are changed forever by their experience. This is where ELEANOR WEST'S HOME FOR WAYWARD CHILDREN comes in. A traveler herself, Eleanor's home is open to all children who no longer fit in, whose parents simply do not understand. Eleanor gives them a solution to their problem, a cure to their dilemma ... little do they know she was once a Wayward child herself.
“Doors opened everywhere. Maybe one day, the children of this world who had gone to that world to save themselves would see a door that didn't fit right with the walls around it, something with a doorknob made of a moon, or a knocker that winked. Maybe they could still go home.”
Lyrical, dark and enchanting, author Seanan McGuire packs a powerful story in this tiny novella. A coming-of-age tale nestled between a dark and foul murder mystery and the fantastical elements of a Grimm's Fairy Tale. I felt each character's longing to return to their world, and each one is crafted in the most delightfully oddly unique way. Whimsical and capricious, I adored each in all their strangeness. When our protagonist, Nancy, enters Eleanor's home for wayward children, she is enveloped by the bond the children all share - that each one wants desperately to return to a realm closed to them ... to find their way back ... no matter the cost. Trailing Nancy's arrival is a darkness as gruesome murders began to occur.
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY delivered everything I wanted in a fantasy read. I could/wanted to spend days in this book, but it ended, and I was left longing like the wayward children wanting to go back to its enchanted realm if only it would let me. Fantastic read!
"That was the Moors." Jack shook her head. "It was cruel and cold and brutal and beautiful, and I would give anything to go back there. Maybe it broke me in some deep, intrinsic way that I am incapable of seeing, just like Jill can't understand that she's not a normal girl anymore. I don't care. It was my home, and it finally let me be myself, and I hate it here."