Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
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 the matter.
No matter the cost.
“Nobody gets to tell me how my story ends but me.”
Every Heart a Doorway had probably one of the creepiest prologues I’ve ever read. That is to say, it had a great start. I just love when a book makes me feel uneasy before the story properly starts, and that was what happened with this one.
The writing was lovely, held the creepy atmosphere as the story progressed, and worked wonderfully under the unique concept of which the book was about. I never knew I wanted to read something about children who come back from faraway lands – like Wonderland, Narnia, Neverland – and the aftermath of what they’ve been through. This book gave us exactly that, and it was just as eerie as one would think.
The characters were layered, diverse (one of the main characters is asexual and the other is a trans boy!), and all a little odd. They each had their own weird backstories, which added depth to their characters and was part of a complex world-building. I found myself charmed by them all, especially as I learned about what happened to them, especially during their creepy bonding moments, haha! Out of all of them, Jack was probably my favorite.
I wasn’t expecting all the murder, tbh? But I can’t say that I minded the sudden turn of events. And as gory as they were, they just got me more invested into this story. It was all so strange and, again, creepy that I could not put this book down.
This was a rather short book (not even 200 pages), but the pacing was good and it had a nice flow. The twist wasn’t really surprising to me, although the ending did make up for it. Every Heart a Doorway did leave me wanting more, though. This was such a strange and enchanting little book, and I couldn’t be happier about this being a series!