the door that led to where

I enjoyed this book so much I read it in one day! Then I recommended it to my daughter and she did too! it ticks lots of boxes; time travel, mystery, dangerous villain, romance etc. and it has a great main character. Meet AJ Flynn; just finished his GCSEs and not very hopeful about his future. His mum is a cleaner at a law firm in Clerkenwell and she manages to secure him an interview for a job, this is where the fun begins. He goes to the interview and everyone seems to know who he is, even more strangely there is a connection to his dad who disappeared before AJ was born. AJ has always assumed that he had run off and left him and his mum but it soon becomes clear that there is more to it then that.
To his surprise he is offered the job and given some money to buy himself a suit. He is then given a load of mundane tasks to do, one of which is to clean out the old store cupboard. There he finds an old key with a label on it with his name and date of birth. He meets a mysterious stranger who tells him what the key is for and he ends up in 1830! It’s a crazy ride; AJ is juggling 1830 problems with modern day worries in the form of his evil stepdad and trying to look after his mum and his friends who seem to be making life twice as hard! The main baddie is pretty good too. there is also a good scam going on where people are bringing in antiques through the door and selling them for profit in the present day; the trial that is taking place through the story is linked to this.
I really enjoyed the jumping between two worlds thing; the characters in 1830 seem more real than the modern day ones and you end up wishing that you could live there too. although it probably wasn’t as nice as Gardner tries to make you think! I have read several of her books before and really enjoyed the historical content of them. She really manages to capture what the time must have been like to live in. This one in particular has a lot of detail about clothing and social etiquette – it feels well researched. If you enjoy this book you will also enjoy The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade – these are about the French Revolution and are every bit as good!

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