February 1, 2016
Paranormal/ Time Travel Romance
Rating: 2 cups
Jacqueline “Jackie” Karam begins Doors unsure of her place in the world. She is a struggling graphic artist who dreams of making it big. Orne St. John is her patron, but Jackie wishes he thought of her as more than another of his starving artists. Jackie is the narrator, and the reader is able to watch as she becomes more confident and finally reaches out for what she wants.
Orne is a black box since Jackie is the sole narrator. Orne is an eccentric, wealthy young man reminiscent of Jay Gatsby. We first meet him at the center of a party. Still he makes time to take Jackie to dinner and out to museums. He appears to wear a social mask of ennui that has beneath it a deep thinker.
Ms. Renaud’s Doors explores the possibility of alternate universes. The theory is that if you can find a book that you have forgotten everything about, it will open a door into a different timeline. Orne desperately wants to travel to other worlds, but lacks a forgotten book because he has an eidetic memory. This is where Jackie comes in. She was reading the sci-fi novel Madre when her high school English teacher was tragically killed. The tragedy caused her to forget the contents of the book.
The idea of novels as gateways into other worlds is a well-worn conceit that Renaud breathes new life into, by making the novel a gateway into the reader’s life instead of an escape from reality. Making Jackie the lone narrator severely limits the story, as the reader has only Jackie’s viewpoint to contend with. The reader never gets to know Orne. The use of a single narrator also disrupts the flow of the novel. Many things, such as what happened to the other member of Mr. Forester’s class, or what Orne did after the party where we first meet him, are skipped because they are outside of Jackie’s purview. Overall, Renaud presents an amazing concept that may be better developed in a different genre, such as Fantasy. There is little development of a romantic plotline, though Jackie is clearly attracted to Orne throughout the novel.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More