The Binding by Bridget Collins


Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

My Review

A wholly original and novel (no pun intended) concept for a novel, executed to perfection.

Emmett Farmer, a normal, everyday farmers son, happily working the families land with aspirations no higher than to take over the farm from his father when the time comes. That is until recovering from a debilitating illness, he receives a letter that will change his future forevermore. He has been summoned by bookbinder Seredith, an old spinster,  rumoured to be a witch, to take his place as her apprentice. With no other option but to leave his family and follow his destiny, he leaves everything he knows and loves to become a Bookbinder, even though he has no idea what that actually is or entails. 

Just as he gets his strength back from his illness and settles under Seredith’s tutelage, Emmett’s life is shattered yet again, this time leading to a new teacher, moving him even further from his old life and a discovery that will change everything he thought he knew about who he was and his past with earth shattering consequences.

This book was a pure delight to read, blending a touch of folklore and myths with a dash of magic, suspense and true love into a completely original and spellbinding novel of epic proportions. This really will be a book that you will remember forever, firing your imagination, consuming you all the way through to the very last page. Not only is it a stunning book outside its purple page edging, the contents are even more dazzling. I am finding it hard to review without waxing lyrical too much because it really has blown me away with the plot lines, characters and writing! It has been in my tbr pile for months and now I wish I had read this one sooner. I can safely say this will be a book that I will be reading again and has cemented itself as an all time favourite!

The Binding was published on 7 Jan. 2019 and will be published in paperback on 6 Feb 2020. If you haven’t already done so grab a copy now and see for yourself why it is labelled as ‘The most captivating novel of 2019′ on Amazon! If like me you already own a copy and it is buried in your tbr pile, dig it out and dive straight in, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

A massive thank you to the author Bridget Collins, publishers HarperCollins UK and NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest and independent review.

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