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The doll factory : a novel

by Macneal, Elizabeth, 1988-

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 13 Libraries 14 of 27 copies
2 people on waitlist
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Summary
The #1 International Bestseller

New York Times Editor's Choice

"A lush, evocative Gothic." -- The New York Times Book Review

" This terrifically exciting novel will jolt, thrill, and bewitch readers." -- Booklist , starred review

Obsession is an art.

In this "sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art, and obsession" (Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train ), a beautiful young woman aspires to be an artist, while a man's dark obsession may destroy her world forever.

In 1850s London, the Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and, among the crowd watching the dazzling spectacle, two people meet by happenstance. For Iris, an arrestingly attractive aspiring artist, it is a brief and forgettable moment but for Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by all things strange and beautiful, the 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 beyond her wildest dreams--but she has no idea that evil is waiting in the shadows. Silas has only thought of one thing since that chance meeting, and his obsession is darkening by the day.

"A page-turning psychological thriller" (Essie Fox, author of The Somnambulist ) that will haunt you long after you finish it, The Doll Factory is perfect for fans of The Alienist , Drood , and The Historian .
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In London, 1850, porcelain-doll painter Iris' family disowns her for leaving the oppressive but respectable doll shop to become an artist's model. Her coworker and twin sister, Rose, deformed in her teens by smallpox, feels especially betrayed. Meanwhile, taxidermist and curiosity-shop owner Silas nurses an obsession for Iris and her own deformity, a bent collarbone. In the build-up to and shadow of the 1851 Great Exhibition and Royal Academy show, love grows between Iris and Pre-Raphaelite painter Louis; Iris tastes true freedom and determinedly pursues her own painting; and Silas finalizes plans for capturing his most prized specimen. Talented debut novelist Macneal drops readers right into a Victorian London that's home to stinking squalor and chaos, but also significant beauty and possibility. Midway through, readers won't know if they're holding a romance, tragedy, or murder mystery, but won't pause long enough to wonder about it as Iris rails against the limitations of her gender and social status, and Silas' creepiness comes into sharp focus. (There's also a marriage scandal, and a gold-hearted street urchin.) This terrifically exciting, chiaroscuro novel became an instant bestseller in England, with TV rights already sold, and will jolt, thrill, and bewitch U.S. readers, too.--Annie Bostrom Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "MacNeal's lively debut finds a fresh way to dramatize the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of revolutionary, mid-19th-century British painters. In addition to William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, MacNeal creates a fictitious PRB member, Louis Frost, who meets Iris Whittle, the heroine, a painter of miniature faces at Mrs. Salter's Doll Emporium. Dismissed for being a woman, Iris longs to be seen as a real painter, and when she meets Frost, he proposes a deal: if she poses for him, he will give her art lessons. At the same time, Iris also comes to the attention of Silas Reed, a taxidermist who sells stuffed animals to artists as props for their paintings. Unbeknownst to Iris, he stalks her with the intention of possessing her like an object . Louis turns out to be a generous mentor and Iris ends up falling for him. Only Albie, a light-fingered street urchin befriended by Iris, is aware of how much danger she is in from the obsessed Silas. Told against the backdrop of the Great Exposition at the Crystal Palace and its industrial wonders, MacNeal's consistently enjoyable novel reads like an art history lecture co-delivered by Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens and read from a revisionist feminist script. This debut is a blast; it enticingly vacillates between a realistic depiction of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood's London and lurid Victorian drama. (Aug.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Siddall, Elizabeth -- Fiction.
Kidnapping victims -- England -- Fiction.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder -- Fiction.
Pre-Raphaelites -- England -- London -- Fiction.
Artists' models -- Fiction.
Painters -- England -- Fiction.
London (England) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Fiction.
Great Britain -- History -- Victoria, 1837-1901 -- Fiction.
London (England) -- History -- 19th century -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction)
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First Emily Bestler books/Atria books hardcover edition.
Language English
Description 362 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781982106768
198210676X
9781982106775
1982106778
9781982111939
1982111933
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