Book Review | The Binding by Bridget Collins

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I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review | The Binding by Bridget CollinsThe Binding by Bridget Collins
Published by William Morrow on April 9th, 2019
Genres: Adult, Fiction
Pages: 449
Format: eARC
Source: The Publisher
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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 Thoughts:

The Binding caught my eye immediately because of the premise. If you could remove grief, ease the pain, and forget a broken heart? Would you.. COULD you do it?

The Binding was nothing that I expected. In the beginning, I was enthralled and utterly horrified at the thought of removing my memories; thinking about it throughout the day and if it’s something I would do. The way the Binders are treated is sad & wrong, but kind of expected for the time period of this book. 

What was unexpected, however, was the turn it took about a 1/3 of the way in as the tone changed. We get a part of Emmett’s story before he was summoned as an apprentice, and at first, you don’t understand WHY. As the pieces start to intertwine, it moves on to another part of the story.

This is a very uniquely written book. 

Keep in mind, this is not an action-packed, fast-paced story. This is by far, a character-driven View Spoiler », that is in fact, NOT YA, even though the characters are younger.

We get a look into this fascinating, complex world. There are Novels, which are considered “fakes,” collectors, and those that sell people’s books on the black market. While horrifying in a sense, it’s complicated and fascinating in one swoop. 

Having read this book and finished it weeks ago, I still find myself thinking about it. Which, I imagine is the point. It’s a thought-provoking book, you have to give it that. 

If you’re looking for something unique & beautifully written, I highly recommend The Binding


Tell me your thoughts

  • Doesn’t The Binding just sound FASCINATING? Are you going to give this one a go?
  • If you could, you would have any memories remove and get Bound?

8 thoughts on “Book Review | The Binding by Bridget Collins

  1. Lindsey

    This sounds so intriguing. I have to admit that even reading your review is making me think it would be easy to expect something different compared to what you get. But this sounds like such a good book – great review!

    1. tonyalee

      It IS pretty dark – and makes you think outside your comfort zone, and how people judge others ya know?

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