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Publisher's Summary

Ella Keyes thought the death of her twin brother, Stuart, was the last time she'd let life surprise her. She's up for tenure at her university, she escaped a doomed engagement, and her fluffy cat knows exactly when to expect her home every day. But when her grandmother passes and leaves Ella her house, Ella discovers that the third-floor corridor of keys is more than just a family pun. The seemingly unremarkable keys don't unlock any doors in the house, but each time Ella touches one, something in her life shifts. Her life's carefully grown roots are ripped out of their soil. Flowers bloom in the middle of a Buffalo winter. A blind date with the wrong person ends up being just maybe the right one.

Her grandmother's batty twin sister turns up every day searching for something even she doesn't know how to identify, and Ella's parents refuse to return her calls. Worse, she finds trinkets from Stuart everywhere she goes, ghosts of a game they used to play. The leash she's kept on life's surprises for three years has snapped, and Ella will have to learn that the road to peace starts with letting go of control and that sometimes the best family you have is the family you build.

©2016 Emmie Mears (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Amber Benson's ardent performance brings out the heartbreak and mystery in this story centering on themes of family, grief, and hope. Benson provides a myriad of voices to portray the characters with consistency and effectiveness, especially the contemplative voice of Ella and the croaky, self-confidence of Aunt Eunice. Most impactful is Benson's deliberate pacing, which conveys Ella's heavy heart as she mourns the deaths of her beloved grandmother and her twin brother. This unhurried pacing, together with the intensity of her reading, also efficiently conveys the mysterious powers of the keys that do not unlock any doors but somehow influence events in Ella's life. Some inconsistencies in volume are minor distractions in this heartfelt delivery of an intriguing story." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

I am sorry that I did not pull the plug on this book and just return it. I kept waiting for something promised but never delivered. The worst part of this pointless and rambling story was the irritating narration. The character voices were so over the top that it was actually making me angry to listen. I would not listen to another title with this narrator nor would I be interested in hearing a sequel to this story. Just skip this all together.

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Great Story/ snoozer narration

Really liked the story line & characters. I listen to 3-4 books a week. Narrator was really monotone with main character. I guess on purpose ???😬 She was much easier to listen to with other characters. Sadly, most of the story was from main character point of view. I got use to it because I really wanted to hear the story.

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  • Eveline
  • Camden, MI, United States
  • 09-18-16

I don't get it

What did you like best about A Hall of Keys and No Doors? What did you like least?

I don't think it moved at a speed that kept my attention. I found it so long winded and I kept waiting for something great to happen and it didn't.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I don't know, I am not a writer.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I think if she just picked up the pace a little. I did like her drunk impressions though.

Could you see A Hall of Keys and No Doors being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I don't know, I wouldn't watch.

Any additional comments?

So obviously I am not intellectual enough to enjoy this book, because I seem to be in the minority with my critical review. I can't believe I finished this, but I kept thinking that any minute something AWESOME has to happen in this book. It didn't. It just became more grotesque and unbelievable. There is no explanation as to why the keys are there and how they got there. The only believable thing in this book is Jace's parents reaction to her being a lesbian. Sadly I know people like that.

Ella's stunned reaction when her parents told her straight up that she caused her brother's death is just so overplayed and again, her parents haven't spoken to her in over a year and were avoiding her like the plague. So why so surprised? The ending was just as anticlimactic as the entire book.

I am just glad it is over, it is not sticking with me in any other way that me wondering why the heck I wasted my money and time on this, as there are so many wonderful books out in the universe. I wouldn't read a sequel if it came, I am just not interested what happens to Ella and her pitiful life.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-01-16

A wonderful story about love, loss and hope.

What did you like most about A Hall of Keys and No Doors?

I love that it that reiterates the knowledge that life can hurt almost as much as death. Emmie heart-achingly captures what it is like to truly experience love and the worst kinds of loss. She points out that even after the worst of tragedies - there is still magic, metaphorically and literally, to be found in the world that is left behind.

What other book might you compare A Hall of Keys and No Doors to, and why?

Somewhere Between Life and Death - Lurlene McDaniel. This story teaches the reader that even in the worst of times one can still have hope and find peace.

What about Amber Benson’s performance did you like?

Amber is a one of a kind narrator. Each character has his or her own identity. You know who is speaking. You feel everything that each character is feeling. Amber catches such genuine emotion - you can't help but cry, laugh, snicker and squee along with the characters.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Take your best girlfriends, chocolate, wine and tissues and prepare to laugh and cry.

Any additional comments?

Simply - thanks to the author for creating such a beautiful story.