The Doll Funeral – Kate Hamer

One of the first few books that the #CJSReads2017 trio featured was THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT by Kate Hamer, so when we saw she had another one coming out we knew we had to get it!

Big thanks to Melville House for the advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews!

THE DOLL FUNERAL by Kate Hamer will be out on August 15th, 2017!

This was definitely different than THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT but Hamer’s beautiful prose is still there!


My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars!

I had read Hamer’s book THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT and loved it, so of course when I saw she had another one coming out, I had to grab a copy! THE DOLL FUNERAL is much different but her incredible and beautiful writing is still very much intact. While it claims to be a thriller/mystery, I’d have to say it’s more a contemporary fiction with a small twist.

Its 1983, and today is Ruby’s 13th birthday, and she finds out that her parents aren’t really her biological parents. While this might be shocking and upsetting to most, this gives Ruby a sense of hope. We learn that she has had a less than ideal childhood – suffering abuse at the hands of her stepfather. Now Ruby is determined to go and find her real mother and father out there.

She begins her journey with nothing but a suitcase and her only true friend, Shadow Boy. While venturing through the woods, she comes across a group of siblings that live alone out there. They take her in and Ruby quickly suspects that something is not what it seems. Who can she trust and who could be a threat?

The story is mainly told through the eyes of Ruby, but we do have some jumping timelines and see through the eyes of her biological mother, and even some chapters with Shadow Boy are thrown in. THE DOLL FUNERAL is definitely not a thriller. It had more of the classic fairytale elements present – the evil step parents, an enchanted forest, and her imaginary friend Shadow Boy (definitely on the darker side of classic fairytales). A much slower paced novel than her debut, but still beautifully written.

Without a doubt, Hamer can write a story with incredible prose and create these complex characters, but this one shouldn’t have been presented as a thriller. I agree with my reading buddy, Sam of Clues and Reviews, that this was definitely not marketed properly. However, if you want a story that’s character focused and more on the contemporary fiction side with a dash of fantasy, then this is the book for you! Just don’t go into it expecting an edge-of-your-seat thriller.


Check back tomorrow for the collective #CJSReads2017 reviews and thoughts!


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