Misfit's Reviews > The House of Closed Doors

The House of Closed Doors by Jane Steen
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Jul 30, 12

bookshelves: us-midwest
Read from July 28 to 29, 2012 — I own a copy

“But I had been far more innocent than my flirtatious manner suggested, and therein lay my doom.”

Nell Lillington's got a big problem - her mother and stepfather have just discovered she's pregnant and she's not willing to name the father and enter into a marriage she doesn't want. Nell's stepfather is active in politics and the last thing he needs is a scandal, so he packs her off to a poor farm out in the country for her confinement. Nell settles in well at her new *home* and makes some interesting new friends (loved Tess!), but there's soon a bit of a mystery to be solved when the older wing is opened and a pair of bodies is found in one of the cells. Were they locked in, or did they lock themselves in? How did they get into a section of the home that was securely locked? And just who would want to *do in* an unwed mother and her young child? Hmmmm?

“The door slammed shut. I heard the spring bolt shoot into place with a hard thud. I leaped to my feet and screamed like I had never screamed in my entire life.”

That's about all I want to tell, going further would spoil the story. I liked this a lot, it was a quick easy read that kept me guessing; and there are more twists and turns after the evil baddie is revealed (my heart just about dropped when he did THAT). The 1870s Midwest setting was a refreshing change, and along with a look at life on a poor farm (it's like its own mini-society), and the author also worked the Great Chicago Fire into the story. I know I'm going to say this clumsily, but a huge thumbs up to the character of Tess, who suffered from Down's Syndrome. It so refreshing to have a character with a handicap worked into the story and to watch the strong bond develop between Nell and Tess. Other big pluses were no formatting errors, nor even a typo to be found (if there were, I missed them), so thank you Ms. Steen for taking the time to polish it up, we readers really do care about things like that. The author's notes at the end mention where the story idea came from and what was fact and what was not (always appreciated). My only real quibble is the story ended too soon. I wanted more, especially Martin (be still my beating heart). Thankfully there is a sequel in the works (whew).

Review copy provided by author, thank you.
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Reading Progress

07/28/2012
6.0% "But I had been far more innocent than my flirtatious manner suggested, and therein lay my doom."
07/28/2012
15.0% "I looked down at my protruding abdomen. So marriage was the carrot, and the Poor Farm was the stick." 10 comments
07/28/2012
30.0% "“I am certain that I accompanied Jo and her baby to the cart that was to take them to Chicago. Dear God, what happened?”

Oooh, a mystery.

"
07/28/2012
32.0% "“We should send an orderly to the town for the constable.”

“For an idiot girl and her bastard?”

"
07/28/2012
35.0% "That Jo were like a fly in a kitchen for the menfolk around here‌—‌she kep’ landing on ’em, see, and even the strongest man can’t always keep from swatting at that fly once in a while.”"
07/28/2012
36.0% "The door slammed shut. I heard the spring bolt shoot into place with a hard thud. I leaped to my feet and screamed like I had never screamed in my entire life."
07/28/2012
44.0% "“Very correct, my ladies, but when a notorious drunk dies of drink, we do not have to look so far for a cause, nicht wahr? The physician will say drink, and the constable will say drink, and that is an end of it.”"
07/28/2012
52.0% "“I have to call one of the other imbeciles,” she stressed the word, “to help. I’m too short to carry this down the steps by myself.”

I just love Tess.

"
07/28/2012
61.0% "Had a nice nap, now back to Jane's lovely book as soon as dinner and GR updates are done with."
07/28/2012
75.0% "I certainly could not remain in Victory if I could not even remember my own married name."
07/28/2012
82.0% "“There’s a big fire in Chicago,” she announced."
07/29/2012
99.0% "Wait....there's going to be another book, isn't there?"

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Hannah Sounds good. What would you categorize it as primarily? A historical? A mystery? A romance?


Misfit Not romance, although I'm hoping for more of that in the next book. More historical mystery and a bit gothicky, but then not quite that either.


Crystal Starr Light The 1870s Midwest setting was a refreshing change, and along with a look at life on a poor farm (it's like its own mini-society)

I've been reading this on and off (when I have my phone and no book), and I am pleased as punch about the setting. The location reminds me of when I was a child and read (and reread) the Laura Ingalls books.


Misfit I know, you don't get many books with Midwest settings, and the poor farm was an added plus with opportunities for interesting characters.


message 5: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Sounds splendid! Nice review, Misfit.
Can't wait til this comes out in a format that I can read.


Misfit Hayes wrote: "Sounds splendid! Nice review, Misfit.
Can't wait til this comes out in a format that I can read."


Didn't I see you mention you got a fancy new phone? Can you download a free Kindle app and read it there?


message 7: by MAP (new)

MAP Would you say this is YA fiction or is it written for adults?


Misfit There's nothing in this that would stop me from recommending for younger readers, but I don't think it was geared towards YA. But I don't read much of that genre, so I'm not the best judge.


message 9: by Hayes (new)

Hayes Misfit wrote: "Can you download a free Kindle app..."

I'm allergic to Amazon!


Misfit Spotted on the freebie sales today.


Hannah Misfit wrote: "Spotted on the freebie sales today."

Thanks for the heads up. I nabbed it for my kindle PC app.
:)


Misfit This is good, I hope everyone snaps it up.


message 13: by Jewel (new)

Jewel Got it, thanks ;)


message 14: by Felicia (new)

Felicia J. I'll check it out. Looks like I can borrow it for free with my Amazon Prime membership.


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Got it! Thanks as always, Misfit!


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