Title: The Dollmaker
Author: Nina Allan
Pages: 416 Pages
Publisher: Quercus Books/Riverrun Books
INFORMATION WANTED ON THE LIFE AND WORK OF DOLLMAKER EWA CHAPLIN AND/OR FRIENDSHIP, CORRESPONDENCE. PLEASE REPLY TO: BRAMBER WINTERS.
Stitch by perfect stitch, Andrew Garvie makes exquisite dolls in the finest antique style. Like him, they are diminutive, but graceful, unique and with surprising depths. Perhaps that’s why he answers the enigmatic personal ad in his collector’s magazine.
Letter by letter, Bramber Winters reveals more of her strange, sheltered life in an institution on Bodmin Moor, and the terrible events that put her there as a child. Andrew knows what it is to be trapped; and as they knit closer together, he weaves a curious plan to rescue her.
On his journey through the old towns of England he reads the fairytales of Ewa Chaplin – potent, eldritch stories which, like her lifelike dolls, pluck at the edges of reality and thread their way into his mind. When Andrew and Bramber meet at last, they will have a choice – to remain alone with their painful pasts or break free and, unlike their dolls, come to life.
A love story of two very real, unusual people, The Dollmaker is also a novel rich with wonders: Andrew’s quest and Bramber’s letters unspool around the dark fables that give our familiar world an uncanny edge. It is this touch of magic that, like the blink of a doll’s eyes, tricks our own . . .
The rave reviews surrounding The Dollmaker by Nina Allan had totally whetted my appetite. I was eager to read it. I really thought I would enjoy the story – modern day life mixed with fairy tales.
Sadly, I didn’t like it.
I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why the fairy tales mirrored reality so precisely that I felt that I was reading the same story over and over again. Then when the two morphed into one I was thrown even more.
I think to read The Dollmaker you really need to be able to suspend your disbelief because if you start questioning things too much, then you, like me, will probably find the whole thing a bit boring and confusing.
The Dollmaker by Nina Allan is available now.
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