The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal (Review)

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

The Doll FactoryFormat:

Source: Birthday Present (2019)

Publisher: Picador

Genres: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2nd May 2019

Synopsis/Blurb (taken from Goodreads):

“The Doll Factory, the debut novel by Elizabeth Macneal, is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession.

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.”

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My Thoughts & Review

I first saw this book when it was doing it’s round on social media, and the very first thing caught my eye was the front cover. I absolutely loved it and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to own it. Fast forward a few months after publication date to June 2019, and I had a beautifully Waterstones signed edition in my hands thanks to my parents who gifted it to me for my birthday. I’ve wanted to pick it up ever since, but only just got around to it.

The Doll Factory is a tale set in Victorian London in the 1850’s during the Great Exhibition. It follows a young woman Iris Whittle who hopes to become an artist one day.

The story was a little slow to get going but when it finally did get going I was gripped and couldn’t stop reading. I found the writing so beautiful it was so detailed yet still very easy to follow and understand. The descriptions and characters were both interesting and felt really realistic.

Although this is a historical fiction I still learnt some interesting new things. For instance, I some more about Victorian London as well as some interesting things about taxidermy. While reading this book you can really see a lot of research and work has gone into this book.

The Doll Factory isn’t your typical historical fiction it’s something more. It’s darker!! Historical fiction can be hit and miss for me but this was definitely a great debut novel. Can’t wait to see what Elizabeth Macneal has in store for her readers next. Highly recommend!!

My Rating


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.

Happy Reading!!!

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