The Doll Twin

Janine Beacham

This was an intriguing read – especially for an adult who enjoys slightly dark, historical stories. The prologue immediately made me think of classics such as Rebecca and Jane Eyre, and I did wonder how this would translate into an appropriate tale for the middle grade reader. I need not have worried. This is a story with just the right amount of  creepiness mixed with recognisable feelings of sibling rivalry.

Set in the 1920’s, it tells the story of mechanically-minded Una, who grew up in a lighthouse before being sent to the traditionally harsh orphanage. There she is rescued by the almost too good to be true Mr. and Mrs Smith who live in a large mysterious house in Knifely Stifling. Unsettled by strange noises, Una soon discovers a life-sized animated copy of herself. From then on Una’s life becomes very difficult…

As with almost all children’s stories there is a happy outcome but not before some very tense and sinister scenes. This is one for readers who enjoyed Crater Lake and Dread Wood (Jennifer Killick)

Published by Firefly, 2024 (295 pages)

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton