Book review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

 Well hello to you my reader chums! The Doll Factory was a book that has been on my to-be-read pile for a while and I don't know why I didn't pick it up sooner. It was packed with thrills, passion, loneliness, and a plot based in the 1800s which was incredibly interesting to read about.

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I really enjoyed this book and here is my full review of The Doll Factory.

Book review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Plotline

Based in 1850s London, the plotline follows dollmaker Iris and artist Louis Frost. Iris works making dolls and yearns to be a painter. Louis' aim is to get his work featured in the Royal Academy and is desperate for Iris to be his model for his painting. She agrees on the condition that Louis will teach her how to paint.

Painting gives Iris the freedom she always dreams of and she throws herself into this new life of love and art, fully oblivious that she has caught the eye of another man, Silas, a collector, enchanted by all the strange and beautiful things. Once Silas spotted Iris at the Great Exhibition, he cannot forget her and his obsession grows and it's only time until they meet again.

Character and relationships

The character descriptions in this book are so honest, detailed, and raw and I really loved that. There are quite a few main characters; Iris, Louis, Rose (Iris' sister), Silas, and Albie, a local kid. Iris, Louis, and Silas, however, take the forefront of the novel.

I loved Iris as a character as a whole. She develops so much throughout the course of the novel, coming from a place of unhappiness and uncertainty with her day to day life, keeping her passions a secret to delving into the life she wanted to lead. Her bond with Rose is so pure and touching to read about at the beginning of the novel. My favourite relationship to read about was her and Louis, and how their colleague relationship to each other turns into something a lot more passionate, and full of love.

Albie was a sweetheart of a character and really showcased the severity of child poverty in the 1800s and what he had to go through, just to help look after his sister. It's sad to read but so important. Silas is a character that I despised from page one, and that detest continued as he develops throughout the novel and the actions he does. All the character's status and relationships feed into each other really well.

Book review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Overall thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and everything about it. The book pays such close attention to detail and in-depth descriptions which I can really appreciate as it feels like you're there in the moment when reading along. 

The book has a bit of everything in terms of plot, there's the romance, the fast-paced thrills, the shock factor, and also the plotline has a great pace to it. One of the things I also loved was the obsession factor in the book; Iris's fixation with painting and art and Silas's fascination with Iris. It all plays out dramatically and intertwines into an addictive plot about art, love, and obsession.

Ending

The last section of the book increases in pace in terms of the severity of what goes on and how things happen so quickly. However, the last few pages are almost a relief and a content ending, for all the characters involved.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you read this book?

Thank you for reading <3 

57 comments

  1. I haven't heard of this book, but it sounds great! I love a book with a bit of pace!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

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  2. I read it but couldn't get into it. I think maybe the stalker part creeped me out more than j was expecting. Always great to hear other opinions though!

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  3. I haven't read this, but the plot sounds intriguing! Will add it to my reading list, thanks for sharing x

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  4. I've heard of this book and had it recommended by a friend but I never looked into it, I'll be adding this to my TBR after your review! Sounds interesting and the fact that you say it has a great pace is something that I look for in a book!

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    1. I hope you like the book if you get the chance to read it xx

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  5. Now I want to read this book :) thank you for sharing your review

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  6. I never read any of that books but thanks for your review! <3

    www.pimentamaisdoce.blogspot.com

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  7. I'm intrigued!! Adding this to my list!

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  8. This sounds right up my street! I love the idea of character development and detailed descriptions, and characters are definitely my favourite part of any book. Thank you for sharing x

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  9. I have never heard of this book but it sounds like something I would enjoy. I'll add this to my to-be-read list. I'm definitely going to give it a try.

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  10. I've not read this before! I need to start reading and make a conscious effort to do so! Thanks so much for publishing this, you broke it down so beautifully x

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  11. This sounds like such an entertaining plot. I need to find it on epub.

    rogueandrouge.org

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  12. I haven't read this book, nor come across the author, but now I've read your review I really want to! Will definitely be adding this to my TBR pile, thank you so much x

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  13. This sounds like such a great book! I love that you mentioned that it has something for everyone when it comes to the plot - who doesn't love a bit romance and shock factor?! x

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

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  14. I had not heard of The Doll Factory until reading this, but I want to read it now. I love a story that is heart-felt and personal and follows the life story of someone as unlikely and extraordinary as a doll maker. Artists express themselves in so many ways and the products of their expression are often vulnerable and beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I'm really happy you love the sound of the book! x

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  15. interested. it will be next book for reading. thank you for review

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  16. This sounds like such a great one! It's been a while since I read a books set in the 1800s and the plot has my interest. Great review!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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  17. I love a fast paced read - this one sounds great! I enjoy a book where you can't put it down but you also don't want it to end badly!

    Rosie

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  18. I really like the sound of this book. I am on a book buying ban though, at least until I have read more of my TBR pile... This might be why I am going through books so quickly right now. I am having withdrawal from book buying.

    I am definitely adding this to my list, I love a review that is clear the book was really enjoyed x

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    1. I'm also on a book ban until I read everything on my tbr pile! I hope you enjoy it xx

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  19. Sounds like a very interesting book with a bit of everything, love the idea of reading about 1800s life, I need to read this

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  20. I haven't heard of this book before, but it sounds interesting and I like that it has well-developed characters and a good pace.

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  21. Seem interesting that it has a little bit of everything. Good that you picked it haha.

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  22. It's great that you have a well-reviewed book with this unusual tale. Thank you for your recommendation. Regards

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  23. Great review! Thank you for sharing it! The characters and the plot sound so interesting! I'll check it out!

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  24. What a lovely sounding book, it's not my usual choice but you've definitely made me want to read it!

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  25. This sounds like a great read and beautiful cover too! Books set that long ago aren't something I usually pick up but I do want to try reading more historical fiction!

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    1. Thank you! It's not my usual pick either, but I really enjoyed it x

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  26. This is a great review Della, I haven't heard of this book before but it does sound like a lovely read x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  27. The Doll Factory sounds like a great book! It is interesting to read stories that are set centuries ago. Glad you enjoyed the book overall!

    Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com

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  28. I haven't read the book but it seems interesting. I thought it was going to be about a factory that makes dolls 😅😅

    Anita x niannilifestyleblog

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  29. For now I read Lovecraft, but I think I'll try this book too!

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  30. Elizabeth Macneal,I will buy it and read it.
    ombre wigs

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