#CBR12 Bingo: Debut
Official book description:
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 artefacts 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.
Little January Scaller is fully aware that even though she gets to wear fancy dresses and take trips to foreign locations with the rich Mr. Locke, her father’s employer, she doesn’t really belong in his big, sprawling mansion in Vermont. He’s an old, white man, she’s a little girl with dark hair and skin a brownish coppery hue. Her mother is dead and her father travels the world, risking his life and acquiring exotic treasures for Mr. Locke’s collection, but is hardly ever back long enough to spend any time with his little girl. The only friend January has is the grocer’s boy, Samuel Zappia, who sneaks her adventure stories to read and who she manages to get away to play with on weekends. But as Mr. Locke’s ward, January is expected to behave well, and not “consort with the help”.
While on a journey with Mr. Locke to sell some artifacts, January finds a strange door in a field and manages to open it by writing about it in her journal. The door opens to a beautiful seaside village somewhere obviously different, and January finds a foreign coin, before Mr. Locke discovers her and burns both the door and her journal. He hires a strict governess to take care of January and admonishes her that she needs to stop being so wild and start behaving properly. When she’s seventeen, January finds a strange book called “The Ten Thousand Doors” and the book makes her realise that she didn’t imagine the incident with the strange door when she was younger, and there’s a lot more mystery and adventure in the world than she imagined.
Full review here.