Every Heart a Doorway
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 book surprised me in so many ways. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from a book all about children who had been on such wonderful adventures to find themselves disenchanted with the real world – somwhere they didn’t feel they belonged anymore. Well, what can I say other than it blew me away, the story is such an original take on something that we all ask ourselves after reading one of the adventures?
I think one thing that I really enjoyed in this book was the science that was applied to the magical worlds, it kind of added a lot of sense to what they were trying to do. I adored the fact that we were experiencing everything through Nancy’s eyes and it was all brand new for her – we got to learn a lot! Especially about the different worlds and what it means to be from each of the types. I loved that, I loved that the personalities made sense, I loved the characters that had been formed by these different worlds. It really made me happy to meet them all and learn about their experiences.
I have to say the diversity in this book was off the charts in a really well-done way, the characters were natural and nothing was forced on the reader. It was really nice to read about and to see especially with the ongoing discussion within the writing and reading community for more diverse reads. Plus it was set in a high school so it was segregated like a normal high school it was just this time who was cool was determined by what kind of world you had been a part of.
My favourite character in Every Heart a Doorway has to be Jack, I loved the story of her and her sister. Plus the insight we gained into what growing up in a land full of horror really is. I really love the dynamic of the relationship and the way they rely on each other without actually interacting all that much. The whole sequence made for really interesting reading and I thoroughly enjoyed their back story!
My least favourite character has to be Lundy!! I hated her attitude towards the kids and I thought that she struggled to share any kind of empathy with the children even though she had similar experiences and should have been in a unique position to help them. Instead, she seemed to berate them and almost kick them when they were down. It was disconcerting to see if I’m honest and it didn’t sit well with me at all!
I would totally recommend Every Heart a Doorway – in fact, I already have! I love the characters and I think the concept of the entire story is something that was done exceptionally well. Something I really love reading about was taken to a whole new level!
Have you read any books that have flipped fairytales on their head? Let me know what they are in the comments below!