A Thousand Doors: An Anthology of Many Lives - Edited by J.T. Ellison
The day Mia Jensen died dawned cold and harsh under a brittle sun that barely warmed the streets. Clouds like frothy ash never released their hold on the sky, and people were angry with each other and the world. It was that sort of day, the kind when nothing is right, everything is wrong, and people long for evening, for the gentle cradle of their beds and dreams. Ah, well. Tomorrow is another day, they said to one another, nodding, everyone a sage, everyone holding out that small bit of hope that yes, tomorrow would be a new day, tomorrow can and will bring something new and better and good to our lives.
This was not the case for Mia.
For Mia, there was no warm, soft bed and chirpy dreams, no reading of the latest chapter of the latest book, no brushing of teeth or braiding of hair or relaxing soak in the tub before slipping into pajamas. No glass of red wine with dinner, pot roast started in the slow cooker before she left the house, with multicolored carrots and potatoes because eating the colors of the rainbow will make her healthy. No trip to the gym after work to burn off the calories of lunch and the frustrations of her day. No texts to friends about cocktails, no kisses, no hugs. No sex on the desk. No shrugging off camel-hair coast in the green room, no powder and pancake before the 3 p.m. promo slot.
None of it, because at 8:03 p.m., after unexpectedly quitting her lawyer's office and fleeing to the ironic safety of her home, Mia Jensen was stabbed to death in her kitchen.
I am not much of a short story reader. Not sure why exactly except they are just 'short'...not long enough usually for me to feel a part of the story. However, when I ran across this anthology and read a bit about how J.T. Ellison had been considering this main character and how to tell her story since 2010, I was intrigued. Ellison said that she presented this book to her agent as 'Sliding Doors meets The Lovely Bones'. She wanted Mia to have several completely different lives, ones that she had not personally written. So, she asked several author friends to help and A Thousand Doors was the result. I've read books by 5 of the 15 authors included. I liked all their books and had heard good things about the books of several more. I took a chance.
J.T. Ellison sets the stage with the beginning of Mia Jensen's journey and she writes the conclusion to the book as well. In between, Mia sees different ways her life could have turned out if she had made other choices. As each chapter is written by a different author, those lives are quite varied. In some of them, Mia is a person you'd want to know and in some, not so much. I liked some of the stories better than others but overall, I was impressed. And I liked how it wrapped up. If you'd like an anthology that's a little different, you might try this one. I can guarantee that it will make you want to check out the various authors' backlists. Wonder if there are other books similar to this one? Do you know of any? This was a good change-it-up book.
The day Mia Jensen died, she finally got to live.
We’ve all played the “what if” game. For Mia Jensen, “what if” is a fact of life. Dissatisfied with her choices, she often dreams about what could have been. Now she has the chance to know. But that knowledge is going to cost her dearly. Only through death can she fully realize the value of her life.