The Binding, Bridget Collins

I like to borrow books on Prime reading and let them sit for a little while so I can forget the plot. It makes it fun because I know I want to read it, but I don’t know what I’m reading.

You have this fantastic take on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is one of my most favorite movies based on one of my most favorite poems, by Alexander Pope. But instead of technology that can erase the things you want, it’s magic. You get to have books involved, which makes it perfect. The capacity for things to go so horribly awry with this is scary. You can get away with anything if you know you can make people forget you’ve done it. Collins has created a world in which books are scary because of what they can do. It’s not that much of a stretch when you historically look at what’s happened in the world.

So I was sitting there reading and thinking, ooh there’s an attraction building, please let these two boys get together. The tension kept building, and I needed these two to fall in love like I needed more air. “He took hold of my arm and pulled me round to face him. Then he kissed me.” Yay, success!

The Binding is everything beautiful and magical you want in a book. You also get to learn a bit of bookbinding, which adds another layer to an already wonderful plot. I loved every moment of reading this, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Read and like this review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

The Binding is available on Amazon for $11.99, it’s also included in Prime reading, so if you have Prime, head on over and snag it.

About the book:
Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

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 amongst 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.

An unforgettable novel of enchantment, mystery, memory, and forbidden love, The Binding is a beautiful homage to the allure and life-changing power of books—and a reminder to us all that knowledge can be its own kind of magic.

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