Author: Kate Hamer
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
On Ruby's thirteenth birthday, a wish she didn't even know she had suddenly comes true: the couple who raised her aren't her parents at all. Her real mother and father are out there somewhere, and Ruby becomes determined to find them.
Venturing into the forest with nothing but a suitcase and the company of her only true friend--the imaginary Shadow Boy--Ruby discovers a group of siblings who live alone in the woods. The children take her in, and while they offer the closest Ruby's ever had to a family, Ruby begins to suspect that they might need her even more than she needs them. And it's not always clear what's real and what's not--or who's trying to help her and who might be a threat.
Told from shifting timelines, and the alternating perspectives of teenage Ruby; her mother, Anna; and even the Shadow Boy, The Doll Funeral is a dazzling follow-up to Kate Hamer's breakout debut, The Girl in the Red Coat, and a gripping, exquisitely mysterious novel about the connections that remain after a family has been broken apart.
I'm still kind of struggling with what to say for this review. The book is marketed as a mystery and even a thriller, which I was excited about because I adore those genres. It was neither, in my opinion. After reading the description, I was a bit confused about the genre choice because it didn't mention anything close to either. I thought maybe the actual story would come through with one or both - mystery or thriller. It didn't. Don't get me wrong - the book itself was good in its own right. The plot was interesting and the writing was phenomenal - and the characters were all very realistic. I loved the multiple story lines woven throughout two time periods that come together to give Ruby's life depth. Aside from not being a mystery/thriller, there were definite fantasy and even some paranormal aspects that weren't even hinted at in the description. I had no idea they were going to be involved, so I was pretty confused for a portion of the novel. I love strange and creepy supernatural aspects, so it was in no way a deal breaker for me as a reader. However, if the description had mentioned these things and I could've had a better understanding of what the story was actually about - I definitely would have had a better experience. I know I keep coming back to the description and feeling like I didn't know what I was getting into, but it's a big deal for me and I think everyone should know what they're picking up before going in. Now that I know the main story line and plot, I might come back to this book and do a re-read later on. I do think that readers will really like the novel, as long as they know what it's actually about. Recommended for fans of the author's other work, as well as those who enjoy contemporary fiction, and even magical realism.
Kate Hamer’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, August 14th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Tuesday, August 15th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Wednesday, August 16th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, August 17th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, August 21st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, August 22nd: Write Read Life
Wednesday, August 23rd: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, August 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, August 28th: Art Books Coffee
Tuesday, August 29th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, August 30th: A Dream Within a Dream
Thursday, August 31st: Books & Bindings
Tuesday, September 5th: Suzy Approved
Thursday, September 7th: Girl Who Reads
(1) Finished copy of The Doll Funeral - Open to US/CAN only!