The trouble with denying children the freedom to be themselves - with forcing them into an idea of what they should be, not allowing them to choose their own paths - is that all too often, the one drawing the design knows nothing of the desires of their model. Children are not formless clay, to be shaped according to the sculptor's whim, nor are they blank but identical dolls, waiting to be slipped into the mode that suits them best. Give ten children a toy box, and watch them select ten different toys, regardless of gender or religion or parental expectations. Children have preferences. The danger comes when they, as with any human, are denied those preferences for too long.
I will always remember this passage, of how true its meaning and what makes Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the second book of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire stands out most. This is actually the back story of Jack and Jill, twin sisters that appeared in Every Heart A Doorway, one of the characters that answers the questions of open doorways to another world. While their world is a familiar place we grew up of from nightmarish stories from Bram Stoker's novel, Jack and Jill feels real in reality of the world we live in.
Jacqueline andJillian Wolcott were born with a plan by their parents to be their perfect trophies. As they started to grow, they were expected to be at their best by their parents desires, not theirs. But when both the twins discover a doorway in a trunk that lead them to the Moors, their lives forever changed as what was once they thought home was a house, it is a place where they feel belong.
I love this book a lot. Seanan McGuire had explored the relationship of parent and child through Jack and Jill, the idea of what parents want for their kids and through here, it feels so real that truth is spoken. While this serves as a stand-alone and a back story to one of the characters that is important in the Wayward Children series, I love the simplicity and fantasy depicts here. Its dark in its way and it answers to one of the questions I have from the first book on how these doorways appears in front of the children. Then of course, the relationship of the characters and its purpose speaks in good volumes. There is anticipation, smoothness and intriguing in the book, that I regret not making time to finish it earlier. If any thing, this book deserves a 4.5 out of 5 stars and will recommend fantasy lovers or students/children to read.