Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.
There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.
It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
And it isn’t as safe.
When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her Home for Wayward Children, she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.
She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming…
Scholars have recorded the adventures of the travelers, those whose lost and lonely yearnings were strong enough to attract the attention of something greater than themselves, for centuries. Those stories can be seen in myth and legend, in fairy tale and folk song, from across the world. The boy who spent a night in a mushroom ring and woke to find his baby sister’s grandchildren occupying the family farm; the girl who tumbled down a well and lived for a century in the halls of a Dragon King before touching the wrong trinket and finding herself cast back into the mud, rendered an exile in her own homeland. It can be difficult to find the places where fiction ends and fact begins, but perhaps that’s simply a part of the process of traveling, of visiting places where the customs and cultures and laws of physical reality are different than they are here.
Cora has always been one of the more heartbreaking stories that we’ve discovered throughout the Wayward Children series, and her path in Where the Drowned Girls Go does not dissuade from this notion.
We’ve had a few mentions of the alternate school that, unlike Eleanor’s Home for Wayward Children, has the goal of forgetting your alternate universe. And while Cora would give anything to return to the Trenches, her adventure into the Moors has permanently altered not only her skin but her chances of returning to her world. Since Eleanor can’t seem to help her, maybe the Whitethorn Institute can.
I won’t give anything away, but there are some wonderful reunions and some horrific actions. Mysteries and magic and heroes abound. McGuire has once again taken this world and expanded its boundaries, introducing more characters and further developing how and why children find their doors. It’s incredibly interesting to see another perspective on the entire process, even if it’s a terrible one.