Publisher: HQ Digital
Release Date: 14th September 2017
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Doll House follows a woman named Corrine, who is trying to have a baby with her partner after many rounds of IVF. Her sister – Ashley – is also a large part of the story, along with her husband and their three children. Both Ashley and Corrine’s husband think she’s overly-anxious and paranoid, but when pieces of her childhood dollhouse start appearing around her apartment, she starts to believe there’s something more than her anxiety at play.
I will say that this book is primarily a family drama, rather than a thriller. There are very few thriller elements I could pick out and it read much more like a (dare I say chick-lit?) general, day-in-the-life book. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if that’s what you want from the story, but the synopsis and creepy cover led me to believe there would be more scares and tension, and there wasn’t – a lot like There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins – which affected my rating.
The action picked up from the 70% mark if you can wait that long, and that remaining 29% was a lot more enjoyable. However, the ending ruined the book further for me. It really fell flat and seemed very gimmicky. I do enjoy ambiguous endings but I don’t think this one was executed particularly well. If the book had ended without the epilogue, I would have felt much more satisfied.
Another complaint I had with the book is one I’ve seen a few people also talked about in their reviews, is that Corrine wasn’t a strong female protagonist that I wanted. She relies heavily on her partner to do everything for her and never tries to do anything by herself, for herself. She didn’t seem to have any agency in the story. I enjoyed her sister’s character more, but Corrine was given the first person narrative so we didn’t get to see Ashley’s character as in-depth, which was a shame.
Despite this, the writing was solid and I wouldn’t say it was overly predictable. If you go into the book not expecting tension and excitement and want a family drama, you might really like this one.