Book Review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Published: 02/05/2019 by Picador
336 pages
Kindle edition

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 for ever.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle 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 . . .

41941623Fabulously written historical fiction set in London in 1850 with this eye catching cover will become the best seller of 2019!

I don’t tend to go for historical genres very often but this one just grabbed my attention from the first chapter. Iris, an aspiring artist, lives her repetitive life working in the doll factory with her sister. Every evening ends the same way every morning began. Painting dolls faces is not quite what Iris wants to do, she wants to paint and create, wants to express herself but with limited resources and money there is very little she can do.

When she receives an offer to be a model for upcoming artist she accepts even if  being a model is connected to so much stigma, risking losing her parents and sister but gaining freedom and just going for her dream. Little did she know that short encounter with a collector Silas will change both their lives forever.

Story of love, dreams but also dark imagination and obsession. I have no doubt that this book will do brilliantly and although it was dark and little creepy at times, it was really engaging and uplifting at times.


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