THE BINDING BY BRIDGET COLLINS
Books are dangerous things in Collins' alternate universe, a place vaguely reminiscent of 19th-century England. It's a world in which people visit book binders to rid themselves of painful or treacherous memories. Once their stories have been told and are bound between the pages of a book, the slate is wiped clean and their memories lose the power to hurt or haunt them. After having suffered some sort of mental collapse and no longer able to keep up with his farm chores, Emmett Farmer is sent to the workshop of one such binder to live and work as her apprentice. Leaving behind home and family, Emmett slowly regains his health while learning the binding trade. He is forbidden to enter the locked room where books are stored, so he spends many months marbling end pages, tooling leather book covers, and gilding edges. But his curiosity is piqued by the people who come and go from the inner sanctum, and the arrival of the lordly Lucian Darnay, with whom he senses a connection, changes everything.
Warning, this is my first review that contains slight spoilers as it is hard to review this book without them. That saying, these 'spoilers' become quite obvious early in the book so it doesn't completely ruin it but I wanted to give a heads up just in case.
Where do I start with this book?...Not only is the book cover beautiful, but so is the story.
There are 4 things that I really loved about this book:
The overall concept of books being used to bind memories is just so unique, I loved it. Of course the main plot that circulates around the 2 protagonists is amazing but the concept of the book is what really captivated me.
Similar to 1, but the fact this story is about books and the power of books, I love reading so win win!
It is based in a magical and supernatural world but not one that is too far fetched or too far from our own world.
It is a beautiful love story about two people struggling to accept who they are and following their hearts.
The Binding is a story of growth, self acceptance and love and it is told in the most magical way. There are so many romances out there, but it's rare to find those that are so raw with emotion that you feel invested in so quickly.
Before we dive into the main plot of the book, I just want to talk about the pure magic of the writing and the world in which we find ourselves in this story. Not only is the world Collins portrays unique and so different, yet so similar, to our own world, but the way she immerses the reader and truly makes us feel like we are there is outstanding. I fell in love with reading because of the escape it provides and for the first time in years, I really experienced that when I read this book.
Collins brings us on a spell binding and enchanting story where we meet two lost souls who are trying to find themselves and each other. This a beautiful story that touches on sensitive topics, like class and sexual orientation, and having it based in a time when this would have been deemed as completely unacceptable makes it all the more emotional and captivating. Emmett and Darnay are two very strong characters that find themselves wrapped up in a world they don't understand and struggle to navigate. It is only with each other that they can find true happiness but that happiness is quickly stripped away from them.
I will say that it can be a little slow at times but I think that Collins has done this in the right way. It gives us time to fully immerse ourselves in the story, get to know the characters and then embark with them on their soul searching adventure.
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
“Maybe I should've followed him; but somehow it went from too soon to too late, without the right moment in between.”
Seredith, I would love to talk to her about the many books she bound throughout her lifetime. I feel she would be such an interesting person to have round for dinner.