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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.
As I hated them as a child, of course I had to write a review this way. That’s my High Logic combating my High Nonsense for you. You’re welcome.
► START HERE : Have you ever wished that you could escape this world and discover another one in which you would really belong?
■ YES : Go to #1
■ NO : Go to #8
#0 “This world is unforgiving and cruel to those it judges as even the slightest bit outside the norm.” Want more? Go to #3
#1 First off, welcome! You’re about to start a fantastic journey, full of adventures, friendships, betrayals, suspicions….. Okaaaay I’m overdoing it. When starting Every Heart a Doorway, you shouldn’t expect an action-packed novel, because it couldn’t be further from what you’ll get.
► Are you still interested in this perfect mix of creepy atmosphere and hilarious dark humor?
■ YES : Go to #2
■ NO : Go to #10
#2 Not to say that this novel was plotless, because an important part of the story revolved around a murder mystery, but in my opinion its strength lay elsewhere : in the issues dealt with, first of these being the way we humans need to satisfy our thirst for acceptance and understanding – for hope.
► Now tell me, how would you describe your relationship with morally ambiguous characters?
■ I’d rather not say : Go to #5
■ Pretty good, actually : Go to #4
■ God, I hate them : Go to #7
#3 Sometimes you find friendship in the most unexpected places, you know? Of course, of course, a boarding school shouldn’t be so surprising a place, but given that 99% of the students want to run away elsewhere and suffer from some kind of PTSD, bonding with each other is often easier said than done. Yet Candy, Kade, Jack, Jill, Sumi and Christopher (Skeleton Boy! I would call dibs, but that would be Neanderthal-ish, wouldn’t it? Sigh) delighted me with their interactions. Fantastic characters’ dynamics, really.
► Need more convincing? How about some quotes, okay?
■ “Because ‘boys will be boys’ is a self-fulfilling prophecy…” Go to #6
■ “This is not an asylum, and you are not mad – and so what if you were?…” Go to #0
■ “If they corner her because they’ve decided I’m guilty, she’s liable to hurt someone just so she can get away…” Go to #9
■ “Time resumed…” Go to #11
#4 Seanan McGuire‘s characters aren’t morally ambiguous, they use different scales of values as reference. And yes, by that I mean that each and every one of them offers a different definition for the old Goods and Evils. Their past in the fantastic world they discovered and the way their life unfolded once they returned “Home” – they matter : These characters are different, intriguing and fascinating. You should know that they’re disturbing too, though.
► Alright – Are you ready to meet the oddest group of friends?
■ YES : Go to #3
■ NO : Go to #10
#5 BAHAHAHAHAHA REALLY, did you think you could get away with this? Go to #4
#6 “Call it irony, if you like, but we spend so much time waiting for our boys to stray that they never have the opportunity. We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.” Want more? Go to #3
#7 The funny thing is, this is not relevant. Go to #4
#8 : I don’t know what to tell you, really. I mean, have you watched the news? Please go watch the news.
■ If you changed your mind : Go to #1
■ If you didn’t : Go to #10
#9 “I’d rather not get expelled right after I’ve disposed of a body. Seems like a waste of good acid.” Want more? Go to #3
#10 : Hey, no hard feelings, but GAME OVER. Try again?
#11 : “Time had a way of doing that.” Want more? Go to #3
PS. Tell me, was it supposed to be hilarious? Because somehow I couldn’t stop laughing? Or is it yet another case of, Anna, really, your sense of humor sucks big time? I guess we’ll never know.