Every Heart a Doorway:
For those of you who are wondering, yes, I did not post on Wednesday. I had a very busy week and did not get around to writing this review in time so the wednesday post. I am here today to talk about the first Booktube SFF Awards book that I have completed, Every Heart A Doorway by: Seannan McGuire.
"Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward ChildrenNo Solicitations
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." (Goodreads.com)
This book was nominated under the best short fiction title of the Booktube SFF Awards, therefor I had to pick it up and read it to read all of the books in the short list. This is not the typical kind of story that I would reach for on the shelf, however prior to reading this I heard some great buzz about it on the book community about the representation of people in the story and its beautiful writing. Frankly I felt that this was all that this book had to offer.
I know my opinion is the unpopular one, however I saw this novella as being a fun exploration with the psyche and the concept of home. The idea that home is not the place where your family is, and that it is actually where you feel most at home struck me. I have never truly thought of this before with the conventional idea of home with a family and pets playing in the yard with a white picket fence always popping into my mind when someone mentions home. This novella toys with the idea of otherworlds being home, such as the underworld, pixie worlds etc... Though the commentary on home was interesting it did not pull this whole book together for me.
The writing in this book is rich and immersive. McGuire has crafted a world that you can vividly imagine and are able to experience through the thin pages bound before you. Though this writing was beautiful and well crafted, I did find this book to be confusing in the beginning when I was trying to gain a "foothold" in the world that she has created. This confusion may not have been the writing's fault, personally I think you must be in the correct frame of mind to enjoy this book; that frame of mind includes preparedness for whimsy and oddities with a dash of murder mystery.
For a book to get a high rating, I must feel emotionally invested in the characters, the book must be well written, the plot must be engaging and the themes must be an interesting exploration of a topic or idea. This little novella frankly did not have that for me, I did find the themes to be fun and engaging, none of the characters particularly irritated me however no one character stuck in my head. I would read the sequel novella coming out in June from the library if I saw it there, however otherwise I do not think I will seek any more of this series.
Rating: 3 stars