I don’t think I’m going to be able to put into words how beautiful The Binding by Bridget Collins is, because it’s just so incredible. But after a few months of editing this little post, here’s my best shot…
Imagine you could erase your grief. Imagine you could forget your pain. Imagine you could hide a secret.
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. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.
One day, Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it.
A classic in the making
From the synopsis above, I did think it was going to be much, much darker than it was; the story was actually quite beautiful, but still had dark elements. My typa’ book!
The first 50-odd pages, I was like ‘why is everyone hating on books though’ and started to build a grudge against some of the characters. Definitely not sorry. But this is the magic of The Binding. It makes you feel so much and for so many different reasons; it is a true masterpiece and will be/ is a renowned piece of literature.
I was just so immersed that I lost myself (and my time) in this book. Being quite lengthy, you think it would take you a while to get through, but you look up after reading and realise that yes, you’ve read 100 pages, but you’ve also missed 10 missed calls, the oven timer has been going off and you now have a burnt pizza, the kettle is now stone cold after only boiling a second ago, sirens appear in the distance. Fully immersive, and you will not want to pull yourself away from it.
The writing is just absolutely stunning. There is not one thing I would fault. I could picture everything, and the emotions just piled up on every page. I felt like a fly on the wall – it was just so dreamy.
Do you know when, in The Grinch, said character says: “I’m feeling” and his heart grows three times? Me x100 upon finishing The Binding. It’s a very intense book and I can see it being one that is handed down by generations, and one that will be loved by all. A classic in the making.
I’m also considering buying another copy of The Binding so I can display one without the dust cover, because it’s just so pretty (pictured below if you didn’t see my 100 posts about it at the time).
I’ll re-read this so many times in the future. A beautiful tale with dark moments intertwined and a magical and meaningful message throughout.
Nothing but 110% praise for The Binding.
The Binding, Bridget Collins, RRP £12.99 (hardback); Book Depository
Publisher: The Borough Press
Genre: Literary Fiction