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
Branch Call Number: FICTION McGuire Seanan 04/2016
Characteristics: 173 pages ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

JCLDianeH Mar 18, 2017

A lovely fairy tale in reverse: starting at the end of an adventure in another world (wonderland, fairyland, fantasy world, horror landscape, and so on) and winding through our ordinary world looking for a way back in.

JCLJoshN Dec 15, 2016

I think I'm starting to get burned out on the "urban fantasy" genre, but Every Heart a Doorway doesn't count in that. Lyrical, beautiful, creepy, and entrancing, this is everything I love about mythpunk-ish urban fantasy. If someone asked me for "something like Harry Potter, but da... Read More »

The residents of this unusual boarding school unravel secrets of their unusual proprietor. This short book will hook you.

JCLGreggW Apr 18, 2016

Dark, delightful, and surprisingly deep, this is gothic tale about a boarding school that holds all the “troubled” children who have discovered pathways to magical places and have returned back to this reality. But having had a taste of other worlds, they find that they don’t quite fit into this ... Read More »

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Mar 17, 2018

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

SCL_Justin Mar 12, 2018

On a colleague's recommendation I read this one after reading the second book in the series (Down Among the Sticks and Bones). In this order, I found Every Heart a Doorway disappointing. Perhaps because of the school setting it didn't have the fable/Gaimanish kind of feel that Sticks and Bones had, and while the slightness of the novella form worked well in Sticks and Bones, here I needed more; either more atmosphere or more plot.

That said, I enjoy the idea of the system of other worlds (which had a very Grossman's Magicians feel to it) with directions of Logic and Nonsense, Vitus and Morbidity. If I'd read this one first I think I would have liked it more but been disappointed with Down Among the Sticks and Bones. That book was Jack and Jill's story, but their story was already told in this book, just in a more matter of fact way. If I'd read Sticks and Bones second I'd be waiting for the reason why I was reading all this stuff I already knew, and I'm not sure the tone would have carried me through that annoyance.

But these are quick reads so I will most likely finish off the Wayward Children Trilogy.

Mar 11, 2018

This was a delightful read. Not much of a murder mystery, but full of ideas about totally alien worlds that bump into ours, and the children who are exiled from these imaginative alternate realities. As a novella, its shortness gives us mostly an overview of what could be a lengthy series about children and various universes. The story gives us an imaginative explanation of who can visit these worlds, and how they end up in the world that is just right for them. I passed the age of the target audience over a half century ago, but enjoyed it immensely.

Mar 06, 2018

There are many more books for isolated young people that previously, and that is a good thing. All that baby boomers had was "Huckleberry Finn" and "Catcher in the Rye" - which was just not enough. Seanan McGuire's novel contains isolation as a theme, but combined with fantasy. Really can't say much more than that without being a spoiler, except the book is lively and imaginative with, given its short length, many intriguing, well-drawn characters. The title makes it seem very "hearts-and-flowers" romantic, which it is not.

Jan 05, 2018

Originally i thought this would be one of those books that was extremely over hyped however i will say it was worth it. I absolutely loved this book. the characters, the plot, the setting! I especially loved the idea. I mean it is an interesting thought, where would all these characters that we love go after the leave their newly found worlds? Defiantly worth the read, also its a super short book, so that's always a plus

SCL_Tricia Jan 04, 2018

I really enjoyed this book but I read it after Down Among the Sticks and Bones. I would suggest reading them this way.

Nov 12, 2017

I did enjoy this book and the representation it gave, but it felt kind of juvenile. The minor antagonists were flatly evil; they had no redeeming features like the majority of "schoolyard bully" characters. The culprit was predictable and the motive even more so. I loved the premise but I was slightly disappointed by the characters. There was a subtle disdain for the more "nonsense" aligned worlds that felt out of place in a novel so devoted to childhood fantasies. All that said, it was a fun quick read.

Beatricksy Aug 21, 2017

Enchanting, but somehow gets lost in a predictable murder mystery that, at least for me, seemed entirely unnecessary when the rest of the book had such potential and gorgeous imagery. It's really kind of funny in its absurdity. Hair the color of cabbages? An adult teacher in the body of a child? It's tragic and sad and really (intentionally or not) darkly hilarious. Like a fairy tale. Five stars for the gorgeous descriptions and ideas, three stars for the unnecessary murders, four stars in total.

KateHillier Jul 30, 2017

This was a one sit read. It's a novella, so shortish, but I could not put it down.

Eleanor West has a school for children who were once lost. They fell through doorways into other worlds. Some terrifying, some beautiful, all considered home by the kids more than the world they were born in. The school exists to help them come to terms with the fact that it is very unlikely that they'll find doorways back. Nancy, who has only been back for a handful of weeks, finds herself at this school and meeting a wonderful cast of characters who have spent a lot of formative time in their own worlds. Diverse worlds, diverse people. It's wonderful to read as much as it is scary depending on how you look at it.

It was a pleasure to read. I wish I could go back and read it for the first time again, too.

AL_CATHERINE Jul 16, 2017

Not everyone stolen away to a magical land wants to be returned home. Some souls are cursed to forever search for the door that will lead them back. I loved this novella so much! McGuire has crafted a fascinating world, peopled with a diverse cast. This book had one of the clearest explanations of asexuality that I've ever read. Great for fans looking for a darker take on portal fantasies!

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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."

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."

Mar 15, 2018

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

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."

Mar 15, 2018

"Where did you find the whipped cream?” he asked. “You had milk, I had science,” said Jack. “It’s amazing how much of culinary achievement can be summarized by that sentence. Cheese making, for example. The perfect intersection of milk, science, and foolish disregard for the laws of nature."

JCLOctavia Apr 21, 2017

"Forget about words like 'Nonsense' and 'Logic'. We can work out those details later. Just answer. Where did you go?"

Aug 16, 2016

Hope hurts. That’s what you need to learn, and fast, if you don’t want it to cut you open from the inside out. Hope is bad. Hope means you keep holding on to things that won’t ever be so again, and so you bleed an inch at a time until there’s nothing left

Jun 14, 2016

Together, they walked across the property, the girl, the boy, and the dancing skeleton wrapped in rainbows.

Jun 12, 2016

She didn't mind flirting. Flirting was safe, flirting was fun; flirting was a way of interacting with her peers without anyone realizing that there was anything strange about her. She could have flirted forever. It was just the things that came after flirting that she had no interest in.

May 15, 2016

"There was no sound, not that the living could hear: there was only the idea of sound, the sudden, overwhelming sensation that something was being overlooked, something small and subtle and hidden between the molecules of silence."

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Oct 07, 2017

black_cat_3930 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 01, 2017

SilverIlix thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary

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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