Continuing with my great reading week, today I have my review of The Ten Thousand Doors of January.
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.
Wow, I mean I’ve hardly the words but just wow. I pretty much knew from the first page that this was a book that was going to have me entranced from start to finish and I feel that there is no way I’m going to be able to explain how wonderful this book is, but I’ll still try.
Something about the writing style is just so effortless, engaging and able to conjure magic with a few words and an amazing turn of phrase, I mean what a debut. I liked the dual timeline and that we got to follow a few people on the adventure, I found that it gave me so much more to think about every time the narrative switched.
This was the ultimate form of escapism for me because it reminded me of how I felt as a kid that there was magic behind every mundane thing and that stories and myths could come to life right before my eyes. It’s that strange sense of nostalgia that got me so emotionally involved in this book and also made me wish that I had a little bit more of that magic in my life now, it definitely takes a special book to make me feel that kind of investment.
What I like the most about this book is how it plays even with preconceived notions of myths and stories and turns everything around, it feels like it’s circular rather than linear, which may not make sense to anyone except me. Hearing about January and Adelaide and other people’s interactions with the doors gave it a cyclical feeling, but in a nice way, like you get like when you are sharing in something with likeminded people. I wish I had the right words but I have definitely fallen short.
I’m not usually one for historical fiction it doesn’t always sit right with me because I don’t always feel like I can relate to the characters as well, but this was really an amazing blend between historical and fantasy, and actually dealt with a lot of topics that are exceptionally relevant in today’s society. The opposing nature of the magical quality of the doors and adventures work so well against the startling realities of the time period and it is great to see that explored and have that dissonance, it really gave a tense atmosphere at points in the story.
I feel like there is so much more to say about The Ten Thousand Doors of January but it is also something that cannot be explained, you need to experience this book and I highly recommend that you do.
I’ve been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. I’ve lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet ’79 VW Vanagon Westfalia. I have library cards in at least five states.
Now I’m a full-time writer living in with my husband and two semi-feral kids in Berea, Kentucky. It is, I’m very sure, the best of all possible worlds.