Doll Factory – How it Got Started
In “The Doll Factory,” award-winning author Paula Hawkins channels her inner rebel, as she takes an insightful look at the inner workings of her own psyche. In this dark, gothic, suspenseful tale of forbidden love, an ambitious young woman scorns her former belief system, giving into her carnal, even sexual urges to marry a wealthy man in order to support her struggling family. But when the marriage falls apart, she lashes out against everything she once knew and everything she believed in… Things get even worse when she is accused of the brutal murder of her half-brother, sparking a complicated history that includes her own search for freedom, while also dealing with the dark secret that hounds her every step. This dark fairy tale is brimming with character study, psychological intrigue, and even a touch of pornography (a surprising amount is present, actually), but it is Hawkins’ expert use of her characters’ inner fears and desires that truly makes The Doll Factory a memorable read.
In terms of setting, London is actually the perfect backdrop for Paula Hawkins’ novel, as the narrow streets and cobbled streets of its hectic, modern metropolis provide a sense of claustrophobia and intimacy for the heroine, who is forced to spend her days trapped inside the doll factory. In addition to the claustrophobic nature of the setting, London’s bustle is further highlighted by the ornate, intricately carved doll faces that line the factory floor. As these dolls come in different designs and sizes, Paula Hawkins incorporates several London landmarks into her story, such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Leadenhall Market, Westminster Abbey, and the House of Parliament, to name a few.
This intricate process of creating dolls has a long and interesting history, going all the way back to around 500 years ago. According to Elizabeth Macneal, writer of the Collectible Dentist’s Guide to London, the practice of making small figures of precious gems, metals, wood, stone and ceramics was used by wealthy families as an investment technique. Dolls were also made for the purpose of teaching children, especially girls, how to preserve their household debts and create a debt relief fund, which was often provided for the family’s future. Today, dolls are made for all different age groups and can be customised with different hairstyles, different accessories, different facial structures and different body structures.