The Doll Factory

The Doll Factory

A Novel

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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 .
Publisher: New York : Emily Bestler Books, Atria, 2019
Characteristics: 362 pages ; 24 cm
Edition: First Emily Bestler booksAtria books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781982106768 (hardcover)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 06, 2019

I love neo-Victorian historical fiction and I love novels about art and artists, so I fell on The Doll Factory with cries of glee. And what a good read it is, offering up everything readers like me crave: a seedy, seamy and richly described London setting, a plucky heroine determined to defy convention and become an artist, a full cast of interesting characters, ranging from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood to creepy Dickensian bad-guys and heart-rending Dickensian urchins.

While I could have lived without the thriller aspect of the story, it was well-written for those that like that kind of thing. All in all, a recommended read for lovers of historical fiction.

Jul 21, 2019

This is a debut novel by author Elizabeth Macneal. I really enjoyed the Victorian Gothic aspect of this novel. Macneal does an amazing job capturing the atmosphere of Victorian London. This book was both beautiful and extremely dark at the same time.

The characters are well written and diverse. The plot, however, moves at a crawling pace. I had a difficult time getting in to it. I actually had to force myself to even continue to read. It wasn't until the last quarter of the novel did my interest even get peaked, and then I was left in a whirlwind ending and wishing I had been given more.

If you are a fan of art, thrillers, Gothic or Victorian era novels then give this a read. Though it was a 3 star read for me, I have a feeling I am the minority and that there are a ton of readers who will love this!

I do look forward to reading more books from Elizabeth Macneal, as her writing is marvelous and the way she transports readers to the setting is magical.

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me an advanced copy to read and give my honest review.

Happy Reading!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at JCPL

To Top