Heloise does not know how old she is, or where she lived before she came to live with her godmother in the house beside the Museum of Mary Child. All she knows is what her godmother tells her: that life is to be devoted to doing one’s duty and avoiding anything that could be A Waste of Time. According to her godmother, love is the biggest waste of time of all, which is why Heloise’s earliest memory is of trying to touch her godmother’s face and having her fingers brushed away. Heloise has never been hugged, never been kissed, and has barely ever had a kind word spoken to her. She is prohibited from playing with the nearby children, and she is not allowed to enter the forbidding Museum that makes her and her godmother’s livelihood. The thing that Heloise longs for more than anything in the world is a doll: a plaything to share the few moments of idleness between chores and prayers. A doll to love.
The Museum of Mary Child is horror and fantasy all rolled into one. It starts off as the basic story of an ill-used orphan, but quickly twists and turns into something more. It is a fairy tale, complete with a prince, a madwoman, a talking doll, magic and a society of talking birds bent on saving the day. You will love it.