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.
This is one popular series that everyone among my mutuals seems to have read, and while it’s always been on my radar and I knew I would eventually get to it, I just was never in a rush. But this August I found myself adding this book as part of the readathon tbr (believe me, it’s not the first time) and surprisingly, I have gotten around to reading it.
I definitely picked it up while I was already in the middle of two more books because I wanted a quick read – and it delivered. I finished it in just a couple of hours and it was interesting enough that I didn’t wanna put it down. I was fascinated by how much the author was able to incorporate in such a short novella – a world full of portals which lead to many more magical and dangerous worlds, special kids who are able to find these portals but are forever changed by their experiences, the joy of finding the one place where we belong and the trauma we suffer when we are ripped apart from that place, and the lengths to which some might go to find that home again. Add to all this, we also have a murder mystery and a whole host of eclectic characters who are suspicious of each other, and it makes for a compelling read. The author also tries to be inclusive and accepting, and it was nice to not only see asexual and trans protagonists but also understand their inner thoughts about themselves.
Overall, this was a fascinating little read and definitely for fans of portals as well as quirky ensemble characters. Ofcourse due to its length, it feels a bit simplistic and the resolutions are fairly quicker. But it has definitely piqued my interest. And who knows, I might pick up the rest of the series sooner rather than later.