Mr. Locke is an apt name for her “guardian”…(THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow, narrated by January LaVoy)

This is the sort of clothing 7-year-old January might have worn in 1901. Notice the tight boots, black stockings, drawn-in waists and high collars of these “summer” dresses. The girl at right has longer skirts to denote that she is older.
This is the sort of clothing 17-year-old January might have worn in 1911. Notice the long skirts. My grandmothers (born in 1892 and 1894) turned seventeen in 1909 and 1911. They both told me that once you turned sixteen, you were obliged to lower your skirts.

How wonderful to read something so imaginative! I loved the voice of naughty (temerarious) January Scaller, who at 7 had precociously worked out how to annoy everyone. Her mischievous side really drew me in.

But what was also wonderful is how a 7-year-old motherless girl is so very vulnerable to the blandishments of her “guardian” with the apt name of Mr. Locke, so that when he admonishes her that she must learn to “stay in her place,” she does just that, learning to suffocate her true nature, just as young ladies of her era (the novel is set in the years 1901 and 1911) learn to curb their growing curves by jamming them into corsets.

I LISTENED to this novel, and the voice of January LaVoy really helped the get a flavor of this story. I really LOVED the way she captured the accents of 7-year-old January, her father Julian, her mother Adelaide. Highly recommended. Five Stars.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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