Saturday, 2 March 2019

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore, False Lights & Sacred Lake. (

What we thought: Another fabulous read from this talented writer! After the success of her debut novel, there was a lot of expectation on the author to deliver with her second novel and she does not disappoint.

There are elements of the supernatural, historical, crime … all wound into a superbly crafted character driven novel that wraps you in its embrace from the opening page and doesn’t let you go until you arrive bruised and shaken at the final chapter.

The main protagonist is Ruby – a troubled teenage girl living an unhappy half-life existence as the adopted daughter of Mick and Barbara. Ruby has long ago learned to hide her bruises and mask her pain. When she creates imaginary childhood friends therefore – is it any real surprise? But who or what is Shadow? Is he real or a figment of Ruby’s scarred imagination?

The novel leads us on a journey through Ruby’s formative years and the search for her real family which leads to some shocking revelations. The dramas and characters she encounters along the way are brilliantly written in this author’s engaging style. I thought each character was so perfectly crafted they could have stepped straight from the page. Pace was handled to perfection – the highs and lows matched the tone of the novel so no section every felt too rushed or too slow.

There’s not an emotion left unexplored in this novel and you will turn the final page with a mixture of regret and joy. I admire this author’s writing even more so now and the topics she chooses to confront take real bravery.

Highly recommended!

You’ll enjoy this if you like : Joanna Cannon, Gail Honeyman, Celia Imrie.

Avoid if you don’t like : Teenage angst and family secrets.

Ideal accompaniments: Cheese platter and crackers with a glass of Pinot Noir.

Genre : Contemporary.

Available on Amazon

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