A Door Near Here
Goodreads ratings
4 / 5

"A Door Near Here" Summary

By Heather Quarles

young adult | 240 pages | Published in NaN


Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

A teenage girl navigates the complexities of love, family, and friendship while dealing with the challenges of growing up.


"A Door Near Here" by Heather Quarles is a compelling coming-of-age novel that explores the complexities of adolescence, family dynamics, and the search for identity. Through the eyes of the protagonist, the reader is taken on a journey of self-discovery, love, and the pursuit of happiness in the face of life's challenges. Set in a small town with its own set of rules and expectations, the story delves into the struggles and triumphs of growing up and finding one's place in the world.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The novel centers around the life of sixteen-year-old Ellie, who is navigating the murky waters of adolescence while grappling with the expectations placed upon her by her family and society. Ellie is at a crossroads, trying to balance her desire for independence and self-expression with the pressures to conform to the norms of her small town.


The story unfolds in a quaint, close-knit town, where everyone knows everyone else's business. The small-town setting adds a layer of complexity to the characters' interactions, as gossip and judgment often play a significant role in their lives. The rich descriptions of the town and its inhabitants create a vivid backdrop for the unfolding drama.

Main Events

1Ellie's struggle with her family's expectations
2Ellie's first encounter with love
3Conflict with her best friend
4Rebellious phase and newfound friendships
5Family secrets come to light
6Turning point in Ellie's journey
7Resolution and acceptance

Main Characters


Ellie is the protagonist of the story, a spirited and independent sixteen-year-old girl who is fiercely determined to carve out her own path in life. She grapples with the expectations placed upon her by her family and the community, and her journey of self-discovery forms the heart of the narrative.


Sarah is Ellie's best friend, a loyal and supportive companion who provides a source of stability and understanding in Ellie's tumultuous life. However, their friendship faces challenges as they both navigate the complexities of adolescence.


Tyler is the enigmatic love interest who captures Ellie's heart, introducing her to the exhilarating highs and heartbreaking lows of first love. His presence in Ellie's life serves as a catalyst for her personal growth and self-realization.

Themes and Insights

Identity and Self-Discovery

The novel delves deep into the theme of identity and the quest for self-discovery. Ellie's journey to find her place in the world and assert her individuality is a central theme, resonating with readers who have experienced the struggles of adolescence and the search for self-understanding.

Family Dynamics

The dynamics within Ellie's family are a significant aspect of the story, portraying the challenges of familial relationships and the impact of parental expectations on a young person's development. The exploration of family dynamics offers insight into the complexities of parent-child relationships and the quest for autonomy.

Love and Relationships

The novel explores the complexities of young love and relationships, depicting the exhilaration and heartache that accompany the experience of falling in love for the first time. The portrayal of romantic relationships offers an authentic and relatable depiction of the emotional rollercoaster that comes with navigating love in adolescence.

Reader's Takeaway

"A Door Near Here" offers a poignant and relatable portrayal of the challenges and triumphs of adolescence, inviting readers to reflect on their own experiences of self-discovery, love, and familial relationships. The novel's rich character development and evocative storytelling make it a compelling read for anyone who has grappled with the complexities of growing up and finding their place in the world.


Heather Quarles' "A Door Near Here" presents a captivating narrative that delves into the universal themes of identity, family, and love, offering a poignant and authentic portrayal of the adolescent experience. Through the compelling journey of the protagonist, the novel resonates with readers, inviting them to reflect on their own quests for self-discovery and the complexities of navigating the tumultuous waters of adolescence.

A Door Near Here FAQ

  1. What is 'A Door Near Here' about?

    A Door Near Here is a coming-of-age novel about a young girl named Luna who navigates the complexities of family, friendship, and love as she faces the challenges of growing up.

  2. Who is the author of 'A Door Near Here'?

    Heather Quarles is the author of 'A Door Near Here'.

  3. What genre does 'A Door Near Here' fall into?

    A Door Near Here is a contemporary fiction novel.

  4. Is 'A Door Near Here' suitable for young adult readers?

    Yes, 'A Door Near Here' is suitable for young adult readers as it explores themes and experiences that resonate with the YA audience.

  5. Where is the setting of 'A Door Near Here'?

    The novel is set in a small town in the Midwest, providing a rich and evocative backdrop for the story.