Blurb; 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 . . .
My Review; I want to start by saying just how beautiful is that cover? A real eye catcher. I was sent this book off a friend to cheer me up and it did the trick perfectly. The Doll Factory for me felt like a historical fiction story with romance but also with a bit of thriller thrown in especially towards the end. Unusual but it really worked!
I cannot believe this is a debut novel. I would never have known it’s so beautifully written. It’s a page turner of a read. It’s a book that appreciates the arts and artists of the world.
Main character Iris has a choice to make does she stay as she is now working, alongside her sister and living with her family. OR… Does she go for it modelling, living alone and earning more money? She says yes to her new life and thats where it all begins. The love story. The loss of her family. The stalking that is about to begin from Silas.
Silas is one evil character. Delusional. A stalker. A predator. He won’t stop until he’s got Iris by himself. This is where the thriller part comes in… Edge of your seat, tense reading.
Overall a brilliant read for me. An escape. I loved the setting, era and the characters. The open ended ending. Just brilliant all of it. The picture of the old style shops in my mind. The appreciation of art. All of it. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend.