Every Heart A Doorway

Every Heart A Doorway

Book - 2016
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Children have always disappeared from Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children 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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Tom Doherty Associates, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765385505
0765385503
Branch Call Number: SCI-FIC MCGUIRE 2016
Characteristics: 173 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Recently returned from the Underworld, where she was the Lord of the Dead's beloved, teenage Nancy has no desire to stay at Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. Established to help young people who have journeyed to other realms and returned home to find that their former lives no longer fit... Read More »

So many reasons to read - local author, horrific and humorous, a main character who is asexual (and one of the best descriptions I've ever read of what that means woven in to the story), a transgender best friend, and beautiful turns of phrase that make me sigh, put the book down for a few moment... Read More »

“What happens to children who find a doorway into a fantasy land, and then come back into the mundane world? It’s certainly not a happily ever after scenario for these children, but those that find their way to Eleanor West’s school are learning to cope. Shortly after Nancy comes to the school, a... Read More »


From the critics


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JCLChrisK Jan 11, 2019

Imagine discovering magic is real. Not just magic, but a magical world. Someplace like Narnia or Wonderland, except perfectly suited for you. All whole world of magic, where you fit right in and become part of it all.

Imagine then returning to this world and losing all of that.

This tale is set in a secluded school for teens who have had just that experience, have returned from magical worlds, changed and disappointed and unable to cope with what we call reality. A diverse group who have had experienced wildly different types of magic, not sure how to get along with anyone, much less each other.

And then the murders start.

A wonderful premise, lovely writing, strong characters, a deadly mystery, and darkly atmospheric.

Happiness.

ArapahoeJohanna Dec 11, 2018

Absolutely stunning novella. I didn't want to put it down. The characters were so complex and unique; they're the kind of characters I yearned for as a teenager. It's a rare thing to read a book makes you feel understood. These are my kind of misfits, and it was an absolute joy to read about them. The book was both crushingly sad and beautifully hopeful, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

a
anglobibliophile
Nov 28, 2018

I completely fell into this story, pun fully intended. It grabbed me from the first page, and I didn't stop reading until I finished the book. Absolutely beautiful writing. I've read all of the following books in the series the day they've come out.

g
gary200188
Nov 21, 2018

Solid novel. I enjoyed it.

a
ApollosRaven
Oct 11, 2018

This title is first in her "Wayward Children" series. Beautifully written, with just the right (creepy) tone for a story answering the question "What happens to Alice when she returns from Wonderland? .. to Dorothy after Oz? What happens to all the children who wandered away from the "other" world and now find themselves stranded in our reality?" Short, a little grisly, and unique.

f
Fordette89
Sep 21, 2018

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This book was really cool. It is set at a school for children who have been to other worlds (Narnia style) and didn't want to come home. It is full of weird and wonderful characters and who have all been changed in some way by their travels. It deals with gender stereotypes and accepting people for who they are, as well as how these whacky kids deal with some gruesome murders.
Definitely worth a read
Love the ending

e
emcelvaine
Jul 18, 2018

Smart, magical, and unique with refreshingly diverse characters.

OPL_KrisC Apr 13, 2018

I grew up wanting to travel to Narnia and other magical places so when I heard about this book from a colleague, I was very intrigued. I was immediately drawn into this book and finished it fairly quickly. I liked how each of the teens seemed to have traveled to a unique world that was different from the rest and how each of the worlds were categorized. As a fan of horror, I loved the dark twists inserted throughout and look forward to reading the next in the series.

SPPL_Kristen Mar 19, 2018

This book is incredibly sweet and a refreshing take on identity and belonging. Oh, and the murder part is lots of fun and suspenseful.

b
brennasmith94
Mar 17, 2018

There was something magical about this that I adored. Not a book for everyone but I loved it dearly.

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Quotes

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JCLChrisK Jan 14, 2019

We went down the mysterious stairs that couldn't possibly be there, of course. Who wouldn't go down an impossible staircase in the bottom of a trunk? We were twelve. We were curious, and angry with our parents, and angry with each other. . . . The door slammed shut behind us. We couldn't have gone back if we'd wanted to--and we didn't want to. We were twelve. We were going to have an adventure if it killed us.

JCLChrisK Jan 14, 2019

This is not an asylum, and you are not mad--and so what if you were? This world is unforgiving and cruel to those it judges as even the slightest bit outside the norm. If anyone should be kind, understanding, accepting, loving to their fellow outcasts, it's you. All of you. You are the guardians of the secrets of the universe, beloved of worlds that most will never dream of, much less see . . . can't you see where you owe it to yourselves to be kind? To care for one another? No one outside this room will ever understand what you've been through the way the people around you right now understand. This is not your home. I know that better than most. But this is your way station and your sanctuary, and you will treat those around you with respect.

j
joslynquick
Jun 05, 2018

The mountain was as powerful as the tide, just in a different way.

j
joslynquick
Jun 05, 2018

I’ve had rest enough to last a lifetime, and only a lifetime for the rest of what’s to be done.

j
joslynquick
Jun 05, 2018

We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.

j
joslynquick
Jun 05, 2018

You're nobody's rainbow. You're nobody's princess. You're nobody's doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.

s
scifiid
Mar 15, 2018

"For us, the places we went were home. We didn't care if they were good or evil or neutral or what. We cared about the fact that for the first time we didn't have to pretend to be something we weren't. We just got to be. That made all the difference in the world."

s
scifiid
Mar 15, 2018

“We went down, and at the bottom there was a door, and on the door there was a sign. Two words. ‘Be Sure.’ Sure of what? We were twelve, we weren’t sure of anything. So we went through."

s
scifiid
Mar 15, 2018

"This world is unforgiving and cruel to those it judges as even the slightest bit outside the norm."

s
scifiid
Mar 15, 2018

"Hope means you keep on holding to things that won't ever be so again, and so you bleed an inch at a time until there's nothing left."

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Age

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black_cat_3930
Oct 07, 2017

black_cat_3930 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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SilverIlix
Jun 01, 2017

SilverIlix thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Summary

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shayshortt
Aug 16, 2016

A long time ago, a little girl named Ely West found a doorway, and went on an adventure to a Nonsense world, where she was very happy, until one day she was too grown up to tolerate all the nonsense. Now Eleanor West runs a school for other children who have found doorways that led them home, only to be forced back into a mundane world where no one understands what happened to them. No one except Eleanor. The newest student at Eleanor’s school is Nancy Whitman, and she has just returned from the Halls of the Dead. After years spent perfecting the art of stillness for the Lord of the Dead, everything about this world seems too hot, and fast. Her parents insist on things being just like they were before, meaning colourful clothing, regular meals, and dates with boys, even though Nancy has realized she is asexual. So Nancy is sent to Eleanor’s school to recover from her “ordeal,” and there she meets other children who have had the same experiences. But soon after Nancy arrives, someone begins murdering students.

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