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The House of Six Doors

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Serena, at thirteen, leaves her home on the colorful Caribbean island of Cura ao and her beloved grandmother, Oma, when her ambitious, impulsive, and emotionally unstable mother takes her and her sister to the United States in pursuit of the American Dream. They drive from Miami to Hollywood, where their luck runs out and a 1963 Ford Galaxie becomes their first American ho ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Publishing by the Seas
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Nancy Black
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
From the first page, I was sucked in. I've been in publishing for a long time. I've reviewed books, interviewed authors, and am on many a press list. A lot of people ask me to read their books.

I was intrigued to learn more about Curacao, a place I'd only vaguely heard of (enough to know it was an island in the Caribbean). The colorful history and traditions of the blend of cultures that form Curacao permeate the story, from Dutch slave traders and colonists, to slaves and their descendants, to t
...more
Michelle
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
For starters, let me say this isn't a Christian novel. I found the mother and grandmother's superstitions quite intriguing, if not a bit disconcerting at times. The House of Six Doors is a coming of age story and is truly hard to put down. I just wanted to keep reading until I finished the book. I liked the part early on where they traveled through Tombstone, Arizona in 1972 looking for ghosts because it was labeled a ghost town at the time. I found that funny - I live near Tombstone, so that wa ...more
Guilie
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: curacao
For eleven years, ever since I came--by accident--to live in Curaçao, I've been looking for books about this island's rich history and people. And for eleven years I found nothing. There's plenty in Dutch or Papiamentu, neither of which I read, and even if I did, most of it is non-fiction, drab and clinical, that doesn't come close to doing this magical, surreal place justice.

And then I found Patricia Selbert's House of Six Doors. The book has flaws--it is, after all, a debut novel--but richness
...more
Stephen
It's strange that a book like this, a young adult novel centered on a female character, would resonate with me, seeing as I am just a teenage guy, but this really was a great book! I enjoyed reading it, and that's saying a lot because I can never finish a book.

I really loved the parts about Serena and her sister learning how to grow up and function in the new culture they found in Los Angeles.

I hope other young guys will give this book a shot because it was really great!
Chris Ligrano
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was a fantastic read. I really enjoyed the more humorous parts when Serena and her sister got into some sticky situations. I felt like I was able to get a sneak peek into the mind of a young girl, how she felt in her first relationship, and what it was like to move to a foreign country. I definitely recommend this novel to anyone interested in understanding women a little bit more.
Lynn
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, its EXCELLENT! All immigrants can relate to the story. An immigrant like me, i completely understand the hardships of moving to the US. The culture-shock, the challenge of amalgamation among other things. I truly enjoyed reading this book and i recommend it.
Michelle Khzouz
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thank you Godreads for this copy! Beautifully written story that speaks to the heart of mother-daughter relationships, immigration, coming of age and finding oneself. Enjoy!
Lauren
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
With Patricia Selbert's The House of Six Doors, I stepped out of my comfort zone when it comes to books considerably, and thankfully enough it was well worth the risk. Because The House of Six Doors is not only unique but also full of great messages and plenty of vivid descriptions to keep nearly any reader intrigued as well.

The House of Six Doors begins the day Serena and her mother and sister land in the beautiful and vast America, the land of promise and success. Serena is not too happy with
...more
Diana Mcneill
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young women
The House of Six Doors is filled with wisdom and honesty.

The passages when Serena remembers Curacao are winsome, woeful and wonderful at the same time.

The character of Mama is difficult to identify with, however, I did find myself feeling for her, which is the mark of a solid character, and a victory for an author. Even the evilest of villains contain some trace of humanity in them, that is what makes their evilness so compelling, because we can identify with them in some way, even if we are as
...more
Erika Romer
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Lovely journey to the Caribbean island of Curacao. Selbert weaves the present and past together beautiful, creating a mesmerizing experience. The nuggets of wisdom we are left with are precious.
Caitlin
Aug 31, 2011 rated it liked it
I found this book to be very interesting. But I am biased because I live on Curacao. The writing is not sophisticated, but I assume that English is not Patricia Selbert's first language, probably not even her second. And the writing is not bad. The grammar and spelling is fine, it is just simplistic. But the narrator is also a young teenager. It is about Mama and two of her daughters, Hendrika and Serena. They follow their mother's whim to Miami and then across the U.S. to California. I am origi ...more
Mary
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, blog-tour
Isn’t that a lovely cover? (click on it for a closer look) That’s what drew me to the book and then Patricia Selbert’s characters took over from there. We experience everything through Serena’s eyes. Her mother is chasing the dream of being rich and doesn’t understand why her children don’t share that dream. Serena and her sister would just like to follow their own dreams but instead end up trying to please their mother by doing whatever she asks/demands from them.

