Book, Review

The Doll Factory ~ Elizabeth MacNeal

336 pages ~ ★★★★★ ~ Netgalley Arc

I first heard The Doll Factory mentioned on a podcast and knew I’d want to read as soon as it was released so when Netgalley’s approval for an ARC came through I was a bit excited.  A Victorian thriller, a protagonist that I really rooted for, a “bad guy” that was genuinely creepy and an ending which actually left me feeling content with how things had wrapped up, The Doll Factory ticked a lot of boxes for me.

Twins, Iris and Rose both work as doll maker’s apprentices; making bespoke dolls for the upper classes.  They always dreamed of running their own shop but since Rose’s engagement was broken off her aspirations have dimmed leaving her relationship with her sister frayed.  Iris longs to be an artist and via odd-job boy Albie and taxidermist Silas she’s introduced to Louis Frost, an artist in search of a new model who agrees to pay for her modelling services and become her mentor.

Thrillers are not my usual bag but I actually found myself grateful of getting stuck in football traffic (as a passenger) just as the progress bar hit 90% and we could of been at our destination (Next at Home for those who are interested in my thrilling life) within a couple of mins.   It had me completely hooked for the last section; if I’d of been reading a physical copy it would have been difficult not to flick to the back few pages to find out the main characters fates.

I felt the pace built really well throughout the book, starting off slowly, introducing each character in their individual worlds and starting to build as they become more interconnected.  Despite being quite a dark thriller in places there’s also a great uplifting feeling that comes from Iris’ journey and ambitions as a artist.  Would highly recommend!

The Doll Factory was released on 2nd May 2019 and can be purchased in hardback and kindle format now .  Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for early access to this in exchange for an honest review.

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