January Scaller doesn’t remember her mother, but she does remember the wandering life she spent with her father before the mysterious, wealthy Mr. Locke offered him a job.

January is now growing up and fatherless; For most of the year, her dad travels the world searching for rare and unusual objects that find their place in the spacious rooms she moves in, shortening her time to her father’s return through the most common activity of lonely children – fantasy.

But January is an older, but naive, infantile illusion that seems to be somewhat possessed by all children – the fact that everything we imagine, tell, draw and write, if we want it hard enough can become reality – does not abandon her.

And the older she gets, the more restless she is – but the restlessness does not belong to the kind that troubles girls her age, on the contrary. Instead of yearning to settle down and build her eternal place under heaven and surround herself with people she will love and know for the rest of her life, January longs for – everything else; for all the places that are not here, for all the people who are not the ones she knows, for the life – for the lives – that she does not live.

Before anyone can convince her that these feelings are another immature maiden phase that, undergoing patience, seriousness and resistance, will quickly pass, January finds a book whose opening for her will be like opening a double-glazed balcony door during a storm.

All she ever wanted to know about herself and the world was beyond the threshold of that book, that door – and many other doors – beyond the ten thousand doors that, she now knows, existed all over the world and led into the unthinkable, magical worlds created by stories.

Will January be able to cope with the fact that she got everything she always wanted? How would she deal with all the faces of the truth that she had heard from afar? How and with what will she pay the price of her role and responsibility in a world that wants to tell only one and the same story? How will she bear the realization that the only safe home she has ever known is in fact a snake litter and that for her and her mother, the word “home” will never mean what the world telling the same story wants that word to mean to every woman?

This book came to me at the right time, in a time of my anxiety and discomfort that I did not know how to determine the name or direction. Already in the first few chapters of “The Ten Thousand Doors of January” gave me what I didn’t know how to name and show – so to speak, it opened the door to me for clarity of my own needs. And then, knowing what I needed and what I longed for, I opened to myself a door that I had never opened before. And that was a rebirth to me; then, at that moment, certainly. But opening some doors to one extent changed me forever.

Since I still feel the peace of that decision today, I know that I have come across some truths about myself that, if I say them out loud, people who do not know me would be happy to attack me. Fortunately, those closest to me and those who love and understand me accept these truths. And for that, I am deeply grateful to this book for my departure (no one noticed, most of you remained, and will remain invisible, even though it involved leaving hundreds of miles away) and wandering to be both a compass and a companion.

“Ten Thousand Doors of January” is a book; it probably won’t mean to each of you what it meant to me. You may just have a well written and entertaining, somewhat poetic and philosophically colored fantasy novel for very young adults.

But if there is a woman among you whose soul tirelessly and constantly yearns for departures, for revelations, for guilt-free wanderings, if year by year your passion for stories, for unusual experiences, for the indescribable and complex splendor of the life whose boom you feel out there beyond your daily routine, this is the book for you.

And it’s not lying. And it doesn’t fool us. I went, looked around, opened one door at one point – and discovered that everything that appeals to me is truly as wonderful as it seems as we hear it from this side of the horizon.

This is a book for restless souls looking for adventure, but also a book about love – the one that such souls need. The one that says, “I won’t be your leash, my love”

This is a love story, but extremely unusual – and perhaps the only one that, as I get older, I really recognize and acknowledge. This is the story of a man who, while loving the stories of other worlds, loved a woman whose passion for life was to find a way to them. About the man who briefly entered the world that was not intended for him, and the woman who left everything to go looking for him…

But it’s not just an odd story of love between two adults; the love that speaks to me much louder from this story is the love that parents have for their child. And that love that manifests so beautifully in the open invitation to your child to be deaf to every voice that says “stop”, “calm down” and “be here”, and respond with all your heart and soul to whatever he calls “come “,” Go “,” discover all “and” be everywhere “. And it shows that the cost of responding to all this does not have to be the “home”, “love” and “family” that the world, which tells the same story, shows us as the only true and valuable ones.

I am deeply in love with this wonderful book and grateful for all the doors it has opened for me, as well as for the permanent permission to open many more by myself. If I dare.

I heartily recommend it to you.

13 thoughts on “THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow”

  1. WOW WOW WOW!!! I haven’t read this book yet but I am already so moved by its power to have impacted you so so much. How amazing that you were able to gain all of that release and clarity from this book!!!! I dont know you or what you went through but it sounds like you have made so major progress in developing a more positive attitude to it and allowing yourself to escape. I was going to order this book in June before reading this review…. but now I’m making it a top priority. This was an absolutely amazing review. Xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Im going to love this book. This reminds me of a famous saying “When one chooses to enter the door, he/she must be brave enough to see the other side.” and that’s only a door, how much more if there are thousands. Very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

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