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The Dollmaker

The Dollmaker


Stitch by perfect stitch, Andrew Garvie makes exquisite dolls in the finest antique style. Like him, they are diminutive, but graceful, unique and with surprising depths. Perhaps that’s why he answers the enigmatic personal ad in his collector’s magazine.

Letter by letter, Bramber Winters reveals more of her strange, sheltered life in an institution on Bodmin Moor, and the terrible events that put her there as a child. Andrew knows what it is to be trapped; and as they knit closer together, he weaves a curious plan to rescue her.

On his journey through the old towns of England he reads the fairytales of Ewa Chaplin – potent, eldritch stories which, like her lifelike dolls, pluck at the edges of reality and thread their way into his mind. When Andrew and Bramber meet at last, they will have a choice – to remain alone with their painful pasts or break free and, unlike their dolls, come to life.

A love story of two very real, unusual people, The Dollmaker is also a novel rich with wonders: Andrew’s quest and Bramber’s letters unspool around the dark fables that give our familiar world an uncanny edge. It is this touch of magic that, like the blink of a doll’s eyes, tricks our own . . .

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 4th April 2019

Price: £14.99

ISBN-13: 9781787472556


Her literary sensibility fuses the fantastic and the mundane to great effect
In clean, beautiful, agile prose, Nina Allan is able to conjure a recognisable England and a place of deep enchantment. The world of The Dollmaker is not only one we know, it seems to know us, and readers will lose and find themselves inside Allan's wonderful creation. A fantastic book, revealing a zone of wonder and a world of truth.
Andrew O'Hagan, author of The Illuminations
Amazing experiments are still possible with the form of the novel! I was deeply impressed by the complexity of this elegant, beautiful and subtly scary book.
Daniel Kehlmann, author of Measuring the World
As uncanny and disquieting as a Hans Bellmer photograph, yet rooted - like all of Nina Allan's superb novels - in a minutely observed everyday reality that feels almost too familiar. This is a masterful and multi-layered haunted toyshop of a novel, but who exactly is playing with who?
Tony White, author of The Fountain in the Forest
Two unusual people with a very real love story. A uniquely beautiful read
Image Magazine
Mesmerising, richly layered and wholly original - worthy of a modern Grimm
Andrew Caldecott, author of Rotherweird
Mesmerising, richly layered and wholly original - worthy of a modern Grimm
Andrew Caldecott, author of Rotherweird
Beautifully written and deeply strange . . . Allan writes about neglect and transgression very well . . . Wonderfully taut
Leaf Arbuthnot, Sunday Times
Haunting and beautifully written, the plot unfolds as a story within a story.
Candis Magazine