Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #7)
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: So much. I went to a wedding tonight and I’ve never properly learned to not mix your alcohol, so there was red wine and champagne and Gimlets. It was a delightful wedding; my feet hurt from dancing, my throat hurts from singing (I got tested for covid yesterday so it’s def not that), and my heart is so full.
Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.
There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.
It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
And it isn’t as safe.
When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her Home for Wayward Children, she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.
She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming…
Drunk Overview: This is the 7th book in the Wayward Children series so if you haven’t read them, you can expect there may be spoilers. Cora is dealing with the Drowned Gods from the Moors and decides the best way to handle it is to go to Whitehorn Academy, the sister school to Eleanor’s school, where the students are trying to be “normal.” The school turns out to be miserable (surprise suprise).
Drunk Thoughts: There is so much to say about this book which is particularly funny because the novella length should make it seem like I have less.
- I love the differences between the two schools. It makes so much sense that the two of them are different, but the starkness of the difference was impressive.
- I LOVED Cora’s perspective. There’s something about willful compliance that’s kind of a delight to read.
- But also, as someone who doesn’t fit the “ideal,” it’s particularly interesting to see how she’s treated differently between the two schools.
- And I think there’s something fascinating about the fact that the book felt the need to go into her past diets. The book explained that her diet was healthy and had nothing to do with her size, and honestly it was a little heartbreaking because it felt like the same way people try to defend themselves in the real world too.
- I almost wonder how much of that was so that the reader would look on Cora more gently than they would have without the explanation…
- Regardless, the way the Drowning Gods are described is pretty damn disturbing, so it makes sense that Cora wants to do what she can.
- Without going into details, I love the way this world is built on faith and the idea of “be sure.” It makes certain plot points so satifstying.
- Honestly, the cast of people at Whitehorn has it’s moments, but it’s fairly hard to point out anyone other than the nameless girl.
- And Regan (anyone who read “Across the Green Grass Field” will be happy to see her return) makes an appearance, which was delightful, and such a nice way to continue her book.
- I don’t want to ruin anything but this book also has a return of a character I love and it was delightful!
- Okay, on to the other stuff. This book didn’t add too many new characters but did a great job expanding the world. Whitehorn is larger than Eleanor’s and the glimpse into different worlds was brief but incredibly interesting.
- The idea behind Whitehorn was both fascinating and horrifying. It makes me think of the D&D alignment chart and how would you change someone’s alignment…. probably not my best metaphor, but whateves.
- The plot was fun because each part of the book has it’s own mini plot. There’s the hero’s journey, the dark academia plot, the mystery, and the heist. This book has it all!
- As always, McGuire has lines that will break your heart in the best of ways. I wanted to bring one in as an example but I didn’t mark it in the book and I’m drunk so I couldn’t find it. Guess you’ll have to read it yourself.
- But I’m constantly impressed with McGuire’s ability to take things that are human to the extreme and distill them into these short perfect sentences. The writing isnt’ necessarily flowery, but god does it punch me in the gut.
- Okay, so plot, I already mentioned this book has a little bit of everything. The characters in this are also so fucking smart, I found myself suprised (and impressed) by a few of the insights that students had.
- Basically, there are a few more people whose books I want to read now. I’ve wanted Eleanor’s book for a while. Kade’s book is going to be the last one (McGuire has said this a number of times as Kade’s story deals with some delicate subjects and McGuire wants her readers to know she can be trusted to handle them with the proper care), but there are so many stories from Whitehorn that could be told.
- The worlds that we’ve seen so far have had their bleak moments and cruelty fitting of the rules, but the idea of a world where “The floor is lava” is taken literally and changes in a moment is destined for cruelty in a way that other worlds aren’t. I’m also fascinated by the idea of a world that’s hostile to it’s inhabitants, and the kind of person who would go through that door…
What it Pairs With: It feels dumb to say, but water. It fits Cora’s world, it fits Whitehorn academy, and it fits the plot oh so well.