The doll factory had quite an interesting and an intense premise. But did it match my expectations? Read on to find out. I love historical fiction and this book should’ve connected with me, but it did not.
This book was part historical fiction and part thriller, but I felt it was more thriller than historical fiction. I felt it was an overcooked recipe, with too much ingredients and nothing was mixed properly. The first 100 pages were so difficult to read and there was a particular incident which scared the daylights out of me. I felt so disgusted.
It’s a dark take of twin sisters, Rose and Iris. One is scarred by small pox and the other is beautiful. Both work at a doll shop, painting the porcelain faces of the dolls. Rose, at night, secretly practises her art. Iris is tied down and has no clue about moving forward. She becomes a painter’s model and is immediately shunned by her family.
Enter Silas, a taxidermist, an extremely disturbed character, who collects odd objects. The animal cruelty scenes were too much for me to take in.
To sun it up, it was a very creepy book. The characters were also made eerie to fit the theme of the book. Add painting doll’s faces, the pre Raphaelite brothers, sprinkle in some stalking and kidnapping, some unrequited love and what you get is a horrid tasting dish.
The character building was done tastefully, buy you would get confused about all of them in the beginning when all of them are introduced.
Since this book is set in the 1850’s, you would have to put aside your beliefs to a certain degree.
Again I viewed this book with a lot of missed opportunities and extremely haunting. I constantly kept waiting for things to pick up speed. I enjoyed this book in parts and not as a whole. The thriller elements got too predictable at times. I struggled to complete this book. It didn’t leave any hope for the characters and they were just meandering somewhere. I only liked the character of Albie, who had a generous heart and who really cared about people.
Thank you PanMcmillan India for the gifted copy. Picture and opinons are my own.
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