book cover of the ten thousand doors of january. image source

Author: Alix E. Harrow

Amazon book link
Language: English
Verdict: Loved it fully (5/5)

It took me four months to read the first 100 pages, finished the next 300 in two days.

This book made me realize something new, every decision we take in our lives is a Door. Through these doors we transform ourselves, through these doors we bring changes and traversing through these doors we grow up to be the person we are.

For the first time I realized, why past always appears so simple, because we already know what’s gonna happen. As we become a changed version of ourselves by taking new decisions, we really can not go back in time to find those ‘known’ simpler times. Another reason present seems complex is that experiences take away our naivety and we see more gray (nuanced) areas and that makes us more indecisive. Simple Bayes theorem 😉.

So to continue this metaphor, doors are the gateways to something new (either good or bad) and thresholds (indecision) are like limbos. I guess we can all relate to this hellish feeling of indecisiveness sometime or other in our lives 😀 .

Now about the story

Like any other lonesome (different) person, January was always on a look out for a getaway to another world. A world where she will be understood, loved and moreover accepted. January was a child without mother. She lived with her foster caregiver who was his father’s employer Mr. Locke. Her father was always away to find valuable and rare items for him.

To Mr. Locke, January was also like a rare collectable, due to her different skin color and her appearance. It felt like January was kind of a pet to him, and he kept trying to tame her. Momentarily January was tamed, on the outside that is, the way someone can be tamed with punishments and severe restrictions. Only solace she had in her life was her pet dog named Bad.

Then she found something, actually two things (although years apart): one, she could write and open a door and through which she could venture into another world, maybe another universe all together.

Two, just before her 17th birthday, January found a book the ten thousand doors, a book all about the doors between our world and other universes. She read about a girl called Ade and how Ade found a boy Yule-Ian through one of these doors, and then how Ade went on a life long adventure.

Then one day suddenly everything changed in January’s life. She embarked on her own adventure. However, her adventure was not as romantic as she had imagined or had read in her books. At times she did think to go back to her glorified prison, but something kept her moving.

I guess, that is life. We, who learn about life through the books we read and the movies we watch, mostly find a huge mismatch between the life in our imagination and the real one. Anyway I think I can keep talking about this book, but that would not be fair. You should read this book (link) and love it or hate it on your own way 😃.

Final Takeaway

When we embark on an adventure, which life keeps throwing at us every now and then, we long for the destination. We think (desire) that everything will be calm and peaceful and happy if we can just reach there. However, the most enjoyable part of a journey is the journey itself. The joy and satisfaction we feel at the end of the road is just momentary. Because, settling is boring 😀. Another thing is fun about a journey is the company we keep ❤.

Loved the book. Highly recommended.


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