Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
National Book Award 2019 Finalist!
From the author of Printz Medal winner Bone Gap comes the unforgettable story of two young women—one living, one dead—dealing with loss, desire, and the fragility of the American dream during WWII.
When Frankie’s mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporary—just...more
But the book is about more than that. It’s about what it means to be a woman, then and now. It’s about the secrets we are forced to keep and the ones we impose on ourselves. It’s about forgiveness and justice. It’s about survival and loneliness.
Beautifully written and wonderfully told. XO
This was, however, spectacular. Smart and savvy and clever and creative and powerful. A ghost story wrapped in a story of an orphan during World War II Chicago, this is a story about all of the doors hiding wolves girls have to face in the world. The wolves are all different, but all the same. It's also a story of love, of passion, of human connection.
Beautifully written and lush and evocative.
The hardship that Frankie has to endure, first with the nuns, and then with America on a war footing, not to mention a father who's neglectful at best and abusive at worst, makes for a ...more
There's also a ...more
Thirteen Doorwaysis such a genuinelygorgeousbook, I hardly know where to begin. Look, it's gut-wrenching, let's get that out of the way. I mean, it's orphans during WWII, you're probably not expecting sunshine and roses, right? The thing is, as hard as it is at times to read, there is a really inspirational aspect to it as well. It left me hopeful, that maybe humanity isn't doomed. Our ...more
The switching of POVs between our alive character and our dead character didn't totally work for me all the time. They were going through a lot of similar things but I didn't find their voices to be all that different from each other. At ...more
The ghost-as-narrator device still isn't used all that often, which I think is for the best. If you're going to use it you need to ...more
I cared about every character — I was angry, sad, elated for them. I cried and laughed and grinned, and at times was thoroughly creeped out (which I love!). Frankie is such a beautifully nuanced character, and I loved her wittiness and humor. I wanted to shake Toni at times, and I cannot tell you how deeply I ...more
Granted, I loved Bone Gap, but I recognize the magical-realism-lite vibe isn't for everyone. This book is similarly dreamy and beautiful, but it's grounded in real stories and histories. Every character is vibrant and full, and while I'm not normally a huge fan of YA historical fiction, particularly WWII, the perspective is fresh and unique. I absolutely adored this. It's gorgeously written and full of ...more
I think this would be a good fit for those who enjoyed ORPHAN TRAIN by Christine Baker Kline but want a younger read (OT is adult). I relished in learning about orphanages in the 1930’s and 1940’s Midwest, something I had no idea about.
Bravo Laura Ruby bravo.
It was fantastic. This is a story about girls, about loss, about love, about trauma, and about life. The balance between the two protagonists, whose stories are carefully interwoven and mirror each other in a lot of ways, is exceptional. The relationships feel real and complicated without being lost in the message ...more
If you had asked me at about 10% into this book if I was going to keep going, or even what I thought of it in general, I would have told you it was DANGEROUSLY close to being in my small DNF pile. The only thing that kept me going were: a. the author (I LOVED Bone Gap ), b. other reviews who mentioned a similar struggle getting going, and c. the buzz surrounding this book ...more
This book is ferociously beautiful, a supernova explosion of the most gorgeous, compelling, fierce writing - ever, in my memory of reading. It's a well-written work that hadn't particularly shaken me until the last 50 or so pages, but holy hell (apt). It's the most gratifying and emboldening ending.
I just love it. I have no words.
I love Laura Ruby's writing. In 13 doorways she transports readers back in time and builds a layered story filled with mystery, lies, and hungry characters. It is a ghost's story. Even though Pearl died in 1918, she is still present in 1940s Chicago as a ghost. One of her main "haunts" is a German Catholic orphanage where Frankie and her siblings have been left by their father during the depression. Through Pearl we learn about Frankie, about her family and her hopes, which in turn ...more
I loved Bone Gap so I was very excited to read Ruby's next YA novel. I was expecting something a bit deeper in meaning and thought so that's why it's a 4.25 and not higher.
Issues I Had With the Book
* I Wasn't Expecting That-I wasn't expecting a coming of age story. I don't like this genre because I tend to be bored. By the time I figured it out, I was 75% in. Because Bone Gap was so weird, I kept waiting for this book to be weird and to suddenly reveal something amazing but no, it was just a ...more
Because there is so much I have to share about this story. The writing was all kinds of perfect. I loved being able to connect to the story and this world. And gosh, the ...more
Yet she had her quiet days, her pensive ones, those days when she dug through her memories, trying to find the truth at the bottom of them. As if the truth were a jewel you could unearth and hold in your hand, as if the truth wasn't more like something you'd find under a rock, gray and faceless and squirming away from the light.
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did - the prose is beautiful, the story is weird but wonderful and it's feminist as fuck. But something about it just ...more