Review Blog

Feb 07 2017

Every heart a doorway by Seanan McGuire

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Wayward Children bk 1. St Martin's Press, 2016. ISBN 9780765385505
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Fantasy. Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy (2016), Alex Award (2017). Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children caters for children who have disappeared, tumbling through doorways and into old wells and going into strange lands. When they reluctantly reappear, the school looks after them when their parents despair of them fitting back into normal society. Nancy's entry into the home is not a smooth one with murder making a nasty appearance. She and her group of misfits must find out what is happening, while they search for the doorways back into their beloved fantasy lands.
This is not an easy book to categorise or to explain. It is short, engrossing and strange, but very compelling. As well as the nasty murders that must be solved there are many themes the reader will have to explore and think about, not least why the children want to return to the fantasy worlds and not to the life that is considered normal by society.
There is an assortment of characters, including a weird scientist, an asexual main character and nods toward gender diversity, none too explicit but also thought provoking.
This is an extraordinary and perplexing story, one that stays with the reader. I am sure to follow more in this series. (Seanan McGuire also writes as Mira Grant).
Pat Pledger

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