Author(s): Alix E. Harrow
"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.
A novel about the power of stories to open doors to other worlds…an enchanting novel which will delight bibliophiles and which I loved from beginning to end.
Set in the early 1900s, January is a young girl living with the wealthy Mr Locke - an avid collector of treasures and artefacts - which her mostly absent father travels around the world to obtain. January feels stifled and longs for adventure of her own, she has inherited her father’s olive skin and is regarded with suspicion by white folk who aren’t sure whether to classify her as ‘coloured’, but she grows up with all the privileges of being under Locke’s care.
One day she happens upon an old door in a field, and finds that her belief and writing words in her journal open this door to another world, a world with sun-bleached white buildings on the shore of an exotic sea and for one moment, before being pulled back to her own world, she has a taste for the possibility of something much bigger than what she has been led to believe.
It is years before January explores this possibility further, and the true story of what really happened to her mother and father come to light in the form of a mysterious book that appears in a chest downstairs. This will lead her on a path of heart-wrenching loss and pain, a coming into her own abilities and potential, the beginnings of love, and an epic quest to track down her father. A beautifully evocative story and easily a new favourite of 2019. Jemma