"A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers and the doors they lead us through...absolutely enchanting."--Christina Henry, bestselling author of Alice and Lost Boys
LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER!
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow's spellbinding debut--step inside and discover its magic.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Lush and lyrical in both its language and its plotting, this is a dream of a book that opens up a fantastical world of magic and escape. In early 20th-century New England, biracial teenage outsider January Scaller lives in a vast, opulent house of curiosities as the ward of a wealthy man who bankrolls her explorer father’s lengthy sea voyages. January finds solace in the house’s extensive library, but her escapism takes on thrilling new dimensions when she discovers a weathered old volume that offers a literal portal into other worlds. Told in January’s own ingenuous voice and delightfully old-fashioned diction, Alix E. Harrow’s tender, melancholy novel feels like a modern take on first-wave young-adult fantasies like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Beautifully written, creatively crafted, and a delight to read.
A great start but a bumpy middle
What starts as an exhilarating, gorgeously-written story slowly unfolds over several prose-filled chapters, leading to an interesting albeit predictable twist. Immediately after the twist is revealed, the plot loses itself, and the book quickly becomes tedious to read. It’s like the author got so lost in her own fanciful descriptions that she forgot the story needs an actual STORY, not just nice words strung together. It quickly becomes repetitive, and though I had initially wanted so badly to become engaged with the characters, they seemed to fall flat around the 3/4 mark. It’s disappointing that a story with such a strong introduction and unique premise falls so short and fails to fulfill the grand expectations it had set for itself. I’m trying hard to push past this bump in the road, but I may end up putting the book aside and forgetting about it altogether — which is really a shame.
One of the best reads in a long time
Definitely worth it.