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Kate Hamer’s new novel, THE DOLL FUNERAL (MelvilleHouse) explores the complex and often difficult relationship between mothers and daughters. Hammer’s narrative introduces us to new ideas, concepts, senses and unimaginable possibilities
One her thirteenth birthday, Ruby learns the abusive people she has called her parents all her life, aren’t her mother and father. Her parents are out there … somewhere, and finding them becomes Ruby’s obsession, taking us on a journey, where the definition of family becomes an abstract concept.
Ruby, along with her imaginary friend, Shadow Boy, head into the Forest of Dean, where she meets up with siblings who live in the woods. She’s taken in and Ruby believes she’s found the family she’s always wanted. But then the relationship begins to shift, and she believes they need her more and the lines between who is helping who begin to blur. What’s real? Should she be afraid?
While reading THE DOLL FUNERAL, I felt as if I’d entered the realm of magical realism. There was always the fear something dangerous could happen, similar to reading a Grimm’s fairytale. The characters are complex and have us question our own judgement. Whenever an author explores the relationships between parents and children, particularly mothers and daughters, they take readers into murky waters, where there is room for interpretation.
Perspectives and timelines shift in THE DOLL FUNERAL, alternating between teenage, Ruby, her mother, Anna and Ruby’s imaginary friend, the Shadow Boy. I felt on edge at times, nervous for Ruby and wanted to protect her.
Kate Hamer is an incredibly talented and courageous writer. She pushes the limits, never what a reader expects and I look forward to her next novel.
KATE HAMER is the author of The Girl in the Red Coat, which was a Costa First Novel Award finalist, a Dagger Award finalist, an Amazon Best Book of the Year 2016, and a winner of the ELLE Lettres Readers’ Prize. She lives in Cardiff, Wales, with her husband and two children.
Connect with Kate
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Melville House, we have one copy of THE DOLL FUNERAL to giveaway. Just tell us if you’ve ever read a novel that felt as if it were a fairytale? And if so, which one. We’ll announce a winner next week.
Have a great week.