Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

by Seanan McGuire

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.

Reviewed by Quirky Cat on

5 of 5 stars

For the sake of honestly I feel like I should tell you right now that I’ve never read any of Seanan McGuire’s novels before this one. I’ve had most of her series on my TBR list for ages, and after hearing so many positive things about her and her writing I decided it was finally time to go ahead and start making a dent in that list.
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

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 11 April, 2018: Finished reading
  • 11 April, 2018: Reviewed
  • Started reading
  • Finished reading
  • 11 April, 2018: Reviewed