Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Down Among the Sticks & Bones (Wayward Children #2), by Seanan McGuire (author, narrator)

Macmillan Audio, June 2017

In Every Heart a Doorway, we encountered Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, and the young people there who had stumbled through doors that shouldn't have existed, into worlds where utterly different rules apply. This novella is the story of the experiences of Jack and Jill, a.k.a. Jacqueline and Jillian.

They're identical twins, born to a couple who wanted children mainly for reasons of social standing. When they learned the pregnancy was twins, deeply, desperately hoped that the babies would be a girl and a boy, completing their perfect nuclear family in one shot.

But it's two girls. Jacqueline becomes her mother's designated Perfect Lady of a daughter, dressed in frilly dresses, and taught to be obsessively clean, and to never do anything adventurous at all. Jillian becomes the almost-son for her father, short hair, sports, getting dirty all the time.

Neither girl is happy with this.

Then one day they find a staircase where there shouldn't be one, and at the bottom a door that shouldn't be there, and they go through it and find themselves in the Moors.

In a castle on a cliff is the Master--whom the reader quickly recognizes as a vampire, though the girls don't at first. In a windmill on a hill on the far side of the village is the Doctor--a mad scientist.

The girls need to make their choices, and learn to survive in this world, at least until they can find the door that will take them home.

This is a strange sort of portal fantasy, in that we know how it ends; we are finding out how the twins got to that ending. It's creative and absorbing, with characters beautifully developed.


I bought this audiobook.

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