“For others, the lure of a world where they fit is too great to escape, and they will spend the rest of their lives rattling at windows and peering at locks, trying to find the way home.”
This series is a gift. Plain and simple. The writing is lyrical. The story is poignant. The characters are relatable and flawed. I cannot say enough wonderful things about these books.
The 411: The main characters in these books went through magical portals as young children (think THE LION, THE WITCH, and THE WARDROBE) and entered fantastical lands. But they’ve since returned to Our World and no longer know how to relate to a world of normalcy and sadness. The returned children often are in pits of severe depression as they try over and over to find another portal back.
Why? Because they belonged in these worlds. They could be their true selves. No judgment. Just true love and acceptance.
Enter Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. The last ditch attempt for parents who are desperate to find a “cure” for their delusions of another life lived. Eleanor believes them. And she helps these Wayward Children to re-acclimate while they A) Wait for another door to open, or B) Accept their return to life as we know it.
Each of these books are tiny–clocking in under 200 pages but holy cow do they pack an emotional punch. EVERY HEART A DOORWAY introduces us to the narrative, the home, and a few of our mainstay characters. DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES (my personal fave of the three so far) focuses on twin sisters, Jack and Jill, and their time spent in the magical moors. BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY is an adventure back to a land of Confection, in search for a beloved character.
And, hello, representation up the wazoo. All the races, all the ethnic backgrounds, all the genders, all the sexual orientations, all body types, all levels of physical and mental ability…I am truly amazed by all the diversity squeezed into these little novellas of joy.
I need Book 4 because I have questions and I love these characters so much. And I NEED, need, need Christopher to make it back to the Land of the Dead and Skeleton Girl.
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY: ✰✰✰1/2
DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES: ✰✰✰✰✰
BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY: ✰✰✰✰1/2