Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire
“It gets better. It never gets easy, but it does start to hurt a little less.”
Every Heart A Doorway had beautiful narration, interesting fairy-tale worlds and it was slightly strange. I liked it much more than I thought I would.
Every Heart A Doorway is a diverse stand alone novel, surrounding the children that are taken to different lands through magical doors, wardrobes and rabbit holes. After they return to the world they were taken from, Eleanor West takes in these wayward children, and strives to helps them.
Nancy is one of these wayward children, and after a trip to her magical world she falls into Miss West’s care as she seeks a way back home. However, while Nancy settles in to her new school tragedy strikes, leaving Nancy and her schoolmates in danger.
Since this is a review, below does contain spoilers, if you haven’t read the book, don’t read any further. You have been warned.
Short and sweet should be the way this book is described, running at a small 169 pages Every Heart A Doorway is packed full of strange children, magical doors and a little darkness.
The story’s premise was fantastic, I love the idea of the children from Narnia and Wonderland ending up in a school to either help them assimilate back into society or find there way back to their respective worlds. This was a creative story, filled with wonderful diversity representation touching on asexuality, transgender and mental illness.
The writing within Every Heart A Doorway was beautiful and almost lyrical. I enjoyed this specifically during the first few pages, I think it set up the story nicely and made it stand apart from anything else I was reading previously.
I think the plot was well paced, the story flowed nicely and it was engaging for such a short book. I think considering the short nature, there was quite a lot done plot wise in the story. I especially liked the small amount of world building of Nancy’s world and some of the other worlds that was created, although I would of enjoyed a bit more on her time within her realm. A disappointing factor I found, was in the ending. As soon our main character discovered she could learn to live in the real world again, and could see a life for herself there, her door opened again and off she went. It felt like all the building up and all the character development was torn down in this moment.
The characters were alright, unfortunately my favourite didn’t stay in the story too long. I think some of the side characters were unbearable. The squad which included Nancy, Jack, Kade and Christopher, I enjoyed their dynamics together. Another enjoyable part was the fact that each of the children brought something back from their world that affected them, either personality or physicality.
You want to go back, and so you hold on to the habits you learned while you were travelling, because it’s better than admitting the journey’s over.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Every Heart A Doorway it was an interesting interpretation of what happens to children after they return from other world.
Favourite Quote: “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.”
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