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.
The girls were never present for the entrance interviews. Only their parents, their guardians, their confused siblings, who wanted so much to help them but didn’t know how. It would have been too hard on the prospective students to sit there and listen as the people they loved most in all the world—all this world, at least—dismissed their memories as delusions, their experiences as fantasy, their lives as some intractable illness.
I can’t believe it took me so long to find Seanan McGuire. Since receiving Seasonal Fears as an eARC earlier this year and absolutely loving both it and Middlegame, I’ve been dying to delve further into her archive, albeit fearful of what I may find. Because everything she writes is just that little bit off of centre with a hint of horror, it seems impossible that every book would be as good as the first you read, yet somehow it is.
Every Heart a Doorway takes a small aspect of Narnia and blows it up into a pandemic. An entire world filled with doorways to an unknown number of worlds where not everyone is welcome, not everyone wants to stay, but some can never forget. This school for wayward children is fascinating. The children are fascinating. And the worlds they would give anything to return to are fascinating.
Yes, the mystery aspect of Every Heart a Doorway was predictable, but it was such a small component of an incredibly beautiful and haunting story that it is easily forgiven. I don’t know where the rest of this series is headed, and I cannot wait to find out. I received the eighth book as an eARC, and I’m so happy to have the excuse to move the entire Wayward Children series to the top of my TBR.
You’re nobody’s rainbow.
You’re nobody’s princess.
You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.