The Doll Funeral

It’s the birthday gift every 13-year-old wants: The discovery that your parents aren’t your real parents. For Ruby, the discovery that she’s adopted, and that her abusive parents aren’t her actual parents, is galvanizing.

Determined to find her real mother and father, she runs away into the woods with nothing but a suitcase and the company of her only true friend—the imaginary Shadow Boy. There, she discovers a group of siblings living by their wits. They take her in, but while they offer the closest Ruby’s ever had to a family, 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 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.

 

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.

“A moving and mesmeric story… beautifully written, The Doll Funeral brims with a delightful, riveting strangeness.” —Shelf Awarness for Readers

“Hamer has created a mystical world in which characters are haunted by specters of their present as well as their past, by the living and the lost. Her diction is lovely and tangible..A powerful paranormal novel.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Hamer handles language beautifully, fashioning effortlessly evocative sentences.” —Booklist, starred review

“Evoke[s] both Jeanette Winterson and Ian McEwan…. An elegiac and uplifting novel about the indissoluble bonds between mothers and daughters and a reminder of how the imagination can set you free.” —The Guardian

“Hamer’s ability to conjure an atmosphere is certainly powerful. Particularly resonant is her portrait of the beauty and menace of the Forest of Dean.” —The Sunday Times

“What holds the novel together is the tremendous momentum of the story itself, which gathers pace with every page, hooking you into its strangeness and keeping you hooked to the very last word. As an exploration of the hold exerted on us by the past, The Doll Funeral is entirely successful, and for Ruby, the call of the dead ultimately brings understanding.” —Financial Times

“I felt instantly protective of Ruby; the teenager with a secret so chilling I had to check the front door was locked. Hamer’s brilliant storytelling made me read on for fear Ruby’s fate depended on it.” —Grazia

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