Every Heart a Doorway is a wonderfully enchanting read. It’s beautifully dark and feels lighthearted, yet touches on a number of primal, human emotions such as the senses of belonging and betrayal.
In Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire paints a beautiful picture of a school that accepts ‘damaged’ children. Only, these kids are damaged in the same sense as the Narnia children. These kids have found a way to access portals, to go to other worlds where their souls truly belong and then, for whatever reason, have been rejected. These ‘rejected’ children must learn to cope with life back here, in this realm where their parents assumed them missing or dead. While the children’s guardians are beside themselves with happiness to have their lost kids back, the children want little to do with their old lives and will spend as long as it takes, do whatever it takes, to return to what they believe is their true world.
The kids speak endlessly of these other worlds and eventually, the parents have to find a place for them to go, to be away from society and maybe to “get better”. Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children seems like the perfect fit.
And, for the children, Eleanor West’s school is a sanctuary, built as it was for the purpose of finding children who have gone into other worlds and then, for whatever reason, sent back. There are lessons to learn, friends to make and worlds to hunt for. The school is a sanctuary and for a long time, remains safe. Until the murders start.
This book runs in the same vein as the Harry Potter series and Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children. Really, though, I’d recommend it for anyone who has ever felt like this dimension is rather lacking. McGuire is able to not only understand what all our hearts crave, but how that craving could be sated. I highly encourage everyone to read this little novel.