Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children has been ‘home’ to many of the children who have disappeared into the magical land on the other side of doors that appear for the children. But Eleanor West’s is not the only school on the other side of the doors. There is also Whitethorn Institute – a school we know very little about.
For Cora, whose door appeared in part due to the fat-shaming abuse she suffered on the other side, life at Eleanor West’s hasn’t been as idyllic as she had hoped. She asks for a transfer to Whitethorn and Eleanor quite reluctantly agrees. Whitethorn is run quite differently – magic is to be discouraged and rejected and societal norms embraced.
This is a new way of thinking for Cora, as well as the reader. Right now, a new way of thinking is exactly what Cora needs, but is it going to help her in the long term?
Followers of my reviews will already know that I’m a tremendous fan of Seanan McGuire in general and that I’ve really liked this Wayward Children series so far. I have mixed feelings on this volume, however.
On the one hand, one of the things I like about McGuire is that she’s willing to take chances and change things up. She doesn’t seem to settle for a recurring formula.
On the other hand, when going in to a familiar series, with some familiar characters, it can be unsettling to suddenly have something very unfamiliar.
I’ve liked peeking in on Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children. As we learned in the first book, these are still school children and they still have to deal with many of the difficult aspects of being a school-aged teen. As a fantasy story, there was much to be admired about this schooling.
What I didn’t like about going to Whitethorn was more about my personal taste. I didn’t like the structure or strictness and I couldn’t identify with someone who wanted to be there. But I recognize that there are people who prefer or even need more structure.
The book really addresses ‘fat-shaming’ and ‘fatphobia’ and this is SO important in a book that will be read by so many young adults and teens and pre-teens. For such a common (unfortunately) issue, the topic is not addressed nearly enough.
This is one of my least favorite books in the series, but I’d still rather read Seanan McGuire than just about anyone else.
Looking for a good book? Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire is the 7th book in the beautiful, lyrical Wayward Children series. The book takes a different path than the previous books in the series, opening some new doors for storylines and taking the reader out of a comfort zone.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Where the Drowned Girls Go
author: Seanan McGuire
series: Wayward Children #7
hardcover, 160 pages