A doll factory is a wonderful place for kids. Imagine the fun you could have running around creating tiny versions of sweet princesses for your friends. You wouldn’t just be making doll versions; you’d be creating stories and sharing them with the rest of the world. That’s the magic of doll making; it’s a way to give the child – or adult – more pleasure than watching a doll create her own doll. In this dark and stormy tale of forbidden love, erotic desire, and artistic passion, a beautiful young girl strives to become an artist in her own doll for kids workshop.
“The Doll for Kids” by Paulneaghan Kelly is a dark comedy about obsession and mental obsession. 16-year-old Lily is tormented by her mother, driven by an insatiable sexual appetite. When her dolls are stolen from her doll factory, Lily sets out to find them and the person who ordered them to begin with. Passionate and driven, Lily searches everywhere…
I really enjoyed this novel. The language is clear and easy to follow along with, which added to the enjoyment level for me as the story unfolds. I especially enjoyed how Lily reacts when her Pre-Raphaelite doll factory is vandalized by someone she assumes is responsible for the theft. Lily’s determination to find the culprit sends her on a wild goose chase through Paris, which is really interesting to say the least. I also enjoyed how Lily becomes so protective of her dolls that she even puts them in storage lockers.
The style of the book screams “literary” and the writing style has a little bit of a twist and turns, which I enjoyed. There is an occasional moment when Ms. Butler would use a more traditional format (diary, etc.) but for the most part this was done in the modern sense of the word and fit the story nicely. This was an easy, enjoyable, and very likable young woman’s novel that left me looking forward to the next in the series, “The Witch’s Pupil.”
This young adult novel is not only a love story between a girl named Lily and a man named John, but also a cautionary tale about how collectors can become too focused on collecting dolls or they can become too attached to one doll, so to speak, that their attachment to it becomes unhealthy. It’s a short novel filled with beautiful images and illustrations, which really pulled me into the story and kept me reading until the last few pages. The entire novel is written in first-person and you get the sensation that the writer was right there experiencing all of it with John. This kind of authenticity is hard to find in other modern books on doll collections and doll manufacturing. However, that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment I got from the story and the images.
Dollshillers London Review: “The Doll Factory” by Joelle M. Clements is a charming little book with beautiful illustrations depicting early American life in the late 1850s. I really enjoyed this novel, as it tells the story from the point of view of a young girl who loves dolls, but also wants the world to know about the unfair treatment she has endured at the hands of her own father. If you enjoy young adult novels that are also set in a modern day London, “The Doll Factory” is a must-read. For young adults, dollshillers London Review: “The Doll Factory” is a wonderful little novel about the early American doll manufacturing industry that includes a wealth of illustrations depicting all kinds of dolls being made and supplied to the greatest Exhibition of the mid 1850s.