My rating: 5/5 stars
Goodreads ratings: 4.24
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31450908-down-among-the-sticks-and-bones?ac=1&from_search=true
My Every Heart a Doorway Review: https://fireflyinthenightsky.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/every-heart-a-doorway-by-seanan-mcguire-book-review-non-spoiler/
It was sad, it was dark, it was diverse, it was gory and it was beautiful.
This is Jack and Jill’s story before they arrived at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. It follows the twin sisters’ tragic journey to their unsettling true home, the Moors.
“The Moors exist in eternal twilight, in the pause between the lightning strike and the resurrection. They are a place of endless scientific experimentation, of monstrous beauty, and of terrible consequences.”
Therefore, the events of this story take place before Every Heart a Doorway. However, this short novella can be read as a stand alone, since nothing that happens spoils the first installment.
McGuire, once again writes a dark, coming of age, fairy-tale-like story about pair of twin sisters that couldn’t be more different.
“Down, down, down they went, two little girls who couldn’t have been more different, or more the same. They wore the same face; they viewed the world through the same eyes, blue as the sky after a storm”
She fully explores imposed gender roles and family expectations, in a way that the reader takes away a valuable life lesson from it without feeling they have been preached to.
This story also serves as a cautionary tale for parents who have certain ideals of how their children, in this case girls, should look or behave like.
“There might be spiders,” said Jacqueline. She wrinkled her nose, less out of actual distaste and more out of the knowledge that she was supposed to find spiders distasteful. She really found them rather endearing. They were sleek and clean and elegant, and when their webs got messed up, they ripped them down and started over again. People could learn a lot from spiders.”
Overall, McGuire’s Wayward Children Series is one of the most intriguing, original and eerie reads out there.
It was as magical and as sinister as Every Heart a Doorway. And, if you still to this day haven’t read Every Heart a Doorway I highly suggest you do.