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 things.
No matter the cost.
- ISBN10 0765385503
- ISBN13 9780765385505
- Publish Date 5 April 2016
- Publish Status Active
- Publish Country US
- Imprint Tor Books
- Format Hardcover
- Pages 176
- Language English
A short but wonderful read. I enjoyed this to bits. Wonderful representation too.
This series is my portal world. Every time I read one of these books, it's like I'm coming home to my perfect place. These characters mean so very much to me (still, always, especially Nancy) and these stories are just so special.
Why'd you all let me wait so long before reading this? It was fantastic! The characters were well thought out and had genuine growth in such few pages that it actually caught me off guard. The plot was good and the setting was something I hadn't read before.
I thought for sure something would be lacking, but it all just worked so incredibly well.
And of course because I loved this one so much, I bought the others and have pre-ordered book 4. I'm pretty obsessed with these worlds that Seanan McGuire has created and am now planning on reading her entire backlist because of it!
New favorite author discovered?
I honestly have never really thought too much about what happens to those kids that are pulled into other worlds when they return to our somewhat boring one; and now that I have read this one I’m stuck wondering why it hadn’t been a question of mine all along. Every Heart a Doorway feels partially whimsical with characters tied to nonsense worlds and the idea of stepping through a doorway to another land, but then it comes with a very twisted side where some characters are tied to worlds that are dark and chilling and the home they all live in is now plagued with someone out to do harm. Not to mention to somewhat sad tales of people who feel as if they have left their true homes far behind, and are now stuck in one that is barely familiar and all too ‘normal’. I love the oddly quirky and off-center Home for Wayward Children, where parents drop off their troubled children from reform and instead place them in a home where they are understood and consoled for losing their homes possibly forever. The Home provides a sort of jumbled family full of people with shared yet vastly different experiences. I think one of the best things about Every Heart is the world building and how McGuire makes sense of the whole doorway thing. We are treated to a classification system for the individual worlds like High Logic and High Nonsense, and also Good and Evil.
I could seriously fangirl over this book nonstop, but giving it’s somewhat short page count I would be doing a disservice to anyone interesting in reading it. So without going into too much detail on the characters or plot, I will say I really love the world McGuire has crafted here. We get little glimpses of so many different worlds and to see how each person is affected was kind of cool. So much of it is both a dream and a nightmare, and I just love how well those things blend together here. I do wish this had been a full-length novel however, it just seems like there is so much more we could get into that are kind of glossed over. It’s still quite engrossing, but another hundred pages would have been a gift. The characters are really interesting as well and we mostly follow Nancy, the newest resident at the home, but there is so much diversity in the cast. We have some LGBTQA rep and so many different personalities in the mix that it’s just wonderful.
The second book is already in my upcoming TBR and I can’t wait to dig in to see how the wayward children are faring after the daunting events of book one.
My Review Of
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire
This was a bit weird for me but not in a bad way. A home or boarding school for children/teens that crossed over into another realm via a doorway, came back home but wanted to return to the alternate realm that they were previously in. The realms sounded strange like nonsense, logic, the dead etc. This was an intriguing story with a murder mystery as well. These teenagers sounded, some of them, a bit vicious while others quite sensitive. I did get caught up in the murder mystery and listened along as the students and teachers tried to solve this gruesome murder. Soon enough another student is found dead and things become tense as the students start to become suspicious of each other.
While I did enjoy this very well written story I am not sure yet if I will continue on with this series.
Update: After reading Kimberly's review at Caffienated Reviewer of book number two, I am all in with this series!This review was originally posted on My Fiction Obsession
Every Heart a Doorway is a delightful story, if you were to take Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and the Chronicles of Narnia, and then add a touch of weird, a dash of creepy, and a heaping pile of brutal honesty, you’d have something akin to this novel.
I was going to say that Every Heart a Doorway is an incredibly fast read, but I think that may have had more to do with the fact that I couldn’t put it down. I ended up reading the whole novella in a single sitting, and to be honest I’d suggest anybody else that picks it up do the same thing.
I honestly can’t get over how delightful this story was, or how long it took me to finally get around to reading it. You know how the original fairy tales all were darker and creepier than the ones we tell kids today? It’s sort of like that. It’s so full of character and charm, it’s really quite enchanting.
The world created in Every Heart a Doorway is both beautiful and heartbreaking. What these children have experienced when crossing through their doors may be hard to believe, but I had no problem sympathizing with them or believing the treatment they received upon their return to the ‘real world.’
Kids make up stories all the time, right? So it stands to reason that when one comes up with fantastical tales of a whole different world that they’d be ignored or shushed. Throw in the fact that the child was usually missing for days or months before the tale telling began…and you have some pretty upset parents.
That’s where Eleanor comes in. She runs a school, which to the parents looks like a school meant to help the children recover. Which is sort of true, in a sense. Her intent is to help the children, but not in the way parents expect. She wants to help them adjust to living in this world again, as they may never find their door again.
This school makes the perfect setting for the story, all things considered. It makes total sense that with that many children with different experiences (and mental ages), that some weird or crazy things were bound to happen. I won’t give away the mystery of this novel, but I will say that there are breadcrumbs left along the way that would allow you to solve it, should you feel so inclined.
I absolutely loved this novel, even more than I was expecting to (which is saying something). I’m a little ashamed it took me this long to read it, though if I were to look on the bright side at least there are two more novellas out waiting to be read. I can’t wait to get started on them!
For more reviews, check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
But most of the book was absolutely wonderful!Fantastical, whimsical, mysterious, dark... AMAZING! Ugh I love portal writing ! This take on it was like a DREAM. COME. TRUE!
I’m SO HAPPY FOR JACK AND NANCY! I so want to know what happens after Jack returns home to revive Jill !
(edit: And I sure did! See: Come Tumbling Down/ Wayward Children #5!!! Woo! PS: I’m on the app right now, will add link when I’m able to use web version!)
I do also think it was super obvious who the killer was right away. Anyone else think so?
I also LOVE Christopher; his bone flute & its/ his ability to make skeletons dance and ‘come to life’ is so fascinating.
And duh. I love KADE SO MUCH! Who WOULDN’T?!
Overall wonderful, wonderful, incredible, wonderful book!!!
Hmm... I seem to love what Seanan McGuire's sci fi altero-ego writes, but I did not love this. It's an intriguing fantasy concept, but unfortunately the follow-through just isn't there. The pacing was off, the characterization was flat, and the conclusion was broadcast from a hundred miles away. It's such a shame, because I know she's capable of doing crazy, shocking, thriller-y twists.