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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Odd, Disquieting The Doll Funeral a Meh For Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ruby Flood is thrilled when the couple who has been raising her make a stunning announcement—they are not her birth parents.  Relieved not to share blood with the cruel, abusive couple, the 13-year-old runs away from their home, determined to find her real parents.  Ruby sets off into the Forest of Dean armed only with a suitcase and the otherworldly protection of Shadow Boy, her imaginary—and only—friend.  

Soon, Ruby comes upon a ragged group of siblings living on their own in a crumbling mansion in the forest.  Although not all of them are keen on having another mouth to feed, they take her in and make her part of their unconventional family.  The situation suits Ruby just fine, but it's not long before she begins to realize that not everything is what it seems in her surrealistic new life.  It's difficult to tell what is real and what is not in the woods; all Ruby desires is the truth.  Can she trust her new family to help her on her quest?  What secrets are they hiding from Ruby?  She's about to find out ...

It's tough to describe The Doll Funeral, an odd and disquieting novel by Welsh author Kate Hamer.  While it's compelling and lyrical, it's also dark, depressing, hopeless, and sad.  Although I appreciate its lesson about family not always being about blood, I didn't end up loving this story.  It was a pretty meh read for me.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, depictions of illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. It sounds like this had potential - too bad it didn't live up to it.

    1. It did, for sure. The vibe was definitely atmospheric and mystical, but the rest of the novel just wasn't that impressive.

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog today and directing me to your blog. I'm adding you to my roll now Susan.

    1. Thanks, Diane! We veteran book bloggers have to stick together :)

    2. I just did a quick clean-up on my blogroll as well and added yours. I'm not sure why it wasn't on there to begin with as I've been reading your blog off and on for years. Duh.

  3. I’m sorry. Too depressing isn’t good.

    1. It seems like the majority of books I read these days are depressing! I need more happy books in my life.

  4. This one was a DNF for me about a 1/3 of the way in. I had high hopes for it but just couldn't connect. Hope your next book is awesome.

    1. Yeah, I understand why you gave up on it. I probably should have, too. I liked Hamer's first book and I figured this one would be better than that one, but ... nope.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. Hmmm...I think I was vaguely aware of this book, but never picked it up. Probably won't now, though I do agree that family is definitely not about blood (said the adopted child). And I know you agree with me. ;-)

  6. I have a hard time with books that are too depressing as well. That's too bad this one was like that.

  7. That's too bad. From the title and the premise I was hoping for better. :)


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