After reading Down Among The Sticks And Bones, I feel, honestly, that its prequel Every Heart A Doorway seems a lot flimsier in my recollection in comparison. Which is weird because I ended EHAD unsure of whether I wanted to read more about Jack and Jill: at the end of DATSAB, I was burning to know more about them, and hope that their fate after the events of EHAD is covered in the next novella, Beneath The Sugar Sky, despite being about another Wayward Child entirely.
DATSAB also illuminated a problem I hadn’t been sure of how to elucidate when reading EHAD: the role of parents in their children’s lives. DATSAB was a really good examination of specific parents being specifically awful, whereas EHAD pushed a more “parents just don’t understand” worldview that I found problematic, especially in conjunction with the tacit condoning of leaving this world and all its miseries for a fantasy land (specifically an underworld in what felt very much like an extended metaphor for suicide.)
I did feel bad for Jill, because it felt like she was doomed from the start. I think that’s part of the reason why I want to know what happens to them after the events of EHAD. Jack has had her chance at redemption but Jill has been molded entirely by Very Shitty Parenting, and after reading this explanation for their behaviors in EHAD, it would be infuriating if we did not find out what happens to them next. I also really loved how Seanan McGuire built The Moors, and would happily read more writing set here, so here’s hoping!