Author(s): Elizabeth MacNeal
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 . . .
The sort of book you want to read curled up by a fire while your fingers twitch to find out what happens next. But if no fires are available it is just as absorbing on tube carriages and park benches. -- Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author
A sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art and obsession -- Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
The Doll Factory is engrossing and atmospheric. Fascinating real historical background (the Pre-Raphaelites) and super invented characters. I can practically see the TV version! -- Adele Geras, author of The Ballet Class
The Doll Factory is darkly brilliant - The Collector meets Possession with added female power -- Anna Mazzola, author of The Unseeing
The Doll Factory is a gripping, artfully written historical novel with a highly contemporary sensibility. The setting - 19th century London full of pomp, grime and menace - plays just one part in an immersive and intellectually satisfying narrative that interrogates gender politics, classism, relationships, artistic obsession and erotomania with a painterly eye and gleefully dark heart. Part love story, part gothic novel and leading up to a truly breathless conclusion, this book is destined to be one of the biggest titles of 2019, deservedly so. -- Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti