Set in the early 1900s, the book tells the story of young January Scaller, ward of the uber-wealthy Mr. Locke. Within his rambling home, January feels like just another of his treasures: protected, kept behind the safety of glass and stone, and something of a curiosity herself. Her father, who is seldom around, works for Mr. Locke, tracking down and obtaining rarities from around the globe.
As January enters adolescence, three unusual things hint that her life might not be the gray, uninteresting wasteland she believes it will always be. A Black woman arrives, claiming her father sent her to protect January. The dark-eyed son of the Italian grocer brings her a most unruly puppy. And she discovers a Book. A book about world-spanning love, Doors into other dimensions, and a connection to her own life that she can barely believe might be true.
This is a tale of impossible quests, unquenchable love, and not so much coming of age as coming into your own power. If you believe in the power of the story, read this book and pray Ms. Harrow writes many, many more.
"When I was seven, I found a door. I suspect I should capitalize that word, so you understand I'm not talking about your garden- or common-variety door that leads reliably to a white-tiled kitchen or a bedroom closet.
When I was seven, I found a Door. There -- look how tall and proud the word stands on the page now, the belly of that D like a black archway leading into a white nothing...."