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The Eliza Doll by [Scott-Townsend, Tracey]
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The Eliza Doll Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 438 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1298 KB
  • Print Length: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Wild Pressed Books (1 May 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01EKRJ46O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #648,156 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

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Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Wow. I finished this book and sat and held it for a moment, breath stopped. It was extraordinary. So many layers. So patiently building up to a devastating reveal, one that wasn't tricky or gimmicky, but beautiful, raw, painful and heart-breaking. There were lots of characters but as is always the case with a 'busy book' (and good writing) you attach yourselves mostly to the ones that interest you. I loved Ellie, Greg, Eliza... The settings were another character, from the familiar East Yorkshire places to gorgeous Iceland. Scott-Townsend doesn't shy away from difficult topics (I LOVE books dealing with such themes) and she doesn't relent in dragging you to those dark places too. A magnificent, beautifully-written book that I will recommend to all.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a haunting book. From the very beginning we pick up a sense of dread. Partly this comes from the poor communication between the main character, Ellie, and the other characters. She is primarily a mother. She became one too soon and too often, and at child number three, things are wrong. Mothers are prone to blame themselves and this unwanted and resented pregnancy appears to this mother to be the reason for an alienation in the child. Even with the others, there is a sense of distance in the sections where her time with her small children is described. In a communal set-up with musicians and artists and on benefits, life is not easy. She has little support from her partner. She has put her further education and training on hold while she mothers. This increases the lack of joy in her life that permeates the narrative. Later she does go to college despite the young age of her children, but somehow this does not remedy matters. Her relationship with her husband is fractured and insubstantial. There are good reasons for her tense relationship with her parents. The reader's sense of dread is confirmed later in the novel.
Although the third child is in a sense the focus of the tale, it is the mother's character and situation that really haunts the reader. The dolls she creates and sells, replicate the years of child-bearing. The faceless one (not for sale) seems more a symbol of herself than of the daughter. The doll lacks the means of communication until at last eyes and mouth are sewn on, and a recipient allowed.
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Format: Paperback
The Eliza Doll, by Tracey Scott-Townsend, narrates the life story of Ellie who, when we first meet her, has sold her home and is travelling around the country in a campervan making handmade dolls for craft fairs. This peripatetic way of life is obviously her choice yet she appears anxious and disturbed. She is visited on the road by her daughter, Eliza, who has encouraged her to follow her dreams. Doing so has not assuaged Ellie’s guilt at acting against the wishes of Rosie, another of her children.

The story jumps around in time which is sometimes a challenge to keep track of. Eliza’s birth is narrated and the reader learns she was not a wanted child. Ellie already had two children and was struggling to cope. The story goes back to when she met their father.

Ellie and Jonah were in their first year at university when she fell pregnant just a few months into their relationship. Jonah was an aspiring musician waiting for the record deal he was convinced he would soon acquire. Following the birth of their first child they both dropped out of university and moved into an arts inspired commune. The responsibilities of parenthood came between them as did lifestyle choices they made. Ellie felt that her future had been stolen from her. Jonah resented that she would not offer him her unequivical support.

The timeline moves to when Ellie and Jonah are older. They are in Iceland to visit an adult Eliza, taking a tour that she has planned for them. Ellie now appears weak and needy. She does not seem happy to be there.

There is a large cast of characters to get to know alongside keeping track of when what is being described is taking place. The story is of a life lived. There are regrets but also achievements.
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Format: Paperback
'I couldn't put it down! I love it, Tracey Scott-Townsend's best yet by far. Really vivid characters, some beautiful description particularly of Iceland, which is such a powerful presence, almost like another character, and Ellie is a wonderful creation.
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