The Doll Factory
By Elizabeth MacNeal
Silas is a loner, somebody who is a taxidermist. He is on the fringes of society of London in 1850.
Iris is a dissatisfied young woman who works for the horrible Mrs Salter, long hours painting the faces of china dolls at the doll emporium, alongside twin Rose. She is then given the opportunity to realise her dream and live a life she didn’t think was possible.
You also have the character of Albi, a child who introduces the two, and is involved as a go between the two.
It is a grim, bleak read. You can almost smell and feel the world between these pages, the descriptions were that good. You could say the build up was slow, but it’s so gripping in its story, the insights of Victorian life for women, the inequality, amid the backdrop of the Crystal Palace being built.
The ending was gripping. By then I was on the edge of my seat. I was almost on the floor. There’s a twist too, which I didn’t see coming and how the author could do that.
Not for those with a faint heart, The Doll Factory is grim, gripping, and excellent story telling. The Doll Factory had almost everything I love to read in a fiction novel.