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The Doll Factory

by Elizabeth Macneal

Debut Books of the Month Historical Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on The Doll Factory

Beautifully and deliciously foreboding, this is an eloquent, thrilling treat of a read. Iris and Silas meet as construction begins for the Great Exhibition in 1850, for one it is an experience soon forgotten, for the other the beginning of a dangerous obsession. Members of the Pre-Raphelite Brotherhood gather, their ideals and connection to the Arts and Crafts movement fascinating to observe, particularly when compared to the logic and occupation of Silas. The Doll Factory won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018, and it is easy to see why it was immediately snapped up, the storyline while disturbing is enthralling and the descriptive detailing exquisite. Elizabeth MacNeal allows us intimate access to the thoughts and feelings of both Iris and Silas, opening a doorway to the potential and possible future of the story which succeeds in increasing the tension to almost unbearable levels. I felt a duty of care to both parties, wanting to warn, to ease, to prevent harm. As the story gathered me in and opened my eyes, I felt a shiver of chills gathering, forcing goosebumps down my arms. There is a darkness of the gothic variety to be found with The Doll Factory, it is also the most incredibly rewarding read and comes with a highly recommended stamp from me.

Liz Robinson

The Doll Factory Synopsis

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal is the intoxicating story of a young woman who aspires to be an artist and the man whose obsession may destroy her world forever.

London. 1850. The greatest spectacle the city has ever seen is being built in Hyde Park, and among the crowd watching two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment - forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning.

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening . . .

The Doll Factory Press Reviews

The sort of book you want to read curled up by a fire while your fingers twitch to find out what happens next -- Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You A sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art and obsession -- Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train Engrossing and atmospheric . . . I can practically see the TV version! -- Adele Geras, author of The Ballet Class Darkly brilliant - The Collector meets Possession with added female power -- Anna Mazzola, author of The Unseeing and The Story Keeper Gripping, artfully written . . . part love story, part gothic novel and leading up to a truly breathless conclusion, this book is destined to be one of the biggest titles of 2019 -- Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti A vivid depiction of a morally dubious world, and a page-turning psychological thriller, with a truly compelling villain -- Essie Fox, author of The Somnambulist Remarkably assured and beautifully written . . . truly captivating -- E C Fremantle, author of The Poison Bed One of the best books I've read in ages - heartbreaking and evocative . . . a perfectly structured and page-turning story of love and passion; crime and obsession . . . wonderful -- Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl Stunning . . . with an unbearably tense and chilling denouement that had me totally gripped -- Sophie Mackintosh, Man Booker Prize longlisted author of The Water Cure I loved The Doll Factory from the very first page . . . an exquisite novel of obsession, delusion, resilience and love . . . breathtaking -- AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs Bird Brilliant . . . refreshingly original . . . beautifully orchestrated . . . fascinating -- Andrew Taylor, No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of The Ashes of London and The American Boy Astonishingly good . . . with and a plot that rattles like a speeding carriage to its thrilling conclusion. I couldn't put it down. You won't be able to either -- Elizabeth Day, author of The Party This brilliant literary thriller gripped me from the opening page . . . a beautifully researched historical novel with a plot to stop your heart -- Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites and The Good People Fantastic - vivid, poignant, colourful, and elegantly horrifying -- Bridget Collins, author of The Binding Stunningly confident . . . thoroughly engrossing -- Ian Rankin

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781529002393
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback

ISBN: B07K6RW2PQ
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Publisher: Macmillan Digital Audio
Format: Audiobook

Book Information

ISBN: 9781529002393
Publication date: 2nd May 2019
Author: Elizabeth Macneal
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 336 pages
Genres: Debuts of the Month, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Historical fiction, Thriller / suspense, Historical romance, Historical mysteries,

About Elizabeth Macneal

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Edinburgh and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. The Doll Factory, Elizabeth's debut novel, won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018.

More About Elizabeth Macneal

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