A Book to Be Sipped Chapter by Chapter Like the Finest Wine
“Sometimes I feel like there are doors lurking in the creases of every sentence, with periods for knobs and verbs for hinges.”
In the early 1900s, a young woman searches for her place in the world after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
“A gorgeous, aching love letter to stories, storytellers and the doors they lead us through…absolutely enchanting.” — Christina Henry, national bestselling author of Lost Boys and Alice
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.
I walked through this book languidly over days. I took my time sipping each chapter like the fine wine that it is. After it was over, the last words were read, the last emotions evoked, I sat in stunned silence. I had no other option to declare that this book was indeed magic: unadulterated, unfettered, otherworldly magic.
Books can change people. They can mold you like a sculpture. They can place you in a furnace and scorch you upon dialog and flay your heart. Sometimes you come out the other side of a book altered and changed.
I have experienced this phenomenon a few times in my life. I honestly have never read a book like this and from the first ten pages of the book, I knew that what I was in for was a different kind of experience entirely.
“Let this ignoble origin story stand as an invaluable lesson to you that a person’s beginnings do not often herald their endings.”
The main narrator of the story is January Scaller. We first meet her when she is seven years old. Small, slight, wild, and bright. All of the wrong things for the age in which she was born, but all of the right things for a main character you love. “I was what Mr. Locke called an In-between sort of thing.” She was in-between everything.
At this point in the story, January discovers a door. It was brief, but it left an inalienable impression. Books and doors and the adventures that lay betwixt become the stories of January’s life. The narrative is told in the form of stories discovered by January and moments lived by January. These moments and stories of discovery and interwoven so that at times you can not tell when the magic of one stops to begin the magic of another.
Moments like this. “Ade spent her childhood in exploration, crisscrossing through their seven acres as if she’d dropped something precious and hoped to find it again or, more accurately, like a dog on a short lead straining against her collar.”
All I can say is that this is one of the most beautiful books I have read this year, might be ever. This book is love. Love for the written word, for the reader, for magic, and finally for those magical moments when readers get lost in a story. When words dance and images flow through your mind.
It was such a wonderful read and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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About The Author
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. 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.
My debut novel–a historical fantasy called THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY–will be out in Fall 2019 from Orbit/Redhook.
My writing is represented by Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.