I heard amazing things about this series, and considering how short the first book is, I decided to give it a try. The blurb sounded interesting – disappeared children, a magical school and many different Narnias truly appealed to me! My expectations were very high, especially because two of my favorite YouTubers loved this series and constantly talked about it on their channels.
That’s probably why my disappointment in this book was so big.
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
Tired of my current reads, none of them picking my interest, I decided to check what short book I could get from the Russian books app. It’s been over a year since I read anything in Russian, and I craved something different but also easy.
I’m glad that I decided to read this one in my native language, as I was able to fly through this short novel very quickly, and if I would have read it in English I’d probably DNF it at some point.
Nancy, one of the children who disappeared into a magical world, returned to her parents against her will. Like every child who went through the door, she wanted to remain there forever. It was HER door to a perfect world that suits her so well it came calling for her to join it.
Desperate to have their daughter back, the one who loved colors and life, her parents sent her to the Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children – the school where these children would learn to accept their “new”(old) life back.
WHAT I LIKED:
1 – The unique idea of having many doors to multiple Narnias, where every world completely different from others, that “invite” children who would find these words to be their one true home. I loved this concept and was ready to delve deeper into different worlds, enjoy my time at this magical school, and route for the children to find their way back.
Sadly, that didn’t happen…
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
2 – For a book which blurb begins with Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children it turned out to be very mature, with characters talking freely about sexual attractions and violent murders taking place at the school grounds. At first, I was baffled by the lack of “Children” at the Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, and after a while, I felt completely outraged by the lack of fantasy when the book turned into an LGBT focused contemporary with a hint of murder-mystery.
3 – I think it’s wonderful that more and more authors include LGBTQ+ characters in their books. We definitely need more representation out there. But more often than not when I read an LGBTQ+ novel, I feel that authors are simply checking the boxes, and the representation doesn’t feel genuine.
I’d love to hear an opinion on this of someone who could actually relate to these characters.
4 – As I mentioned before, I hoped to route for the characters to return to their “homes”, but that is difficult to do when you learn that their so-called homes came out from nightmares and horror movies! Yes, there were some “good” worlds with rainbows, butterflies, and sweets, but the “evil” worlds really surprised me, and not in the best way. When little boys and girls were tortured, used and exploited in their “homes” and then all they want is to go back there… I’d say they need urgent help.
Maybe I missed the message everyone else got, or maybe I read it too quickly and it didn’t all sink in properly. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ All I know is that I didn’t like it, and I won’t continue reading this series (unless you prove me wrong in the comment below! *wink*)
IF YOU READ THIS BOOK, WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF NOT, WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN READING IT?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!