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.
Every Heart A Doorway is one of the most talked about books that has asexual representation, so I decided to give it a try. I didn’t read the blurb before reading it, so I had no idea what the story would be like. I just knew that it was a fantasy novella.
It’s #ownvoices for asexual rep.
Well, I’m not sure how to review this book because I was very confused while reading it and I still am.
The worldbuilding didn’t really exist. There are small snippets of worldbuilding but we don’t find out much about the magical lands that the various children have visited. Let me explain it like this: the most we find out about most of the characters are the land that they have visited and where it is on the compass (e.g. nonsense, logic, reason, rhyme, etc.) but we don’t find out if the land was a good place or an evil place. We don’t really find out why each child was drawn to that land – we do get told that the child themselves must also have the same compass qualities in themselves. However, what does that mean? Do these qualities influence a child’s personality? We also don’t find out what the majority of the characters did in those lands?
I’ll start by saying that the story has several characters that are marginalised. Namely, a transgender boy, a Japanese-American girl and an asexual girl. The asexual character has gone to a land that is connected to death, which is what many people associate asexual people with. Now, due to not finding out if this land was ultimately good or bad, I just couldn’t judge the representation. Does it provide a new interpretation of the trope that all asexuals are dead and cold or is it just the same old trope?
This book is yet another case where I feel like it should have been longer. It was way too short. The premise is fascinating and the different magical lands sounded so interesting at the beginning of the book. I also thought the idea of a serial murder mystery fantasy novel was pretty cool. However, the excecution was not to my liking at all.
I am really still very confused about this book and didn’t enjoy it.
Trigger warnings: transantagonism, serial murder, removing eyes.
Have you read Every Heart a Doorway? How did you like the book?