Book Review: The Doll by JC Martin

Most little girls love dolls and will do anything to have the one they want. Joyce Parker’s daughter, Taylor, is no different. On a mother-daughter getaway to Mexico, the girls decide to visit an unusual tourist attraction: The Island of the Dolls. On the island, there are hundreds of dolls hanging from the trees and placed on altars in various stages of decomposition and disarray. Warned not to disturb anything on the island, Joyce is already unnerved enough by the atmosphere and carefully watches Taylor as she admires the eerily beautiful dolls; but close enough.

After returning home to the States, Joyce begins to notice a change in her daughter and the appearance of a new imaginary friend. This new friend’s name is Salvadora, which happens to be the same name of the doll that Joyce finds Taylor has stolen from the island and snuck home. Terrified by these circumstances and the heeding the caution of the tour guides on the island, Joyce decides there is no other option but to return the doll to the island-though it’s not as easy as she had hoped.

JC Martin’s short story, The Doll, is vividly written and establishes a creeping terror that watches your every move. Illustrating the interpersonal relationship between parent and child in such a teetering manner establishes a connection between the characters and the audience. Martin’s macabre descriptions of The Island of the Dolls immediately wraps the reader into her character’s fears and refuses to let go until the last page. The Doll is an addicting and haunting tale with a clever twist that’ll keep you from ever second guessing those blank porcelain eyes.

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