"A sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art and obsession" Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train
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 . . .
PRAISE FOR THE DOLL FACTORY
"This brilliant literary thriller gripped me from the opening page and didn't relinquish its hold until I'd read the final sentence... Elizabeth Macneal has created that rare thing: a beautifully researched historical novel with a plot to stop your heart." Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites and The Good People
"A stunning novel that twines together power, art, and obsession. At every turn expectations are confounded - it's a historical novel and yet feels incredibly relevant and timely. I loved its warmth, it's wry humour, and the way each small thread leads into an unbearably tense and chilling denouement that had me totally gripped" Sophie Mackintosh, Man Booker Prize longlisted author of The Water Cure
"The Doll Factory is one of the best books I've read in ages - heartbreaking and evocative. Elizabeth Macneal draws a vivid picture of life in 1850s London, exploring the world of the pre-Raphaelites and examining the position of women through her unforgettable heroine. At the same time, Elizabeth creates a perfectly structured and page-turning story of love and passion; crime and obsession. A wonderful and intense novel. I loved it." Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl
"I loved The Doll Factory from the very first page and couldn't do anything else until I'd read right to the end. An exquisite novel of obsession, delusion, resilience and love, Elizabeth Macneal really is a breathtaking new talent" AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs Bird
"A remarkably assured and beautifully written debut, filled with sinister delights and intriguing themes of imprisonment and objectification. A truly captivating read" E C Fremantle, author of The Poison Bed