No matter how many times I told
...more
Angela
Jan 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: given-away
I had a hard time with the beginning of this book. I could not relate to the character of Mama in any way and I felt so bad for Serena that she and her sister were forced here and there as Mama searched for a way to be successful. I wasn't bothered by the portrayal of the immigrant who didn't understand how things worked in the United States as much as Mama's reaction to finding out that things were not the way she thought they should be. She was so loud and harsh, insisting that she was right a ...more
Katie
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
The House Of Six Doors is a wonderful story about coming of age in an unknown country. Patricia Selbert managed to incorporate all the insecurities and fears of every teenager but also of someone new to the US and the sense of wonder that they feel.

Serena has no clue what to expect when she arrives in the US with her mother and her sister, Hendrika. All she really knows is that life is going to be different, hopefully better. Things aren't as easy as expected though and life is difficult. School
...more
Alvely
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful, wonderful book! I began reading this book as my escape from my grad school readings and was not able to put it down. I can definitely relate to Serena's and her family's struggle as immigrants in this country as my family experienced that as well.

But it was her maturity and relationship with her grandmother that made me fall deeper in love with her character and her situation. Like Serena did at some point in the book, I also felt that it was unfair for my parents to take me a
...more
Maria Esther Estrada MA
Es una historia autobiográfica. Una niña nacida en Curacao, una de las islas holandesas en el Caribe, emigra con su madre y su hermana a los Estados Unidos en busca de una "nueva vida". Sus inicios en ese país fueron muy difíciles para las tres: pobreza, discriminación, drogas y sexo son factores que afectan sus primeros años.

Lo que más me gustó, y por lo que compré originalmente el libro, fueron sus recuerdos de Curacao, de su abuela, de su familia extendida. Las tradiciones de las familias de
...more
Jamie
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great story telling. I was captivated from beginning to end. This is a fascinating story of survival, in spite of a crazy mother, in an unknown world. I especially liked the steady and compassionate, voice of our heroine Serena, with no residual of bitterness or shame. Serena is truly a tween in every sense of the word; age, nationality, family, cultures, language and her own desires. This story was meant for film.
Jo
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked up this book to learn more about Curacao, it's history, culture and customs. It delivered. But this is more a coming of age book. Told from the view point of 13year old Serena, who desperately needs to feel love and acceptance. She and her older sister follow her mother across the US looking for the American dream. It proves illusive, until Serena finds that the love and acceptance she needed was inside her self all along.
Annie McElfresh
Mar 07, 2011 rated it liked it
This isn't the typical kind of book I read, but I was pulled in by the story. The plot unfolded slowly and you really got to know the characters well. The character and setting details were suburb. I felt like I was really in their world. Serena's struggle to deal with the relationships in her lofe is what kept me hooked in and kept me wanting more.



I would suggest this for older YA fans!
Jennifer
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
From my book review blog Rundpinne..."Selbert takes on many big issues and blends them together exceedingly well to create a very endearing and inspiring story."...The full review may be read here.
Carol
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I read this for the Just For Fun Challenge which encourages reading one book that has been on the TBR shelf for a long time and without doing a review. I still rated this book though and I loved it.
Francine
Curacao mother and two daughters move from Curacao to LA for a better life. The story is told by the younger daughter Serena and compares the two cultures. a bit slow at the beginning, but gets better. more of a YA book
Alice
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't really like any of the characters, but surprisingly I liked the book anyway. The author does a good job of comparing her life in Curacao with the US, ethnic identity, and intergenerational tension.
Nimita Dhirajlal
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I can't put it down! Will come back for more reviews when I have finished reading it!
Lisa
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
It was okay. Not my typical style of book.
Camila
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Relive the Caribbean and it's culture in the sixties and seventies...as if I was there...
Marni
rated it it was ok
Oct 15, 2015
Tiffany
rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2011
Lindsey
rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2016
Bridget
rated it it was amazing
Mar 07, 2011
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