The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Alix E. Harrow | Fiction 2019

371 pages


I read a lot.  I guess that is obvious if you are reading my blog.  Sometimes, oftentimes, I will get into a book and then want to rush through to see what the next magic is in that pile from the library. When I find a book that invites me to slow down and savor every word, well, I simply fall in love.  Such is my experience with The Ten Thousand Doors of January.  I read it slowly, one chapter at a time.  I didn’t want to rush.

January is a girl and young woman living in the early part of the 1900’s, who has a special connection to doors.  She learns that doors are portals to “elsewhere.”  Her father is off chasing artifacts around the world, while January is raised by a benevolent benefactor.  But, of course, all is not as it seems.

This is another debut novel that delights.  What is it about debut novels?  There is something so fresh ... a new voice, a new intention.  I usually have the sense that debut novelists choose every word and write every sentence very carefully.

I happened upon this book through one of those “if you liked that book, you will like this book...” references, with “that book” being The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.  The Ten Thousand Doors of January has less magic than Morgenstern’s books do, so I know that Harrow’s realism will appeal to some of my blog readers.  I became a bit confused about what was happening around pages 250-300, but recovered by the end, and I sincerely recommend.