I'm a little confused by this book. On the one hand, I found the story compelling. I read it very quickly because the story was quite gripping. On the...moreI'm a little confused by this book. On the one hand, I found the story compelling. I read it very quickly because the story was quite gripping. On the other hand, I was puzzled by it. On the cover, one of the reviewers compares the book to the Narnia books. However, those books were wonderful allegories. I cannot see any allegorical value in this story.
In the book, a little girl who lives in an apartment with her parents is intrigued by a locked door that opens to the bricked off entrance of the empty apartment next door. One night, she opens the door to find the bricks gone. The door now opens to a dark hallway that leads into an apartment that is just like hers but is very different and is where her "other" mother and "other" father live. They want her to stay with them forever and always. Without giving away too much, the other world through the door is a frightening mockery of her real world. The "other" mother becomes the evil conflict in this story. But why is the "other" mother evil? Who is she? Why is she doing this? It's unsettling and full of uncertainty.
The book cover also says this book is for children eight years of age and older. I'm not sure what an eight-year-old would make of this story. It would be quite scary and alarming for an eight-year-old child.
In the end, good triumphs but triumphing over what is the part of the story that stumps me. Yes, I suppose, triumphing over evil, but the reason for the evil is unclear. (less)
When I was in junior high school, the little corner grocer became a natural food store full of oddities, including large glass jars of pungent herbs....moreWhen I was in junior high school, the little corner grocer became a natural food store full of oddities, including large glass jars of pungent herbs. One wall in the store was filled with an eclectic mix of used books. I visited the store often to look at the books and quickly discovered an old boxed set of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I had never heard of them before. I couldn't afford to buy the books immediately, so I continued to visit the store to see the books. I began reading the Hobbit intermittently whenever I could. I thought I had discovered a little-known series of magical books. I worried that someone else would find them and buy them before I could. When I finally collected enough money, I was so relieved that the books were still there on the shelf waiting for me. These books transport the reader to another realm. I am so glad that I discovered them on my own and was not compelled to read them as part of a school reading list. (less)