Where the Drowned Girls Go: A Review

“Under enough pressure, the only good that counted was saving yourself.”

You might have heard of Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. But there’s another school for children who fall through doors into magical worlds and back out into a world that no longer feels like home.

The Whitethorn Institute isn’t as friendly as the Home for Wayward Children. It isn’t as safe.

But when you’ve already tried Eleanor’s way, where else is there to go?

After traveling through the Moors to help a classmate, Cora thought she could go back to the way things were while she waited for her door and her chance to go home. But the dark waters haven’t stopped whispering her name and Cora knows she needs to try something else if she wants to live long enough to get home.

Whitethorn isn’t a home. It might not even be enough to save her. Cora knows she is a hero. She knows the monsters chasing her are real. And she knows all too well that there are casualties when monsters and heroes meet in Where the Drowned Girls Go (2022) by Seanan McGuire.

Find it on Bookshop.

Where the Drowned Girls Go is the seventh installment in McGuire’s Wayward Children series of novellas which begins with Every Heart a Doorway.

This series truly gets better with every installment. Although many of the books in this series can be read alone, Where the Drowned Girls Go builds on everything that came before. This installment in particular will make the most sense if the events from Come Tumbling Down and Across the Green Grass Fields are fresh in your mind.

Cora has always felt most at home in the water–even before she went through her door and became a mermaid–making her new fear of water all the more poignant as she tries to exorcise the nightmares and monsters biting at her heels after traveling through the Moors. McGuire paints a grim picture as Cora comes to the Whitethorn Institute in the hopes that it can save her. Despite leaning into the regimented schedule and strict rules, Cora–like many heroes before her–soon realizes she’ll have to save herself (with some help from familiar faces along the way).

Where the Drowned Girls Go continues to expand the dizzying and dazzling array of worlds in the Wayward Children series with an ending that promises more adventure to come for all of the characters who call Eleanor West’s school home–even if only for a little while.

Possible Pairings: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova, The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, The Perilous Gard by Mary Elizabeth Pope, Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Scwhab, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth