My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They’re not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I’m supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.
But there are things I won’t say. I won’t tell them I’m going to hunt for my real parents. I don’t say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed.
I did tell Mick that I saw the woman in the buttercup dress, hanging upside down from her seat belt deep in the forest at the back of our house. I told him I saw death crawl out of her. He said he’d give me a medal for lying.
I wasn’t lying. I’m a hunter for lost souls and I’m going to be with my real family. And I’m not going to let Mick stop me.
I loved The Girl in the Red Coat by this author so was very excited when I realised she had another book out. I have to also mention the fabulous cover. How eye catching is that?
I think to fully appreciate this novel, you have to try and see Ruby’s parts of the story through her eyes.
It’s obvious right from the start that Ruby has had a very unhappy life with who she has always believed to be her parents. At times during the story my heart broke that little bit more as this is a girl that is desperate to be loved. Once she finds out that her parents are not her real parents, Ruby is desperate to discover who is so that she can have the loving relationship she so desperately craves. Isn’t that what every child wants?
Parts of the story are told from Ruby’s real mum’s point of view. This way we get to hear her side of the story into why she gave her daughter up. It would be very hard not to have sympathy for her, or in fact quite a few characters in this novel. Even Ruby’s so called dad at times I was annoyed with myself as he isn’t a very likeable character but yet certain things would cause me to rethink what I was feeling.
I have to admit some parts of the story I felt a little out of my depth with and didn’t quite understand what was going on. This is why I think when heading into it you need to try and see it through a child’s mind. At time’s Ruby felt so grown up and I kept forgetting I was reading about a child and then a certain vulnerability would remind me of just how fragile she was. I didn’t quite get the people that only Ruby could see either which had me feeling a bit lost as to where the story was going.
The Doll Funeral is without a doubt a haunting and emotive read. The author certainly knows how to push certain buttons to get different reactions from her readers and at times my emotions were all over the place. Whilst not a fast paced read by any means, there is something with how this story is told that makes you keep turning those pages. I felt like I owed it to Ruby to tag along to see how her story unfolded and I’m glad I did.
My thanks to Faber & Faber for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
The Doll Funeral is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that the Amazon link used is an affiliate link)