This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.
When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.
For anyone . . .
Note: This is a prequel to the series, but fourth in publication. Because time means nothing.
Review – We first met Katherine Lundy (never Kate or Kat or Kitty or Katie or Kathy) in EVERY HEART A DOORWAY (EHAD) where she was the School’s Psychologist. We learned a little of why she was so young and growing only younger as time passed by as a cautionary tale.
Much like DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES (DATSB), this is the tale of how Lundy (for that name fit her as well as, if not better, thean Katherine ever did) found herself at Eleanor’s side after being forced out of her “door”.
There is a certain sense of…hope in both EHAD and its direct sequel BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY (BTSK), that DATSAB and IAAD don’t have. We know the fates of Lundy, Jack and Jill before we began their respective prequel tales. We know that no matter how hopeful and happy and content they are in their stories in the NOW, something must occur that breaks that happiness and thrusts them back here to “reality”.
McGuire double downs on that with Lundy’s tale.
Katherine Lundy is, like I’m sure many of us when we were younger, content with words and books and solitude in a way that most adults find both pleasing and disquieting at the same time. Not so disquieting that she concerns them, just enough that they absently wonder if there’s something more that could be done.
In Katherine’s case she could have lived a much different life if her father – the Principal of her local school – had noticed how his job could negatively effect his daughter, but that’s not how Lundy’s story goes and in its time its considered and dealt with.
The Goblin Market is both a Haven for those of us who prefer structure to their lives and a nightmare to those of us who are in cautious with our words. There is an invisible but defined “line” in the Goblin Market that should be treaded around carefully and which on the face of it should be easy enough to stay on the right side of.
It boils down to “treat others as you want to be treated”. All this talk of “fair value” is just that really. No one likes feeling like they were cheated and no one should purposely make others feel that way.
For Lundy, and honestly for me, this almost made enough sense to feel comfortable. Its when faced with something that is harder to pin down – like say the death of a beloved playmate and friend – when things get…iffy.
And that’s where Lundy found herself stumbling. The Archivist tried to make her understand, tried to make her SEE, but as Lundy grew older she lost that sense of understanding because let’s face it – adulthood makes us lose a sense of “fair value” for tangible things, how much harder is it with the intangible? Does the “fair value” measure emotional value, monetary value, or both?
If my younger sister said to me “How is it fair of you to disappear and deprive me of an older sister?” what is the “fair value” there? How do you put a tangible, or at least an agreed upon, value on those lost years? Those lost memories? How do you pay back such a debt?
Who knows if that lost time would have made us closer or drive us apart after all. For Diana, who wanted nothing as much as to have an older sister to do things with, Lundy’s continual disappearance/reappearance was a horrific crime against her. For Lundy, she barely thought of her sister and rarely considered her feelings if ever, so those lost years meant very little to her until they were brought to her attention as a debt she had to repay.
She was warned of the danger of trying to be clever with the rules, she in fact accused her own father of that sort of clever devilry that eventually leads to her ruin…and yet.
Young Lundy is nothing like the jaded, bitter realist of EHAD, but in seeing the lessons she has to learn (the hard way in many cases) and the sacrifices she doesn’t make, you can understand her actions (and advice) in EHAD far better.
Which is so heart breaking all things considered.
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Published by: Tor.com Publishing
Release: January 8, 2019
Series: Wayward Children Book 4
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