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.
Cora’s character is just so complex. I love that we get a brief background on her and her experiences in childhood with her weight and how ostracised she was by her peers. I think it’s quite tragic that she thought the only way she could escape would be to try and commit suicide but I’m glad she found her way through her door and to the trenches. I thought it was quite brave of her to approach Eleanor and request the transfer, she obviously knows how to advocate for herself and through her experiences recognise when she’s had enough.
I’m a little miffed at Eleanor for her reaction to Cora’s decision to go to Whitethorn. I think she definitely took it too personal and reacted when I think she should of tried to be a bit more compassionate and try to reason with Cora. I just feel like when she was aware of how serious Cora was she kind of shut her out and sent her on her way.
I was very much invested in Cora’s time at Whitethorn and how they try to break the girls and reset their minds. We are introduced to a few new characters and revisit some old characters which was fun to see. I almost didn’t recognise Regan at first but I loved that we get to know what happened to her when she came back through her door and her new abilities. The other characters weren’t as memorable to me, they all kind of blended together a little bit but I’m hoping we learn more about them individually as the series continues.
I think this book in particular is one of my favourites in this series. Cora feels a lot more relatable as a character and overall the plot and pacing were still quite fast but highly engaging. I would of loved if this was a full length book that could of delved a lot deeper into Whitethorn and the Headmaster and his decisions. But for being a novella I think there was the perfect amount of context, mystery and thrills!
⭐️4/5 stars One of my favs from this series so far!