Book Review: The Binding by Bridget Collins

Reviewed: December 4th, 2021
Released: December 26th, 2019
Genre: Historical Fantasy

Emmett Farmer is a binder’s apprentice. His job is to hand-craft beautiful books and, within each, to capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory.
If you have something you want to forget, or a secret to hide, he can bind it – and you will never have to remember the pain it caused.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and secrets – are meticulously stored and recorded.
Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of the volumes has his name on it.

Helen’s thoughts: 5/5

What a clever book! Such an original idea to bind memories into a book with the person’s name on it. A book of memories that remove whatever it is you don’t want to remember, supposedly locked away safely in a vault. But not everyone is so honourable and some of these ‘books’ are sold as novels for others to read.

Such a clever twist to repurpose the value of a book and what it contains. People’s memories being twisted and read as popular entertainment.

Caught up in this is a young farm boy called Emmett, who finds himself apprenticed to a Book binder. Confused and abandoned, he tries to enbrace his new life but something is missing, just out of his reach, calling to him and he can’t settle until he finds it.

This book is split into three parts. The first part is Emmett’s story, and I must admit it dragged a bit, it seemed something of nothing to begin with, it doesn’t really begin to make sense until you get to the second section and the plot picks up and doesn’t stop. The second and third section definitely make up for the first.

Beautifully written, wonderful characters and a world with a victorian feel. Plenty of characterisation and subtle nuances reveal those who have been bound versus those who have not, and how even honourable ideas can be twisted and corrupted by greed.

About the author:

Bridget Collins was born in 1981 in Kent, England. She always wanted to be an actor, and trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after studying English at King’s College, Cambridge, but after she graduated from drama school she found herself starting to write a novel as a way to distract herself when she wasn’t working – and discovered that she loved it… Her first published novel, The Traitor Game, won the Branford Boase Award and was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Since then she has published six more novels for teenagers. The Binding, her first adult novel, was published in January 2019 and went straight to no. 2 in the Sunday Times bestseller list. 

Although she doesn’t act professionally any more – writing having taken centre stage – she is a keen amateur actor. She also loves bookbinding, running, arguing, napping and eating good food (not in that order), almost as much as she loves reading.

Purchase The Binding:

Link to book on Amazon UK: Paperback | Hardcover | Audiobook

Link to book on Amazon US: Paperback | Hardcover

If you enjoy also fantasy books then you will love my books which are available in eBook or paperback: Book One: Sentinals Awaken. Book Two: Sentinals Rising. Book Three: Sentinals Justice. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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