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The Ten Thousand Doors of January, a review

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Creativity is necessary for coming up with ideas, whether logical or imaginative. Escapism occurs when you avoid reality to seek entertainment elsewhere or engage in fantasy. 

“The Ten Thousand Doors of January” by Alix E. Harrow introduces a novel that blurs the line between reality and fantasy that comes with escapism. The story follows January Scaller, a girl who has an overactive imagination, as she searches for answers in unexpected places.

January is in the care of Mr. William Cornelius Locke, an amateur collector. January’s father worked for Mr. Locke until he went missing and presumed dead. 

January discovered at a young age that she could view new worlds by writing about entering through a door. However, Mr. Locke commonly dismissed this behavior and punished her for using her mind creatively.

Cover of “The Ten Thousand Doors of January” by Alix E. Harrow (Kiela Jefferson)

Since she was closer to Mr. Locke than her father, the lessons that Mr. Locke taught her, such as her behavior and obedience at all times, rang through her head. She was around seven in the beginning, but by the end, she was seventeen. 

This novel of escapism that helps her escape the reality of being locked away in her room and restricted as an “in-between” displays her displacement during this period

This historical fiction develops the themes of prejudice, discrimination, tradition and modernity. January has been exposed to these thematics since childhood. There was evidence of staff being disposable and the imbalance between men and women. 

A beautiful moment was during January’s childhood when she went through a blue door. The description of the world held behind it was lyrically depicted. 

January’s ability carries throughout the story as she is exposed to newfound possibilities. Throughout this fantasy-driven adventure, she meets new people who know her parents and serve as her guide during this trying time.

By the end, she’s happier than ever with her new life as she’s stopped trying to follow what Mr. Locke had taught her since she was young. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Spinnaker sails

4.5 spinnaker sails







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