‘The Dollhouse’ -Charis Cotter

The Dollhouse is a wonderfully atmospheric read, which blends seamlessly the ghostly with everyday life.

Our main character is Alice, a young girl whose parents are talking about getting a divorce. Alice is obviously in a state of upheaval, so it takes some time to establish what is happening and what is a reaction to those events. When her mother takes Alice to her new job – caring for the elderly recluse Mrs Bishop – Alice is struck by the strangeness of the home she has come to, but she puts her initial unease down to the lingering effects of the concussion she received in a train crash on the way down.

Mrs Bishop is suitably cantankerous, and Alice – understandably – is curious about this rambling home she has been brought to. When she discovers secret passages and locked rooms, of course she wants to know more.

The first part of the book sets up the characters well. There then felt to be a rather lengthy period where Alice is experiencing strange events linked to the dollhouse she finds in the locked attic. This part of the book was slow, and it seemed quite obvious what was happening. However, as we move further along it started to feel rather more ominous, and there was a noticeable creepiness to some of the events taking place.

All in all this was rather predictable in parts, but it was genuinely entertaining and well written. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read this before publication.