Today I am super excited to have a review of The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal, publishing today, August 13, 2019, via Atria/Emily Bestler Books.
The Doll Factory is set in 1850s London. The Great Exhibition is going up on Hyde Park. It’s an art exhibition and among the crowd watching the event are Iris and Silas, who meet by chance. Iris is an aspiring artist and Silas is collector of curiosities and a taxidermist (creepy!). Iris does not think much of the meeting, but to Silas, it’s a point of importance.
Iris is asked to model for Louis Frost, and she agrees if he will teach her how to paint. This is only the beginning for Iris as she sees doors opening for her and her passion for art.
However, Silas is only thinking of Iris, and his thoughts are obsessive, dark, and sinister.
I LOVED the Victorian London setting. Macneal brings it vividly to life. The tone is dark. The Gothic elements are strong and haunting. Silas oozes creepiness. Admittedly, there were some parts that were too dark for me, and I had to skim over those.
There is something for everyone in The Doll Factory. It’s frightening and well-paced. I loved the art references and the writing flows smoothly. The obsession and darkness of it all is drawn so well. I was gripped and found the entire read compelling.
Overall, The Doll Factory is a chilling piece of equal parts historical fiction and mystery. It’s a page-turner, and I adored it, though it completely creeped me out!
TW: due to the taxidermy, please be aware there were some animal scenes I had to skip over.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
The #1 International Bestseller
New York Times Editor’s Choice
“A lush, evocative Gothic.” —The New York Times Book Review
“This terrifically exciting novel will jolt, thrill, and bewitch readers.” —Booklist, starred review
Obsession is an art.
In this “sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art, and obsession” (Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train), a beautiful young woman aspires to be an artist, while a man’s dark obsession may destroy her world forever.
In 1850s London, the Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and, among the crowd watching the dazzling spectacle, two people meet by happenstance. For Iris, an arrestingly attractive aspiring artist, it is a brief and forgettable moment but for Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by all things strange and beautiful, the 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 beyond her wildest dreams—but she has no idea that evil is waiting in the shadows. Silas has only thought of one thing since that chance meeting, and his obsession is darkening by the day.
“A page-turning psychological thriller” (Essie Fox, author of The Somnambulist) that will haunt you long after you finish it, The Doll Factory is perfect for fans of The Alienist, Drood, and The Historian.
For a chance to win a copy of The Doll Factory, please visit my instagram page!
Have you read The Doll Factory, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR