Review: The Binding by Bridget Collins

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Plot:

Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Forever.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it

The Binding is a new Novel by the Author Bridget Collins whose other works include; The Traitor game and Game runner. I received an E-arc of this book off Edelweiss+ for review.

Emmett Farmer is one of those characters that takes a while to figure out. For the first part of the book I wasn’t wholly sure where his story was going, but by the end of part two I was a little bit in love with him. His story is one of a forbidden love and familial obligation that leads to a thoroughly engrossing story.

The book is split into 3 parts and as stated above for most of the 1st section I was unsure as to where the novel was leading, but once I’d started reading part 2 there was no going back. I was so deeply bonded with Emmett and needed him to get a happy ending that I read the rest of the book in a matter of hours. The third section is narrated by Lucian Darnay, a character you meet briefly in the first few chapters but his relationship with Emmett only becomes apparent in the second part of the novel.

Set in a Victorian style era this novel shows what it must have been like to be gay in a time where it was not only frowned upon but illegal. It also shows the depths to which people will go to forget or make other people forget things they are not proud of or need covering up. The idea that books are actually peoples memories they wanted forgotten was such a fresh approach, but Bridget also didn’t shy away from the darker side of it, people selling memories to make a living and people being made to give up memories other people don’t want coming out.

This is without a doubt one of the most beautifully written stories I have ever read. and will be a book that I continuously recommend until everyone I know has read it. The writing is sublime, the characters effortlessly likable and the plot heartbreaking and bittersweet. It is a great read for anyone looking for a true LGBT book. An easy 5/5 stars for me!

Goodreads

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