Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire

For years, children have always disappeared under the right conditions. By slipping through shadows beneath the bed, or perhaps tumbling down a random rabbit hole, they end up somewhere…else.

And sometimes…just sometimes…they make their way back.

That is where Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children comes in.

Nancy was one such girl. The things she saw and experience can change a person. The other children at Ms. West’s understand what Nancy is going through all too well. Like her, they each tumbled in to a magical world and they are all trying to find their way back.

Yet with Nancy’s arrival, another change occurs. A darkness has settled in at Ms. West’s, a darkness that brings tragedy to the young people who call the place home.

Every Heart a Doorway was yet another of the books that Goodreads recommended to me. That site is definitely getting better at recommending books for me to read and review here, for while I am somewhat familiar with Seanan McGuire and her work I was surprised to see she is also the author Mira Grant whose work I have written about in a past review.

In this particular novel, we are taken to Ms. West’s Home for Wayward Children. On the outside it looks like most any home for “troubled youths” but like most things it is more than meets the eye. This home is for young women (and a few young men) who have gone off on strange adventures and come back again.

Reading Every Heart a Doorway put me in mind of the novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Pecular Children. It too featured a home for young people and a head mistress who had her own set of secrets. Both introduce an individual encountering the house for the first time, though in the former they are coming to live there and in the latter they stumble upon the place by accident.

While Every Heart a Doorway is certainly well written and the characters are intriguing, it is far far too short. At barely over 160 pages, there just isn’t enough time to properly introduce the different characters and situations. Especially before getting to the meat of the story and its resolution. We barely get to know these people before tragedy begins to befall some of them. While I am sure we are meant to be saddened, it is difficult to feel such an emotion over a person we have only just met.

Originally, dear reader, I was going to lament that so far there was only one book in this series. However, Goodreads has once again shown me my error and I am pleased to see that there is already a second book with a third soon on the way. Should you decide to read this book – and I truly recommend you do – try and get the second book when you pick up the first. Like me, the moment you finish the first one you will be looking for the second.


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