Over the weekend, I discovered the most wonderful short story. I read it in less than a day, and it was delightful. It’s called Every Heart a Doorway and it’s by Seanan McGuire. And if you like dark fantasy hiding as cute fluffy fantasy, this is definitely for you.
Every Heart a Doorway is about Mrs. West’s Home for Wayward Children. It is a home for children who have traveled to another world through a special door. The world becomes home to the children, but inevitably for some reason, the children have to return to our world, never knowing if they’ll find their door again. Once they return, these children don’t know how to or if they even want to return to their old lives. That’s where Elanor West comes in.
She knows what it’s like to lose your home, to fear that you will never find your door again. So she takes in these children and tries to help them as best she can. She teaches them what they need to know, but she also helps them understand not only the loss of their world but the worlds of the others in the school.
A new student, Nancy, arrives at the school, having recently left the Land of the Dead. She can barely stand the sunlight, she prefers shadows and dark. She learned how to be as still as a statue, which is an asset in the Land of the Dead. But now she’s back and she doesn’t know what to do. Her parents want her to be her old self again, but that won’t happen. Luckily, Elanor knows how to help.
As Nancy works on making friends, a tragedy befalls the school. Nancy and her new friends must work together to solve and stop this tragedy before it’s too late.
This short story was a delight to read, and luckily it is an entire series. So you know I’ll be hunting down the others. One of the best parts of this book is the representation throughout. I haven’t seen a story with the strong representation that this book has. I’m so excited to go find the other books in the series and to learn more about this world.
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