Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

Reviewer: Catriona Troth

What We Thought: When Ruby learns, on her thirteenth birthday, that Barbara and Mick are not her real parents, she runs out into the garden and sings for joy. As she lights the candles on her birthday cake, she imagines the twin stars of her parents, orbiting her head. “Come and get me,” she whispers.

That day, Ruby becomes a soul hunter. But the truth, she learns, is never that simple. Especially when the dead (like Shadow) are eager to share their messages with her but are less than clear as to what those messages are.

In this dark tale, it’s not always clear who is real and who is either a figment of Ruby’s imagination or a glimpse into the paranormal. Nor is it clear, as Ruby cuts herself loose from her abusive stepfather and goes in search of her parents, who are her protectors and who the deceivers out to harm her.

In parallel with Ruby’s story, we see, in an earlier timeline, the unfolding story of her mother’s rocky relationship with Lewis, Ruby’s father - the path that will end with Ruby living with Mick and Barbara.

The book is set in the Forest of Dean, and forest itself is a powerful force in the novel, which both draws and repels the characters that live among it.

At bottom, this is a story about the true nature family –and how to rebuild it when your first, biological family has been broken beyond repair.

You can watch Kate Hamer talking about this and her debut novel, The Girl in the Red Coat, at the Triskele Lit Fest in Sept 2016 here.

You’ll Enjoy This If You Loved: Closure by Gillian E Hamer [no relation]; Kate Hamer's debut novel: The Girl in the Red Coat

Avoid If You Dislike: A touch of paranormal with your psychological thrillers

Perfect Accompaniment: Rabbit stew

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Available on Amazon

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