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Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward…
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Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children, 7) (edition 2022)

by Seanan McGuire (Author)

Series: Wayward Children (7)

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10912203,497 (4.17)5
Member:hcnewton
Title:Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children, 7)
Authors:Seanan McGuire (Author)
Info:Tordotcom (2022), 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
These books just get better and better with each installment. Highly recommend to anyone who dreams of escaping the world through a magical door. ( )
  Verkruissen | Jan 26, 2022 |
Good writing (of course), exciting action with quite a few scary bits (the truth behind Whitethorn School!)...but the story pretty much ends up where it started. Well, at least one new character - maybe Marian gets the next story? And this one was necessary to explain where she was coming from? Don't know. Some interesting insights into Sumi and Cora, too. And we get to see Regan again, and she gets integrated into the main line. Still - fun read, but there doesn't seem to be much point to it; hopefully, it's building up to the next arc. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jan 25, 2022 |
Cora Miller, the girl who went through the Door to the world of the Trenches, became a mermaid, had the experience of being a true hero but overall very traumatic experience in the Moors, and returned home to our world, has loved Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. Unfortunately, it hasn't been helping her in the way she thinks she needs. After much thought, she asks to be transferred to the other school for returning travelers, The Whitehorn Institute.

The Whitehorn Institute is a very different place, very strict, very disciplined, very inflexible, aimed at making the students forget their alternate worlds and the doors that took them there. It's not a kind place, or a safe one.

CW: Fatphobia, suicidal ideation, bullying, and ableism. Mental and emotional abuse from the Headmaster and the Matrons.

Cora initially finds herself being beaten down, and perhaps letting go of some of her grip on her memories. She also meets girls very different from herself, including the Nameless Girl, and some months in, is surprised by a very familiar face as another new student--but who has a very different goal than Cora.

This is a novella, and I can't say anything more that's specific. It's a story about Cora finding her own inner strength, and figuring out what's really going on at The Whitehorn Institute. It's emotionally complex and rewarding, and thoroughly enjoyable, I will say it's even more enjoyable if you've already read Beneath the Sugar Sky and Come Tumbling Down, because events in those novellas are the background for Cora's trauma. However, I think you can follow and enjoy this book on its own, too.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Jan 20, 2022 |
There are schools other than Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, and in @seananmcguire’s latest from @tordotcompub, Where the Drowned Girls Go, we are introduced to the Whitethorn Institute and its staff of nameless matrons and a headmaster who is remarkably unmemorable.

After her journey to the Moors and her brush with the Drowned Gods there, Cora decides she needs a different path than the one Miss West’s school is offering her. She transfers to the Whitethorn Institute and quickly discovers there is something very wrong with this school. When Sumi also transfers to the Institute with the express purpose of bringing Cora home, the friends quickly discover that if they are to survive in this world or any other, they need to escape the seemingly impenetrable walls of Whitethorn. Turns out, sometimes all you need is a little inner strength and faith in yourself to defeat your demons.

McGuire gives us our first true villain in the “real” world, and I’m here for him. There is so much mystery surrounding Whitethorn and his institute and he’s so damned unnerving. An excellent, if not slightly terrifying, addition to the cast of characters for these books. ( )
  tapestry100 | Jan 18, 2022 |
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---

And everyone knew that things from the other side of the door could absolutely leak through into this reality. Her hair had been brown, not aquamarine, before she found her fins. Christopher would die without his flute—literally die. Seraphina was the kind of beautiful that stopped hearts, and everyone who'd seen pictures of her from before her travels said that she hadn’t always been like that. She’d been attractive, not impossible. The doors made changes. The doors stayed with you.

WHAT'S WHERE THE DROWNED GIRLS GO ABOUT?
Things have gone poorly for Cora since her return from the Moors, and things are getting worse for her. She's now afraid of getting a door—because it might not lead to the world she wants. So now that "other school" starts to sound appealing to her. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to feel at home in this world—it's certainly better than one of the alternatives. There's no way that she'll get those tools at this school (as much as she likes/loves her friends).

So she talks West into transferring her—and regrets the decision before the ink is dried. Still, she sets out to make the best of a bad situation—it's still going to get her the results she's been desiring, just not in a pleasant way.

Cora tackles the situation in a "no pain, no gain" manner. West's school wasn't helping (at least not the way she wanted), the Whitethorn Institute isn't going to save her, it's up to Cora to save herself.

WHITEHORN INSTITUTE

"You've always said that there was a second school."

Eleanor pulled her hands away. “The Whitethorn Institute. Cora, you can’t intend—”

“You said they steal your students sometimes. That when you're not fast enough, or when the children are having a harder time adapting to life in this reality, that sometimes Whitethorn gets there first.” She sat up straight, giving Eleanor a challenging look. “You said it was where students go when they want to believe that everything that happened on the other side of the door was just a dream, or a delusion, and not a real thing at all.”

We've known about "the other school" for children who come back through their doors into our world—one for those who didn't want to see their doors again, one for those who want to feel at home in this world. But this is the first time we've seen it.

It is not a nice place to be.

That's about all I feel comfortable about saying—you'll need to read the book to see how it's not a nice place to be. I get that (especially as the series takes a pro-Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children stance) it's not going to seem as nice, welcoming, and affirming as the school we're used to. I expected that this school would come across as wanting, not just in contrast, but objectively,

But I think McGuire approached that idea in a lazy manner. It's too obviously a bad environment. She had the chance to go subtle, and she didn't take it. I kept thinking, "Oh, she's making a commentary about X or Y" in the real world—but she was doing so with too broad a brush, and it'd end up applying to things she didn't mean to attack.

Still, if you're looking to make an establishment a villain, she did an effective job. I think it'd have been more interesting—and more fitting with the series—if there'd been more nuance to it. Give the readers a second school that has differing goals from the Home for Wayward Children, but let us respect them while disagreeing—then you've got something. Instead, we get an institution that might as well be twirling its mustache.

REAGAN
It's not just Cora that we see here, Regan's also came to this school after returning from the Hooflands. I appreciated that. I didn't think we had enough of Regan—but it didn't feel like the character would be showing up at West's.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT WHERE THE DROWNED GIRLS GO?
McGuire is simply one of the best around—and this world she's created in this series is just wonderful and I really enjoy all the time I spend in it. But this book seemed to be missing something. The previous books in the series all left the possibility open to revisiting the world on the other side of the door, the POV character, and so on—while telling a complete story.

This novel is also a complete story—but it feels (at least to me) too much like a Part One of at least a two-parter (if not three). And I think the book suffered from it. When we get to that second part, I might change my mind about this book, but now it just feels incomplete. Add in my problems with the presentation of Whitethorn and it makes for a less-satisfying read than I'm used to for this series.

I still recommend it as a read—you're instantly sucked into this world, it's fantastic to get a look at Whitethorn (if nothing else); the story of Cora, Regan, and the others is well-worth telling and reading; and McGuire's language and imagination in this series are always fascinating. I just wanted more of this good thing. ( )
  hcnewton | Jan 14, 2022 |
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