The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
Review by Linz, and thanks to ALA for the advanced copy! We’d like to thank Elizabeth and Atria! This book comes out on Aug 13th and you can get it here.
What it’s about (from Goodreads): 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…
What I drank: impromptu “bitchin abt work” hh, and i was the basic bitch drinking white wine at a brewery
Thoughts: i picked this up becausae I was pretty sure i’d hear d about it SOMWHERE, and no regrets. this debut hisotrical thriller had a kind of fmailiar plotline – girl is uninterested in dude, dude acts like a total shitbag – BUT
- it’s reall really really really well written and well structured. you really live in the characters heads, you really live in 1850s london, like clearly the author did a lot of research
- its a plot that still resonate (godf toward the end i was sreaming “WHY IS THIS STILL A PROBLEM FOR WOMEN”)
- i figured there would be a lot of focuson teh exhibition itself, but instead macneal drew in a lot about the art of the time for context- the paitning movement that iris gets drawn into, the “art” that comes from silas taxidermy, and the death portraits taht are part of iris’ job
- unrelated tangent – if you are unfamiliar w death portraits thy are photos taken of dead family members but theyre posed as if they’re alivel. do not google unles s you want to poop youeself.
- we really need to instal a good spoiler plug in bc i literally cannt say more wout givingthings away but omg the ending omg the endinggggggg i was VERY ancious and satyed up far too late to finsih it
What I gave it: 4.5 stars
What I’d pair it with: a lot fo wine is consumed and beer feels period approriate but honestly im feeling lemon verbena G&T, a little familiar w refreshing twist