Every Heart a Doorway

Wayward Children (Book 1)

Seanan McGuire
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Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children

No Solicitations

No Visitors

No Quests

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 things.

No matter the cost.

Winner: 2017 Hugo Award

Winner: 2017 Alex Award

Winner: 2017 Locus Award

Winner: 2016 Nebula Award

Nominated: 2017 World Fantasy Award

Nominated: 2017 British Fantasy Award

2016 Tiptree Honor List


"A mini-masterpiece of portal fantasy - a jewel of a book that deserves to be shelved with Lewis Carroll's and C. S. Lewis' classics" -NPR

"Seanan McGuire has long been one of the smartest writers around, and with this novella we can easily see that her heart is as big as her brain. We know this story isn't true, but it is truth." - Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series (TV's True Blood)

"Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is one of the most extraordinary stories I've ever read." - V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author of A Gathering of Shadows

"Seanan McGuire once again demonstrates her intimate knowledge of the human heart in a powerful fable of loss, yearning and damaged children." - Paul Cornell, author of London Falling and Witches of Lychford

"So mindblowingly good, it hurts." - io9

"With Every Heart a Doorway, McGuire has created her own mini-masterpiece of portal fantasy - a jewel of a book that deserves to be shelved with Lewis Carroll's and C. S. Lewis' classics, even as it carves its own precocious space between them." - NPR


THE HABIT OF NARRATION, of crafting something miraculous out of the commonplace, was hard to break. Narration came naturally after a time spent in the company of talking scarecrows or disappearing cat...

About the Author:

Seanan McGuire is the author of the October Daye urban fantasy series, the InCryptid series, and several other works, both standalone and in trilogies. She also writes darker fiction as Mira Grant.

Seanan lives in a creaky old farmhouse in Northern California, which she shares with her cats, a vast collection of creepy dolls, and horror movies, and sufficient books to qualify her as a fire hazard.

She was the winner of the 2010 John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2013 she became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo ballot.

Ratings (5):

Incredible (2)
Liked It (3)

Reader Stats (9):

Read It (4)
Want To Read (5)


Myths, Legends & Sagas, Horror (Books), Fantasy (Books)

This was a truly strange book. It is based upon a fantastic premise. But once the reader suspends his/her disbelief suitably, it makes perfect sense, resolves age-old dilemmas, and compels one to ask that most profoundly fundamental question which Yoga Gurus as well as addicts ask.

What is Reality?

There are portals in our worlds. Sometimes they open and allow children to go to another place and another time. These places impose their own ways upon those children, but they can't keep most of them there permanently. So those children are returned. Some of them wish to forget those experiences and try to regain a 'normal' life. But some seek ways to return.

Eleanor West's school is a place for such children, who are willing to forego 'this' reality for those left behind. Nancy comes to that school. She meets people who put new spin into the word eccentric.

And then the killings began.

4/14/2023 9:16:50 AM
Found Family, Dark Academia, Boarding School...More

Literally the beginning of my current favorite series! Read them all, find yourself!

3/29/2023 11:25:48 PM

What can you read after
Every Heart a Doorway?