THE DOLL FUNERAL by Kate Hamer
My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A darkly atmospheric novel about the bonds of family all the while pushing past the boundaries of what happens after death.
Truth time. THE DOLL FUNERAL is one of those books that you will either like, not finish, or dislike. I have heard a lot of mixed reactions to the book from other readers, but personally, I am glad that I finished it. I will not lie though. In the beginning, I was a bit confused and almost put the book down. However, I hate to quit on an author that I have liked in the past, so I plugged through and the ending was my reward.
What I loved about this book is the tone and the peculiarity of the story. The way that the author untangles the history of all those involved in Ruby’s life creates the suspense. This book is not your typical psychological thriller. Though it does have some mind games going on, the questions and tension in the book come from Ruby and her interactions with all those in her life. It is with this young teenage girl that we are able to find out what really happened as well as peel back the veil of the afterlife.
For what it is worth, I liked the book. It took a bit of time to get into, yes. Yet, at the end, I was touched by Ruby’s journey. It reminded me that sometimes the bonds we have with are family and loved ones don’t go away…even after death.
Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
On Ruby’s thirteenth birthday, a wish she didn’t even know she had suddenly comes true: the couple who raised her aren’t her parents at all. Her real mother and father are out there somewhere, and Ruby becomes determined to find them.
Venturing into the forest with nothing but a suitcase and the company of her only true friend—the imaginary Shadow Boy—Ruby discovers a group of siblings who live alone in the woods. The children take her in, and while they offer the closest Ruby’s ever had to a family, Ruby begins to suspect that they might need her even more than she needs them. And it’s not always clear what’s real and what’s not—or who’s trying to help her and who might be a threat.
Told from shifting timelines, and the alternating perspectives of teenage Ruby; her mother, Anna; and even the Shadow Boy, The Doll Funeral is a dazzling follow-up to Kate Hamer’s breakout debut, The Girl in the Red Coat, and a gripping, exquisitely mysterious novel about the connections that remain after a family has been broken apart.
About the Author: Kate won the Rhys Davies short story prize in 2011 and the story was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, she also has short stories published in anthologies such as ‘A Fiction Map of Wales’ and ‘New Welsh Short Stories’. She’s written articles and reviews for 'The Independent', 'The Sunday Mail' and 'The New York Times'. Kate grew up in the West Country and Pembrokeshire and now lives with her husband in Cardiff.
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Melville House (August 15, 2017)